Dodgers @ Giants April 17, 2014: No Hanley, And Bad History For Ryu

attparkThe Dodgers are looking to salvage this series — much like the last series against the Giants — in the final game of a 3-game set. They turn to Hyun-jin Ryu to be the “stopper.”

Normally, I’d feel pretty confident (even going up against Madison Bumgarner), but for whatever reason, Ryu struggles against San Francisco.

In six career outings — including the disastrous April 4 home opener when he gave up six runs on eight hits in two innings — Ryu has been less than stellar against the Giants:

Dodgers
Giants
12:45 pm PT
San Francisco, CA
2B
Gordon
SS
Arias
SS
Turner
RF
Pence
RF
Puig
3B
Sandoval
1B
Gonzalez
C
Posey
CF
Kemp
LF
Morse
LF
Van Slyke
1B
Belt
3B
Uribe
2B
Hicks
C
Federowicz
CF
Blanco
P
Ryu (L)
P
Bumgarner (L)
  • 3.89 ERA
  • 1.58 WHIP
  • 3.4 BB/9
  • 5.2 K/9
  • 1.54 K/BB
  • .300 BAA

If you take out his numbers against the Giants, Ryu looks like an even better pitcher than he already is against the rest of baseball:

  • 2.77 ERA
  • 1.11 WHIP
  • 7.8 H/9
  • 2.2 BB/9
  • 7.9 K/9

The only thing that hasn’t done (knock on wood) is give up a lot of homers to the Giants. Ryu’s biggest problem has been the walks. In fact, 22.8 percent of the walks he’s issued in his career have come against the Giants. The Giants’ plate discipline won’t be confused for the Red Sox or A’s anytime soon, which makes the higher-than-optimal walk rate against SF rather surprising.

The hitters who have given him the biggest problems are Angel Pagan (5-for-8), Andres Torres (5-for-11, 1 2B), Hunter Pence (6-for-15, 2 2B, 2 BB), Marco Scutaro (5-for-12, 1 BB) and Pablo Sandoval (4-for-14, 1 2B, 3 BB)

If there’s any silver lining, it’s that Ryu has fared better in San Francisco against the Giants than he has in Los Angeles.

  • 3 games
  • 3.20 ERA
  • 19 2/3 IP
  • 16 H
  • 7 R
  • 7 ER
  • 1 HR
  • 6 BB
  • 11 K

The Dodgers have struggled against the Giants so far (1-4), and a win on Thursday would do a lot to stop the bleeding. I’ve said it on the podcast, but I think the Dodgers and Giants will be fighting for the majority of the season for first place, with the Dodgers ultimately pulling away in August or September. But, as is always the case, the Giants will be a tough draw for the Dodgers.

=====

Yet another story detailing Yasiel Puig‘s journey from Cuba to the United States was published. ESPN has it this time with some additional details than the article that came out on Sunday in Los Angeles Magazine.

“Sometime after 1 in the morning, the knock came. Two men dressed in burglar back stood silently at the door. Somehow, there were no guards that night. (Yunior) Despaigne is at a loss to say why. Regardless, Tomasito had chosen an inopportune moment to relax his grip on his captives. Following the two men in black, Despaigne, Puig, his girlfriend and the padrino crept out of the hotel and down a few dark streets and into a marina and onto a waiting boat that ferried them across the water to Cancun. No violence, no Tomasito, no Leo, no guards. The heist had worked. But the Rubio group had also just ripped off a criminal gang whose highly lucrative underworld ventures required the sanction of Los Zetas. They had now motivated some darkly uncompromising individuals. In plotting the heist, they hadn’t really even discussed the dangers; they were just that obvious. But so too were the rewards, and they’d come to an unstated consensus: For a chance to get Yasiel Puig, they were willing to risk their lives.”

So, the next time you run into someone who’s badmouthing Puig for “not playing the game the right (white) way,” show them these articles. It might be a waste of time because there are just some folks with tiny brains and a complete unwillingness to open their minds to the other side.

