Dodgers Dugout: Previewing a Dodgers-Yankees World Series (what, too soon?)

Clayton Kershaw
Clayton Kershaw
(Charles Rex Arbogast / Associated Press)

Hi, and welcome to another edition of Dodgers Dugout. My name is Houston Mitchell, and I began my vacation July 1. The Dodgers were 47-28, 2½ games up on San Diego. I’m back today. The Dodgers went 9-1 while I was off and are now 7 1/2 games ahead of San Diego. Which means I should take the rest of the season off. See you in October!

OK, turns out my bosses won’t go for that. So let’s catch up.

The Dodgers are playing remarkably well right now, and it seems as if they should play like this all the time. It’s why some fans get so frustrated when the team has a poor stretch of games.

If a team wins six out of every 10 games, it will win about 97 games during a season. Going 6-4 doesn’t sound like much, but if you do that all season, you will make the playoffs.


Let’s break the Dodgers’ record into 10-game segments.

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Games 1-10: 8-2. Overall record: 8-2
11-20: 5-5. Overall: 13-7
21-30: 7-3. Overall: 20-10
31-40: 7-3. Overall: 27-13
41-50: 6-4. Overall: 33-17
51-60: 4-6. Overall: 37-23
61-70: 7-3. Overall: 44-26
71-80: 7-3. Overall: 51-29
81-86: 5-0. Overall: 56-29

Looking at it this way, the Dodgers have really had only one bad stretch, when they went 4-6 over a 10-game period. The New York Yankees, who have the best record in baseball, have had two stretches in which they went 5-5. They are on pace to win 115 games, while the Dodgers are on pace to win 107. Barring unforeseen circumstances, it would be very surprising if we don’t have a Dodgers-Yankees World Series.

The Dodgers have five games before the All-Star break. Three at St. Louis and two at the Angels. They are guaranteed to be in first when the break begins.

Speaking of the All-Star Game

The Dodgers will send four players to the All-Star Game: Trea Turner and Mookie Betts will be in the starting lineup, and Clayton Kershaw and Tony Gonsolin will be on the pitching staff. You could make a case for Freddie Freeman, Will Smith, Tyler Anderson and Julio Urías as well. But the “at least one player from each team” rule hurts at times like this. Colorado’s lone representative is C.J. Cron, who plays first base. Freeman is hitting .304/.381/.494/142 OPS+. Cron is hitting .295/.350/.551/138 OPS+. Cron has better power numbers, but he plays at Coors Field, so his OPS+ is lower. Both are good players, but would Freeman have made it if the Rockies didn’t need a representative?

There are three catchers on the team: Willson Contreras of the Cubs, William Contreras of the Braves and Travis d’Arnaud of the Braves. And while it’s cute that the Contreras brothers get to play on the same All-Star team, the fact is Smith should have made it over one of the Braves catchers. Contreras has half the plate appearances Smith has, and Smith is a better hitter than d’Arnaud.

Anderson and Urías still could be named later this week. If a starting pitcher on the NL team pitches Sunday, he would be replaced on the All-Star team. And injuries could pop up to open a spot, but no one wants to see an injury.

All-Star debates. Part of the fun of every season.

Who should start the All-Star Game?

A big topic among Dodgers fans has been who should start for the NL, Kershaw or Gonsolin? This assumes of course that the decision comes down to those two and all the other pitchers on the squad aren’t considered. Do you go with Kershaw, who is not having as good a season as Gonsolin but is the greatest pitcher of his generation and is a sentimental choice to start the first All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium since 1980? Or do you go with Gonsolin, who is having one of the best first halves in baseball history?

Click here to vote in our informal survey and let us know what you think.

Farewell, Mike Brito

Dodger fans of a certain age will remember the man in the Panama hat who stood in the dugout seats behind home plate every game, cigar in mouth, radar gun in hand. That was Mike Brito, the scout who discovered Fernando Valenzuela, among others.

Brito, 87, died Thursday.

“My heart is very heavy today,” Valenzuela said in a statement released by the team. “Mike was a great man and instrumental in my success as a baseball player on and off the field. No one loved the Dodger organization more than Mike and we will all miss him very much. My prayers go out to his wife, Rosario, and all of his family and friends.”

Brito also helped sign Bobby Castillo, Ismael Valdez, Antonio Osuna, Juan Castro, Dennys Reyes, Yasiel Puig and Julio Urías.

“He impacted the Dodgers organization for decades,” manager Dave Roberts said. “I learned a lot from him, talking about players and just seeing the game. And it doesn’t matter where on the map there was a baseball game. If there was a potential prospect, Mike was willing to be there and put his eyes on him.”

