Hi, and welcome to another edition of Dodgers Dugout. My name is Houston Mitchell, and see what happens when I go away for a week? The Dodgers just fall apart.
The e-mails have been coming in really fast, and very furious. “This team will never win.” “Management obviously doesn’t have winning as a priority.” “The season is basically over at this point.”
Those are actual quotes from actual e-mails I received Friday and Saturday after the Dodgers got blown out by Arizona twice.
Now, most of you are still on board with the Dodgers, and realize that you can’t really judge anything by an 18-game stretch. So, this next part is not for you. You can go ahead and skip to the next section of this newsletter. I will meet you there after I talk to the 20% or so of Dodgers Dugout subscribers who seem to think that 2017 is a disaster,
OK, you 20%: Calm down. Relax. You can’t judge a team by 18 games. I can pull an 18-game stretch from almost any team in history and make them look bad. But here’s the real problem: If you are giving up already, then you might want to find a new hobby, because following baseball is not for you. You are the type of person who complains about the taxes after winning the lottery. And I’d hate to be one of your children. “Son, I was really proud of you the last three or four years. Really proud. Told everyone what a big fan of yours I am. But, that last report card had a ‘C’ on it, so your mom and I are going to have to let you go. You are obviously a total loser, and we want you to find someplace else to live. Don’t worry though, we’ll be back as soon as you get an ‘A’ and say we were behind you all the time.”
Don’t get me wrong, because there are flaws on this team (Scott Van Slyke? Chris Hatcher?) and it is entirely possible that this team will be a disappointment. It is also entirely possible that they will right the ship and be in first place at the end of the season. It is far too early to tell. If you want to throw in the towel now, then the exit is over there. And there are no re-admit privileges.
Since the 2016 All-Star break, Kenta Maeda is 9-7 with a 5.04 ERA in 91 innings. This season he is 1-2 with an 8.05 ERA. What’s going on? Manager Dave Roberts has an idea:
“His velocity has ticked up, which is a good thing, but I think there’s a little bit of a reliance on the four-seam fastball.”
Roberts would like to see Maeda use his off-speed pitches more. His next start is scheduled for Thursday against the Giants.
Time for Julio
Julio Urias has a 1.93 ERA in three starts with triple-A Oklahoma City this season, giving up eight hits and nine walks in 14 innings, with 15 strikeouts. Time to call him up to the big team. Odds are he will be up in time to pitch Thursday for the Dodgers, giving Maeda an extra day off.
The obscure Dodger record of the week
Which Dodger reliever has appeared in the most games without ever getting a save? Pedro Baez, who has appeared in 150 games without a save. Omar Daal is second with 115 games and Adam Liberatore is third with 97 games.
Monday, 7 p.m., Dodgers (Hyun-jin Ryu) at San Francisco (Matt Cain)
Tuesday, 7 p.m., Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw) at San Francisco (Ty Blach)
Wednesday, 7 p.m., Dodgers (Alex Wood) at San Francisco (Johnny Cueto)
Thursday, 12:45 p.m., Dodgers (Kenta Maeda or Julio Urias) at San Francisco (Matt Moore)
There will be three more games on KTLA this season:
April 30, 1 p.m., vs. Philadelphia
May 3, 6 p.m., vs. San Francisco
May 7, 1 p.m., at San Diego
Which two Dodgers are among the top 20 in MLB jersey sales this season? You can find out here.