Hi, and welcome to another edition of Dodgers Dugout. My name is Houston Mitchell. That Astros series didn’t make me feel better about the Dodgers’ chances of winning the World Series.
--The Dodgers opened their post-All-Star-game schedule with 17 games against playoff contending teams. No days off. The belief was this would tell us what the Dodgers are made of. Well, they went 9-8 in those 17 games and it told us what we already suspected: The Dodgers are a playoff contender but definitely aren’t the same team they were last season. And that’s OK, because they didn’t win the World Series last season. Maybe this season they are taking the opposite approach: Struggle during the season, win the World Series.
--Let me see if I have this straight. Brian Dozier is acquired at the trade deadline and homers in each of his first two games. He’s a streaky hitter and August has always been his best month. So, what do you do after those two games? You bench him. I don’t understand that. Coincidentally, you lose both those games. Then you start him again, he drives in two runs with a double and you win, 3-2. He is six for 15 with three doubles and two homers. How about leaving him in the lineup for a while?
--Manny Machado is hitting .279/.380/.426 for the Dodgers. His career norms are .293/.336/.485. So, his walks are up, but his power is down.
--The Dodgers are 29-17 when Justin Turner starts at third base, 33-34 when he doesn’t.
--A lot of people are blaming the Home Run Derby for Max Muncy’s slump, but he was hitting .222 in the 11 games before the All-Star break. The derby had nothing to do with it.
--Best hitters since the All-Star break are Dozier, Yasiel Puig (.304/.370/.739), Yasmani Grandal (.280/.390/.660), Turner (.273/.467/.636) and Joc Pederson (.308/.333/.615).
--Worst hitters since the All-Star break are: Kiké Hernandez (.156/.191/.244), Austin Barnes (.125/.333/.125), Matt Kemp (.173/.254/.308), Muncy (.179/.266/.393) and Cody Bellinger (.214/.333/.321).
--Charley Steiner has really regressed as an announcer. From calling Tony Kemp “Matt Kemp” to the way he waits what seems like hours to give the score and inning update on the radio, his mind seems elsewhere.
--If the playoffs started today, Atlanta would play at Milwaukee in the wild-card game. The winner would play Chicago in one NLDS matchup, with Arizona traveling to Philadelphia for the other one.
--In the AL, Oakland at New York for the wild card, with the winner playing Boston in one ALDS, and Houston hosting Cleveland in the other ALDS.
--The Dodgers are half a game behind Arizona for first place in the NL West, with Colorado two back and the Giants six back. The Dodgers just played the toughest part of their schedule, but what’s left for them and the other three teams? Let’s take a look:
HOME (22): San Francisco (3), St. Louis (3), San Diego (6), Arizona (4), N.Y. Mets (3), Colorado (3).
AWAY (27): Oakland (2), Colorado (7), Seattle (3), Texas (2), Cincinnati (3), St. Louis (4), Arizona (3), San Francisco (3).
HOME (22): Philadelphia (2), Angels (2), Seattle (3), San Diego (2), Atlanta (4), Chicago Cubs (3), Colorado (3), Dodgers (3)
AWAY (26): Cincinnati (3), Texas (2), San Diego (7), San Francisco (3), Dodgers (4), Colorado (4), Houston (3).
HOME (29): Pittsburgh (2), Dodgers (7), San Diego (3), St. Louis (3), San Francisco (3), Arizona (4), Philadelphia (4), Washington (3).
AWAY (21): Houston (2), Atlanta (4), Angels (2), San Diego (4), San Francisco (3), Dodgers (3), Arizona (3).
HOME (26): Houston (1), Pittsburgh (4), Texas (3), Arizona (3), N.Y. Mets (3), Atlanta (3), Colorado (3), San Diego (3), Dodgers (3).
AWAY (22): Dodgers (3), Cincinnati (3), N.Y. Mets (4), Colorado (3), Milwaukee (3), San Diego (3), St. Louis (3).