On strike?

Dodger Stadium concession workers could go on strike at any time after 99% of the food and beverage workers at the stadium voted to authorize such an action.

The workers seek “a fair new union contract,” a statement said.

“They are the backbone of our tourism and sports industry, yet many struggle to stay housed and to make ends meet,” said Susan Minato, co-president of Unite Here Local 11. “They often live with economic uncertainty because the quality of jobs vary stadium to stadium. No worker should have to continue living like this.”

Learn more in this story by Bill Shaikin.

The last two weeks

Let’s see how everyone has been doing the last two weeks:

Justin Turner, .439/.478/.732, 4 homers, 9 RBIs
Gavin Lux, .390/.468/.610, 2 doubles, 2 triples, 1 homer, 3 RBIs
Freddie Freeman, .298/.339/.509, 3 doubles, 3 homers, 8 RBIs
Trayce Thompson, .292/.393/.542, 3 doubles, 1 homer, 4 RBIs
Jake Lamb, .261/.393/.652, 1 double, 1 triple, 2 homers, 3 RBIs
Mookie Betts: .258/.333/.613, 2 doubles, 3 homers, 6 RBIs
Eddy Alvarez, .250/.200/.240, 1 for 4, 2 RBIs
Will Smith, .233/.353/.295, 1 double, 2 homers, 7 RBIs
Trea Turner, .224/.274/.362, 5 doubles, 1 homer, 8 RBIs
Cody Bellinger, .195/.244/.366, 1 double, 2 homers, 3 RBIs
Max Muncy, .159/.250/.432, 3 doubles, 3 homers, 6 RBIs
Hanser Alberto, .143/.143/.571, 1 for 7, 1 homer, 1 RBI
Austin Barnes, .059/.158/.118, 1 double, 1 RBI
Chris Taylor, .050/.174/.050, 1 for 20

Team: .253/.327/.468, 22 doubles, 3 triples, 23 homers, 4.64 runs per game.

Starting pitchers

Julio Urías, 6.08 ERA, 13.1 IP, 14 hits, 3 walks, 15 K’s
Tony Gonsolin, 1.84 ERA, 14.2 IP, 8 hits, 0 walks, 11 K’s
Clayton Kershaw, 3.38 ERA, 18.2 IP, 18 hits, 5 walks, 22 K’s
Tyler Anderson, 3.72 ERA, 19.1 IP, 21 hits, 3 walks, 12 K’s
Mitch White, 0.87 ERA, 10.1 IP, 7 hits, 5 walks, 9 K’s
Ryan Pepiot, 1.80 ERA, 5 IP, 4 hits, 1 walk, 6 K’s

Key relievers

Brusdar Graterol, 0.00 ERA, 6.2 IP, 4 hits, 0 walks, 6 K’s, 2 saves
Evan Phillips, 0.00 ERA, 5.1 IP, 1 hit, 5 K’s
Alex Vesia, 0.00 ERA, 4.2 IP, 2 hits, 4 walks, 6 K’s, 1 save
Caleb Ferguson, 0.00 ERA, 2 IP, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 K
Justin Bruihl. 0.00 ERA, 1.1 IP, 0 hits, 1 walk, 1 K
David Price, 2.45 ERA, 3.2 IP, 5 hits, 1 walk, 3 K’s
Yency Almonte, 3.60 ERA, 5 IP, 4 hits, 0 walks, 3 K’s, 1 save
Phil Bickford, 5.68 ERA, 6.1 IP, 4 hits, 3 walks, 9 K’s
Craig Kimbrel, 7.20 ERA, 5 IP, 5 hits, 2 walks, 8 K’s, 2 saves
Reyes Moronta, 9.82 ERA, 3.2 IP, 5 hits, 1 walk, 3 K’s

Team: 11-3, 3.17 ERA, 125 IP, 102 hits, 28 walks, 120 K’s

Injury report

10-day IL

Chris Taylor, OF, broken left foot. Taylor will be out for several weeks.

15-day IL

Andrew Heaney, LHP, left shoulder inflammation. Could throw a simulated game this week, then begin a rehabilitation assignment.

60-day IL

Walker Buehler, RHP, strained right forearm. Also had surgery to remove a bone spur in his right elbow. The Dodgers are hopeful he will be back in September.

Danny Duffy, LHP, left elbow. He is throwing and could be available after the All-Star break.

Victor González, LHP, left elbow inflammation. He had arthroscopic surgery and could return in August.

Daniel Hudson, RHP, torn ACL. Hudson is out for the season.

Tommy Kahnle, RHP, forearm discomfort. His return date is unknown.