=====

Hanley Ramirez is out today after taking a fastball off his hand/wrist last night. X-rays were negative, which is encouraging. Ramirez says he plans to play tomorrow, which is nice, as though we all haven’t heard that one before. But the Dodgers can really ill-afford to lose Ramirez for an extended period of time. Justin Turner gets the nod in his place.

Giants 2, Dodgers 1: Life Is Pain

I’m sorry Chad made these GIFs. I’m even sorrier I have to show them to you. But you know that I do, right? This is what happened to Hanley Ramirez leading off against Ryan Vogelsong in the 7th inning:

Looks fun, right? Except, oh:

You know how we’re always complaining that Coors Field swallows up Dodger outfielders, not only essentially ruining Matt Kemp‘s career but also banging up Yasiel Puig and Andre Ethier? That’s how I’m starting to feel about Ramirez in San Francisco. Last year, he destroyed his thumb there in the WBC, then blew out his hamstring there days after returning. I hate that place. But then, between Coors, and the pool in Arizona, the NL West isn’t really friendly these days. Heart you, Petco?

* * *

Oh, and there was a game, I guess, and before Ramirez was injured, it was actually an interesting one, if not necessarily a well-played one. Vogelsong and Paul Maholm each made it through six full innings allowing just one run, with the Dodgers doing their best to help with endless dumb errors. (Kemp & Carl Crawford couldn’t figure out who was going to catch a ball that Kemp eventually dropped; Adrian Gonzalez was called out on batter’s interference; Kemp was picked off first; Juan Uribe, inexplicably running, was thrown out stealing easily.)

Maholm wasn’t exactly dominant, striking out two against three walks, but did induce two double plays and allowed only a Buster Posey single to drive in Hunter Pence. He also drew a walk and came around on Dee Gordon‘s triple, which is a real thing that happened.

Unfortunately, that was pretty much all the offense we saw, since the Dodgers managed just six hits, three by Gordon. The inning that began with Ramirez’ hit-by-pitch turned into a bases loaded, one out situation, but then Uribe ended any hope there with a double play.

* * *

I was going to continue, but let’s reserve a separate section for the Mattingly-bashing, of which there were two specific items on the agenda. The first, I’ll be honest, I didn’t dislike nearly as much as many others seemed to. In the bottom of the 7th, the Giants had two outs and a man on second. Mattingly intentionally walked Pence to get to Pablo Sandoval. That added a force play, and Sandoval was hitting .164/.270/.309 entering the night. That Sandoval singled in the run didn’t help, but I at least understood that.

But… holy good lord, the top of the eighth. Gordon singled with two outs, and moved to second when Javier Lopez threw away a pickoff. Lopez exists in this sport only because of what he does to lefties, against whom he has a .211/.293/.299 line in his career. Righties tag him for .303/.387/.429. You’d think that would be a situation where you absolutely wouldn’t want any lefty batter against him, but especially not Crawford, who has a .259/.305/.373 career line against lefties. This is why Scott Van Slyke exists. This may be the only reason that Van Slyke exists Unless we find out that Van Slyke got run over by a trolley on the way to the park or was otherwise unavailable, there is just about no rational reason to let Crawford hit. But since we saw him on deck with two outs in the ninth, it sure seemed like he wasn’t dead. And not that I wanted him to be dead — he seems like a nice guy — but man, it sure would have explained a lot.

Mattingly let Crawford hit, for reasons I cannot comprehend. He grounded out to first. You might as well have just ended the game there.

* * *

Back to Ramirez, the Dodgers announced that initial X-rays on his hand were negative, which is great news, if only because there’s no immediate indication of a break. (And good on Stan Conte for forcing him to come out, since it sure seemed like he wanted to stay in.) Until we learn more, we can stand down on the “will Gordon play short!” and “is Alex Guerrero coming up?!” business that came up on social media within literal seconds of the pitch. Unfortunately, the Dodgers have exhausted their ridiculous run of days off, and assuming Ramirez needs at least some down time, we’re looking at Justin Turner and Chone Figgins at shortstop. For a team struggling on offense, this is not appealing.

