Giants @ Dodgers May 9, 2014: Perspective

dodger_stadium_openingday2013The last week has been a frustrating one for Dodgers fans. In the last seven games, the Dodgers are 2-5. The Dodgers are 19-17 overall, and they face a tough pitching match-up tonight. However, given how heated some of the discussions around the internet have been today, I think it’s important to get some perspective.

Last season, after 36 games, the Dodgers were 15-21, four games behind where they are now. They were 7 games behind the Giants, who had a record of 23-15 (they’re 22-13 so far this year) and were in the basement of the NL West. Nick Punto started the next game (equivalent to tonight’s) at third base. Skip Schumaker started at second base in place of an injured Mark Ellis (who spent the entire previous week on the roster but unavailable due to injury). Dee Gordon played at short in place of Hanley Ramirez, who pulled his hamstring the week before. Adrian Gonzalez started for the first time in several days after injuring his neck running into an umpire. Matt Kemp was actually playing, but he was hitting .277/.329/.350, clearly still bothered by his previous shoulder issues. Zack Greinke was a few games away from returning from his broken collar bone.

Giants
Dodgers
7:10pm PT
Los Angeles, CA
CF
Pagan
2B
Gordon
RF
Pence
RF
Puig
C
Posey
SS
Ramirez
LF
Morse
1B
Gonzalez
1B
Belt
CF
Kemp
3B
Sandoval
LF
Van Slyke
2B
Hicks
C
Olivo
SS
Crawford
3B
Turner
P
Bumgarner (L)
P
Maholm (L)

After 36 games, things were dire for the 2013 Dodgers, and they were about to get worse. After winning their series against Washington, the Dodgers left on a road trip which saw them lose three consecutive games to the Braves in the late innings. After that series, they traveled to Milwaukee, where, by some accounts, Don Mattingly nearly lost his job.

It’s true that the Dodgers cannot count on having a 42-8 run again this year. However, they didn’t need to go on a 42-8 run last year, since they won the division by 11 games. The Dodgers don’t have the same injury volume as they did in 2013, but that means that the current situation has the potential to turn around quickly. The Dodgers’ offense is fourth in the National League by wRC+, which suggests that the actual runs will probably come with time. Their combined pitching staff (starters and relievers) are just about league average after adjusting for park. So far this year the Dodgers have a sequencing problem, not necessarily a roster problem.

I won’t debate that the Dodgers have looked bad in the last week, but it’s not time to panic. They don’t need to fire Don Mattingly. They don’t need to make drastic roster moves. Things aren’t going well right now, but the season isn’t anywhere near over.

Juan Uribe will sit tonight, as expected. Justin Turner will start at third base in his place. Uribe has a “mild” strain, but Mattingly wouldn’t rule out a DL trip. Carlos Triunfel, a potential replacement on the 40 man roster, suffered a hand injury after it was stepped on in Albuquerque the other day, but he’s in their lineup tonight. If Uribe goes on the disabled list tomorrow, Triunfel will likely head to LA.

Turner at third gives Dee Gordon a chance to play against the left-handed Madison Bumgarner, but batting him at the top of the order is a questionable decision at best. A.J. Ellis caught for seven innings at extended spring training today, and could return as early as next week. Hyun-jin Ryu played catch today, but it doesn’t look like he’ll be able to return from the disabled list when eligible.


About

Daniel Brim grew up in the Los Angeles area and remains a Dodger fan despite currently residing in Salem, MA. As an engineer, he’s fascinated by the math and science behind the game of baseball, which probably explains a lot. He started “Blog To The Score” in late 2013 to dig deeper into the numbers behind the Dodgers. In its brief lifespan, it gained attention from local and national media. You can find him spending too much time in the comments section or on Twitter.


857 comments
Uncultured Bastard
Uncultured Bastard

i need to be where others are not.  good night all

...fuck the gnats

Dustin Nosler
Dustin Nosler moderator

Don't want to recap because it would likely be NSFW.

NotWorkingatWork
NotWorkingatWork

I really want to give Puig an ice cream and a hug. He deserves it.

TellMyWifeISaidHello
TellMyWifeISaidHello

Poor Puig don't worry the giants are just a mirage. They have two good players in actuality they will slowly dissapeare as the season wears on

LA_Woman
LA_Woman

And MLB booted me off...

Barney (Not Darwin)
Barney (Not Darwin)

Everybody quickly change the channel or turn off the feed when Romo gets the last out. He's going to jump around and point and it'll be okay for Krukow and Kuiper because showing emotion is okay when you're a Giant.

Technogit
Technogit

Reminds me of appliance night at the shooting range.

Technogit
Technogit

Our guys seem really lackluster. Is it fatigue this early in the season, or what?

Purple Drank
Purple Drank

@Tired Math Cat if LA is going to depend on a 42-8 streak again then by all means. No team should ever think it's okay to be down 5 or 6 games even in May and assume they'll just get back in it.

Purple Drank
Purple Drank

@TellMyWifeISaidHello @Purple Drank that's fine to think that way. I pegged them at 88 wins. I see no reason to change right now though they still have flaws. Belt's injury, while unfortunate, is going to be a significant blow to their offense.

TellMyWifeISaidHello
TellMyWifeISaidHello

@StephSmiles @TellMyWifeISaidHello @Purple Drank  CC and Ethier have at least bounced back a little. Fine considered sandoval comes back to normal this team still sucks cause the pitching is garbage outside the top two and a couple relievers.5 pitchers and 4 hitters is not enough to win a lot games when you have to worry about any of those hitters getting hurt

StephSmiles
StephSmiles

@TellMyWifeISaidHello @Purple Drank  Thats funny that you consider Sandoval to be nothing at 3rd base, but you're the same guy saying that CC and Etheir will get it going again.

Cant have it both ways unless you are trying to be a complete illogical homer.

Technogit
Technogit

Yet, they win. Management, then?

Technogit
Technogit

Only two good players? Is it just luck they win so much?