Breaking that down a little further gives us:
Remaining games against teams with winning record: 35
With losing record: 14
Remaining games against teams with winning record: 32
With losing record: 16
Remaining games against teams with winning record: 41
With losing record: 9
Remaining games against teams with winning record: 29
With losing record: 19
There’s still time to vote in our poll on which two numbers the Dodgers should retire. Click here to vote.
There has been a lot of talk this season about the Dodgers’ lack of clutch hitting. I’ve given you the stats before, and they haven’t changed a lot since then. But it got me thinking about who the best clutch hitters are in L.A. Dodgers history. Let’s take a look at who hit the best with two out and runners in scoring position.
Minimum 100 plate appearances
1. Corey Seager, .328
2. Mike Piazza, .318
3. Hanley Ramirez, .317
4. Duke Snider, .315
5. Lou Johnson, .313
6. Eric Young, .313
7. Paul Lo Duca, .311
8. Manny Ramirez, .309
9. Jeff Kent, .304
10. Dick Tracewski, .303
Minimum 200 plate appearances
1. Mike Piazza, .318
2. Paul Lo Duca, .311
3. Jeff Kent, .304
4. Steve Garvey, .295
5. Ron Fairly, .293
6. Adrian Gonzalez, .287
7. Tommy Davis, .286
8. Manny Mota, .285
9. Steve Sax, .279
10. Charlie Neal, .276
Minimum 300 plate appearances
1. Mike Piazza, .318
2. Steve Garvey, .295
3. Ron Fairly, .293
4. Adrian Gonzalez, .287
5. Tommy Davis, .286
6. Manny Mota, .285
7. Steve Sax, .279
8. Adrian Beltre, .274
9. Wally Moon, .272
10. Willie Davis, .272
A slow reaction to being HBP. (OK, I know this isn’t Dodgers related, but it’s hilarious and bizarre all at the same time.
More KTLA games
For those of you who live in the L.A. area and are unable to see Dodgers games on TV, there are four games in August and one in September that will be televised on KTLA Channel 5. Those games are:
Wednesday, Aug. 15 vs. San Francisco, 7 p.m.
Monday, Aug. 20 vs. St. Louis, 7 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 31 vs. Arizona, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 4 vs. New York Mets, 7 p.m.
Meanwhile, there is no agreement between DirecTV and Spectrum SportsNet coming in the near future.
These names seem familiar
What recently departed Dodgers are doing around the league (through Saturday):
Charlie Culberson, Braves, .276/.324/.449, 110 OPS+.
Brandon McCarthy, Braves, 6-3, 4.92 ERA (currently on the 60-day DL with right knee tendinitis).
Yu Darvish, Cubs, 1-3, 4.95 ERA (currently on 10-day DL with an elbow injury)
Curtis Granderson, Blue Jays, .235/.333/.418, 106 OPS+
Brandon Morrow, Cubs, 0-0, 22 saves, 1.47 ERA (currently on 10-day DL with right biceps tendinitis)
Tony Watson, Giants, 4-4, 2.03 ERA
Chris Hatcher, A's, 3-2, 4.24 ERA
Luis Avilan, White Sox, 2-0, 3.58 ERA
Trayce Thompson, White Sox, .117/.162/.211 (removed from 40-man roster and sent to minors). Hitting .184/.270/.296 for triple-A Charlotte.
Wilmer Font, Rays, 2-0, 4.28 ERA (on 60-day DL with a lat strain)
Sergio Romo, Rays, 1-2, 3.40 ERA, 13 saves.
Logan Forsythe, Twins, .333/.385/.417, 120 OPS+
Tuesday, 7 p.m.: Dodgers (Rich Hill, 4-4, 3.63 ERA) at Oakland (Sean Manaea, 10-7, 3.38 ERA).
Wednesday, 7 p.m.: Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw, 5-5, 2.55 ERA) at Oakland (Brett Anderson, 2-3, 4.64 ERA)
Here’s the biggest problem with anticipating another Dodgers-Astros World Series. Read all about it here.