* * *

Oh well. There’s always this:

Dodgers @ Giants April 16, 2014: The Problem With Juan Uribe’s Offense

attparkJuan Uribe has been getting a lot of praise for his offense so far this year. And rightfully so: Uribe currently leads the Dodgers’ batters in wRC+. However, he’s taken an unusual path to get there. So far this season, Uribe has not drawn a single walk. Including last year’s postseason (when he didn’t draw any walks either), Uribe has gone 101 plate appearances since his last free pass.

Walk rate takes about 120 plate appearances to stabilize, and so far this season Uribe has 58. It’s too early to declare this as a big problem; so far it’s a statistical curiosity. At this point last year, Uribe’s walk rate was 23.9% and he finished the season at 7.0%. When Uribe’s .476 BABIP inevitably regresses, he’ll need the walks to keep his offensive contribution at a respectable level. Luckily, he still has his defense, which will help maintain his value.

Dodgers
Giants
7:15 pm PT
San Francisco, CA
2B
Gordon
CF
Pagan
LF
Crawford
RF
Pence
SS
Ramirez
3B
Sandoval
1B
Gonzalez
C
Posey
CF
Kemp
LF
Morse
RF
Ethier
1B
Belt
3B
Uribe
2B
Hicks
C
Butera
SS
Arias
P
Maholm (L)
P
Vogelsong (R)

Paul Maholm gets his second start for the Dodgers tonight. His first start was, well, bad. He gave up five runs in 4-1/3 innings, striking out one and walking two. Given how hard the bullpen worked during yesterday’s marathon, Maholm will need to last longer than that tonight.

Maholm’s season has been rocky so far. He gave up a run in relief on Saturday, so his ERA is currently 8.10 (and his FIP is 7.78). He’s only struck out two batters as a Dodger. Despite the rough start, it’s too early to bury him. Maholm has been a league average starter for most of his career, and less than seven innings isn’t enough to outweigh that. If he’s as good as his career numbers, or even slightly worse, he’ll be good enough for a back of the rotation starter.

Since the Dodgers need Maholm to start right now, that means that without him they’d be relying on Stephen Fife or Matt Magill. So far this season, Fife has allowed 16 runs (15 earned) in 11-1/3 Albuquerque innings, so he isn’t doing much to shake off his late-season slide. Magill is doing a bit better, allowing 8 runs (6 earned) in 14 innings.

While Fife and Magill’s samples are small (and in Albuquerque), they don’t currently seem like pitchers who should be in the majors over Maholm, or at the very least it doesn’t make a very big difference. You could probably make a valid argument for Zach Lee, but the Dodgers don’t seem interested in starting his service time clock. With Clayton Kershaw on the mend, we might see Maholm out of the rotation sooner rather than later, anyhow.

In other starting pitcher news, the results of Chad Billingsley‘s MRI are back and aren’t as bad as they could have been. Elbow tendinitis isn’t great, but it’s better than “needs Tommy John surgery.” There’s still a chance that we’ll see him this year.

The lineup is more or less the standard one for right-handed pitching, though Puig is getting the day off because he has never faced Vogelsong. The reasoning isn’t the best, but at this point it probably doesn’t have to be.

Dodgers’ prospect Chris Reed throws six no-hit innings

chris_reed_spring_greencapEver since Chris Reed was overdrafted by the Dodgers in the 2011 MLB Draft, I haven’t been on his bandwagon. Last year, I noticed his solid performance and ate just a small serving of crow.

Well, if his start to the 2014 is any predictor, I might be in line for huge plate of crow before too long. But I’m still skeptical about his long-term success.

Reed threw six innings of no-hit ball in Chattanooga on Wednesday for the Lookouts. He struck out nine batters while he walked three. He also posted a 6-3 ground out-to-flyout ratio. On the season, he has a 1.02 ERA, 0.85 WHIP, 3.63 FIP and has 22 strikeouts in 17 2/3 innings. Last season, he started getting more ground balls (2.19 GO/AO) and fewer strikeouts (10.0 K/9). Yes, his ERA is out-performing his FIP significantly right now, but he’s still off to a solid start.

If Reed has indeed found his strikeout stuff again, coupled with a solid groundball rate, there’s a chance he could make it as a starter. There aren’t a ton of sinkerballing lefties who can strike hitters out (Chris Sale — a player Reed was lazily compared to by draft pundits and Internet folk — comes to mind). It’s a small chance, but a chance nonetheless.

Reed is anchoring the Lookouts’ rotation, along with Carlos Frias and Andres Santiago. They’re performing relatively well, and they’re going to need to because there isn’t a ton of offensive potential at Double-A right now.

The odds are against Reed making it as a starter — as they are against a lot of minor-league starters who have reliever profiles. We’ll see if he can keep it up. If he does, then he becomes a valuable trade chip come July — something that would probably work out best for all parties involved.

Kenley Jansen Is Suddenly The Worst Closer In Baseball, Or Something

jansen_sanfrancisco_2014-04-15Oddly — or, I don’t know, maybe it’s not — the tenor of discussion following last night’s extra-inning loss is less about Brandon League being terrible than it is about Kenley Jansen being unable to hold onto a 2-1 lead in the ninth inning.

For clarity, here’s what Jansen did. He struck out Hector Sanchez on four pitches. Then, he got Angel Pagan to hit a grounder, which is fantastic. 80 percent of the time (-ish), that’s an out. This time, it happened to bounce off Jansen’s foot, from where he was unable to make the play. This is a nothing play. It happens a million times a season:

Then Brandon Belt grounded one down past third base, where Juan Uribe was unable to get to it since he had been playing off the line against the lefty hitter. Pagan wasn’t going with the pitch, but he did have a substantial lead, and since the ball bounced off the bullpen mound and the short wall, delaying Andre Ethier from retrieving it, he was able to score all the way from first:

Jansen then struck out Pablo Sandoval, and (after an intentional walk to Buster Posey) got Hunter Pence to fly to center. The Dodgers didn’t score over the next few innings while Jamey Wright locked it down, and then League coughed it away.

But of course, in the box score this morning, what you see is that Jansen allowed two hits, including a double, and blew the save. I’m hoping I don’t need to tell you how ludicrous “blown saves” can be — hell, Chris Withrow got slapped with one in the sixth inning for giving up an unearned run on a sacrifice fly, thanks in part to a Hanley Ramirez throwing error — but that completely ignores the truth of what happened. Jansen gave up two groundballs. With better luck or positioning, one or both are outs. With better luck, the ball in left bounces in a way that Ethier gets to it more quickly and gets Pagan at the plate. None of those things happened. This does not make Jansen a bad closer.

I’m not trying to be an apologist. I’m not totally blind to the fact that this has happened in a few games for him already, and that there’s a certain point where you have to ask some questions. But really, BABIP is one of the simplest, easiest to understand tenets of sabremetrics. Sometimes a grounder goes where you want it to, and sometimes it doesn’t. The pitcher really has little control over that. Those same balls could have been 1-3 and 5-3, and suddenly we’re not talking about any of this. Those who complain about it have a completely unrealistic expectation of what a closer should be, that he is required to be 100 percent perfect at all times and never allow a bat to make contact with a ball. That’s never happened. It never will happen. Nor will Jansen carry a .556 BABIP on him all season long.

Now, as for why League still exists on this roster…

Dodgers 2, Giants 3: Baseball Is Dumb

BrandonLeagueSad

Baseball is a dumb, dumb sport.

Kenley Jansen blew a save on two hits that went 10 feet in the air and now his BABIP is .556. He is the worst and grab the pitchforks or something. Whatever, no energy to deal with dumbasses.

The Dodgers kept Brandon League over Paco Rodriguez because … who cares? So of course it comes back to matter in the end and League loses.

I didn’t know I had the game recap today, so this is what happens.

Baseball. I slept two hours last night. What is life?

Dodgers @ Giants April 15, 2014: Jackie Robinson Day

attpark

First, the good news: Brian Wilson is back! That really shouldn’t be understated. When he first came up complaining of elbow soreness two weeks ago after looking terrible in blowing a game against San Diego, I think we all thought the worst for the two-time Tommy John survivor. Had you told me on that day that we wouldn’t see him again for the remainder of the season, I wouldn’t have found it all that surprising. Now, after only two rehab games and the minimum time needed on the disabled list, he’s back. Assuming he’s healthy, that’s very, very good.

But of course, nothing good comes without a price, and that price is being paid by Paco Rodriguez, who was optioned back to Triple-A to make room for Wilson. Though disappointing, it’s not all that surprising, since the team wasn’t going to jettison Brandon League — sorry — and Chris Withrow has been so good that it would have been extremely difficult to let him go. Since only Withrow and Rodriguez have options, it had to be one or the other.

Dodgers
Giants
10:15 pm PT
San Francisco, CA
2B
Gordon
CF
Pagan
LF
Crawford
1B
Belt
SS
Ramirez
3B
Sandoval
1B
Gonzalez
C
Posey
RF
Puig
RF
Pence
LF
Ethier
LF
Morse
3B
Uribe
SS
Crawford
C
Federowicz
2B
Hicks
P
Beckett (R)
P
Lincecum (R)

Rodriguez has actually never pitched in Triple-A, having gone straight from Double-A to the Dodgers in 2012 and spending all season with the big club in 2013. He had, however, pitched in eight of the team’s first 13 games, and while he was fine, he wasn’t dominant. (Eight baserunners allowed in 5.2 innings.) Since he’ll so obviously be back as soon as another reliever is injured, which should be, oh, any second now, being without him for a few days or weeks isn’t really as concerning to me as I imagine it may be to many.

Of course, this does leave the Dodgers with just one lefty in the pen, J.P. Howell. I can’t say I love that. But that’s how it’s going to be for now.

***

In other news: Carl Crawford is back, having missed the final two games of the Arizona series with minor right side tightness and “facing a lefty-itis.” That gives Matt Kemp the honor of being the extra man tonight against Tim Lincecum, and I don’t exactly hate the idea of having one of these four guys on the bench in the late innings every night.

***

In news that’s less good: Chad Billingsley didn’t make it through his scheduled bullpen appearance, and is headed back to Los Angeles for an MRI after “tightness and discomfort.” We once thought his rehab was going so well that we might have seen him by early May. Now, I don’t think there’s any realistic ETA for his return. Discouraging, to say the least.

***

But to end on a good note: Joc Pederson hit another homer tonight! That’s his fourth of the season, coming off Keyvius Sampson in the third inning. As I type, the Isotopes are in the middle of putting up a six-spot in the third against El Paso — they’re still batting — with Matt Magill on the mound.

Dee Gordon Making It Interesting As Alex Guerrero Shows Power

gordon_dirt_arizona

Dee Gordon, it must be said, has been outstanding over the first two weeks of the season, hitting .400/.457/.525. He hit a homer off of Max Scherzer. He has four walks. He stole four bases on Sunday alone, leading the big leagues, and also leading to Jeff Sullivan dedicating a post to his speed at FanGraphs. He’s just a hair behind Jason Heyward for being the most valuable baserunner in baseball to date. At the plate and on the base paths, Gordon has been the entire package, and considering just how messy the second base situation looked all winter, this is more than we could have possibly hoped for, especially if you were worried about weeks of Chone Figgins and Justin Turner.

You know why I used that otherwise not-that-appealing picture above as the main image? Because Vin Scully said on the air that the Diamondbacks were so worried about Gordon bunting, they added sand to the dirt (the lighter area above) to try to deaden any bunt attempt. I have absolutely no idea if that’s true, it should be noted. But it could be true, and the fact that we even believe it to be a possibility says a lot about what he’s done.

So Gordon has been great over the first two weeks, and no one can take that away from him. I’m impressed, and I want to see more, and that says a lot. For a very long time, “wanting to see more Dee Gordon” was at about the same level as “wanting to see more Brandon League,” and I’m pleasantly surprised.

Of course, we can appreciate what Gordon has done while still remaining in the realm of reality. It’s been 46 plate appearances. Luis Cruz once hit .429/.455/.667 over 44 plate appearances. Charlie Blackmon is hitting .478/.490/.696 in 49 plate appearances. Chase Utley is hitting .489/.549/.844 in 51 plate appearances. Allen Craig is hitting .133/.184/.133 in 49 plate appearances. Literally anything can happen over a handful of times to the plate, and since Gordon’s BABIP is .441, he is going to decline. That’s not me being a buzzkill. That’s just the facts of the game we love. No one can keep up a .441 BABIP all season long. It cannot be done.

There’s also this: his defensive transition to second base has been… okay. And okay is okay, because it’s a new position and he was an awful shortstop and no one expected him to be a standout defender by April 15. If we can expect that his offense will regress, because it will, then we can probably hope that his defense will improve as he gains experience. He won’t be among the best hitters in baseball all year long; one would hope that he won’t be among the worst-ranked defensive second baseman either, as his -2 Defensive Runs Saved rating would indicate.

Down in Albuquerque, Alex Guerrero has made his debut after missing a few weeks thanks to an oblique strain. In eight plate appearances over two games, he has two homers, and a walk, and a double, and three singles. Thanks to the magic of the internet, we can see them both.

On Sunday, against Clay Rapada:

On Monday, against Jonathan Arias:

That’s after a better spring training than you remember — again, spring stats mean little, but a .300/.400/.500 almost seems surprising after all the negative press he got — though, like Gordon, defense remains a question.

Again, it’s April 15, so none of this means a lot. All we know so far is this: Gordon’s excellent start has contributed to winning ballgames, and it will likely allow the Dodgers to prevent rushing Guerrero up to the big leagues. At some point, Guerrero will be in Los Angeles. By then, either Gordon will have collapsed, or he’ll have turned himself into valuable trade bait, or a speedy and useful utility man. Two of those three things will be happy outcomes for the Dodgers. That’s two more than I think most of us thought there would be six months or a year ago, and for that alone, he deserves our applause.

With righty Tim Lincecum on the mound tonight in San Francisco, I imagine Gordon will be leading off and playing second. I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do. This is progress. Great progress.

This Is What A 100MPH Cutter Looks Like

Kenley Jansen did something very notable last night. The accomplishment occurred on this cutter, which struck out Mark Trumbo:


GIF Link

Per Brooks Baseball, the cutter was thrown at 100.1MPH, the fastest pitch of Jansen’s career. He threw a 99.6MPH cutter to Miguel Cabrera last week, but as Grant Brisbee noted, the pitch was actually the most hit-able of the at-bat.

Per a different source, Daren Willman’s excellent searchable Pitch FX database, this cutter was the second fastest ever thrown in front of a Pitch FX system. The database registered the pitch at 99.3MPH. The velocity on Willman’s site is slightly lower than Brooks’ because Brooks’ measurement point is slightly closer to where the pitcher releases the ball (55 feet from the plate, Willman’s data is 50 feet) and the two sites apply slightly different offsets to account for “hot systems.”

In Willman’s database, Jansen has thrown three of the six cutters which have been clocked above 99MPH. All three of Jansen’s pitches at that velocity have occurred in the last week. The only faster cutter on record is a Daniel Webb pitch which registered at 99.5MPH last season.

In contrast to the cutter against Cabrera, the pitch to Trumbo had him badly fooled (despite missing the target by a fairly wide margin). Overall, it had about 2.5″ of horizontal movement (compared to an average of 3.3″ last season):
Kenley_Brooks_HorizMovement041314

The pitch had about 10″ of vertical movement (just about matching last season’s average):
Kenley_Brooks_VertMovement041314

Horizontal movement is what visually defines the cutter, and the fact that the pitch broke a bit less than usual might be something to keep an eye on. Even so, Kenley is averaging more horizontal movement this season than last, despite the increase in velocity. During last night’s outing, Jansen missed a few spots pretty badly, but so far he’s inducing his highest whiffs/swing percentage since 2011 and he’s struck out nearly 40% of the batters he’s faced.

As Dustin found last week, we still don’t really know what the increase in velocity actually means. But at the very least, it gives us something fun to talk about on an off day.

Dodgers 8, Diamondbacks 6: Dee Gordon Is Fast, Dodgers Sweep Diamondbacks

Cahill_McCarthy_0413

In yet another marathon game, the Dodgers clinched their three-game series with the Diamondbacks with an 8 to 6 victory, despite striking out sixteen times in the process.

The scoring opened on this laser by Matt Kemp on a Trevor Cahill sinker that didn’t sink:

GIF Link

It’s probably a bad idea to miss there to him. Kemp went on to strike out three times, but let’s just remember this plate appearance instead.

Beyond Kemp, the offense was led by Dee Gordon, who had one of the best games of his career. Dee went 1-for-3, but walked twice (doubling his season total). More importantly, he stole four bases, including one that occurred without a pitch (GIF via Chad):


GIF Link

Gordon is just the sixth player in franchise history to steal four bases in one game (though stolen base numbers are a bit iffy beyond the 50s). The last Dodgers to accomplish the feat was Rafael Furcal on September 15th, 2007. Davey Lopes did it five times.

The Dodgers appeared to put the game away in the third inning. The inning started in a frustrating fashion, with Dan Haren grounding out to right fielder Gerardo Parra. After that, the Dodgers tacked on four runs, started by Dee Gordon’s walk and two steals. Yasiel Puig walked and (hilariously) stole second. Hanley Ramirez drove in Gordon with the highest Baltimore Chop you’ll ever see, then Adrian Gonzalez drove them home with a home run, his fourth in the last four games. Gonzalez went 7-for-13 with three homers during the series, and was one of the main reasons why the Dodgers swept the Diamondbacks. After all was said and done, Cahill made 43 pitches and the Dodgers batted around.

Despite the early scoring, the game didn’t ever feel out of reach for the Diamondbacks. Haren looked very shaky today, throwing 110 pitches in 5-2/3 innings. He struck out five batters and walked just one, but he allowed a lot of hard contact, which led to ten hits, six of which went for extra bases. He was constantly pitching from behind in the count (starting the start with five straight three-ball counts), but with a bit of luck he only allowed three runs.

Even after the Dodgers re-expanded their lead to five runs, Jamey Wright made the game interesting yet again again. After allowing a three-run homer to Mark Trumbo, he allowed the next two batters to reach base before finally recording the final out in the seventh inning. J.P. Howell, Chris Perez, and Kenley Jansen (who was again throwing in the upper 90s) put an end to the scoring, securing the sweep.

After completing the sweep, the Dodgers have yet another day off. Mercifully, this is the last off-day in a while. Starting Tuesday, the team will play thirteen games in thirteen days, followed by a stretch of sixteen games without a break.

Carl Crawford missed today’s game due to “right side tightness.” The Dodgers say that it is “nothing serious,” which probably means that he’ll be on the disabled list soon enough. Too many outfielders, etc.