Dustin May, RHP, Tommy John surgery. May is progressing well and still scheduled to be back in late August or September.

Jimmy Nelson, RHP, Tommy John surgery. It is extremely unlikely that he pitches for the Dodgers this season.

Kevin Pillar, OF, broken left shoulder. Out for the season.

Edwin Ríos, 3B/1B, torn right hamstring. Out since June 2 and not expected back until well after the All-Star break.

Blake Treinen, RHP, right shoulder discomfort. Recently threw a bullpen session, but there’s still no timetable for his return.

26-man roster

The current 26-man roster. Teams are allowed to carry a maximum of 13 pitchers on the active roster.

Pitchers (13)
Yency Almonte
*Tyler Anderson
Phil Bickford
*Caleb Ferguson
Tony Gonsolin
Brusdar Graterol
*Clayton Kershaw
Craig Kimbrel
Evan Phillips
*David Price
*Julio Urías
*Alex Vesia
Mitch White


Catchers (2)
Austin Barnes
Will Smith

Infielders (8)
Hanser Alberto
Freddie Freeman
Jake Lamb
Gavin Lux
Zach McKinstry
Max Muncy
Justin Turner
Trea Turner

Outfielders (3)
Cody Bellinger
Mookie Betts
Trayce Thompson

These names seem familiar

A look at how players who were with the Dodgers last season are doing this season for other teams (through Sunday). Click on the player’s name for more detailed statistics:

Matt Beaty, Padres, .108/.175/.189, 7 OPS+, on IL with a shoulder injury

Josiah Gray, Nationals, 7-5, 4.14 ERA, 87 IP, 72 hits, 36 walks, 99 K’s

Kenley Jansen, Braves, 4-0, 3.58 ERA, 32.2 IP, 23 hits, 8 walks, 47 strikeouts, 20 saves, on IL with irregular heartbeat

Joe Kelly, White Sox, 0-2, 9.95 ERA, 12.2 IP, 19 hits, 12 walks, 17 K’s

Corey Knebel, Phillies, 2-5, 3.09 ERA, 35 IP, 25 hits, 22 walks, 32 K’s, 12 saves

Sheldon Neuse, A’s, .239/.302/.305, 79 OPS+

AJ Pollock, White Sox, .242/.283/.355, 81 OPS+

Albert Pujols, Cardinals, .215/.303/.369, 94 OPS+

Luke Raley, Rays, .111/.200/.111, -4 OPS+

Jake Reed, Mets, 1-0, 11.37 ERA, 6.1 IP, 4 hits, 6 walks, 6 K’s, designated for assignment

Zach Reks, Rangers, .265/.265/.294, 62 OPS+, back in minors

Keibert Ruiz, Nationals, .255/.315/.356, 95 OPS+

Dennis Santana, Rangers, 3-3, 2.41 ERA, 33.2 IP, 23 hits, 9 walks, 25 K’s, 1 save

Max Scherzer, Mets, 5-1, 2.26 ERA, 55.2 IP, 38 hits, 11 walks, 70 K’s

Corey Seager, Rangers, .245/.317/.456, 120 OPS+

Yoshi Tsutsugo, Pirates, .189/.279/.265, 56 OPS+

Andrew Vasquez, Blue Jays, 0-0, 8.10 ERA, 6.2 IP, 6 hits, 3 walks, 6 K’s, on 15-day IL

Up next

Today: Dodgers (Mitch White, 1-1, 3.38 ERA) at St. Louis (*Matthew Liberatore, 2-1, 4.74 ERA), 4:45 p.m., SportsNet LA, TBS, AM 570, KTNQ 1020

Wednesday: Dodgers (Tony Gonsolin, 11-0, 1.62 ERA) at St. Louis (Adam Wainwright, 6-7, 3.15 ERA), 4:45 p.m., SportsNet LA, AM 570, KTNQ 1020

Thursday: Dodgers (*Tyler Anderson, 9-1, 3.15 ERA) at St. Louis (Dakota Hudson, 6-5, 4.00 ERA), 4:15 p.m., SportsNet LA, AM 570, KTNQ 1020


Stories you might have missed

Dodger Stadium concession workers threaten to strike MLB All-Star Game

MLB reveals 2022 All-Star uniforms: ‘The Gold Sheen of Hollywood’

Hernández: Older, wiser Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw able to relish All-Star honor

Dodgers pitchers Clayton Kershaw, Tony Gonsolin are selected to All-Star team

Hernández: Leave Japanese pitching phenom Rōki Sasaki out of proposed MLB international draft

Plaschke: With a Panama hat, cigar and radar gun, scout Mike Brito was a Dodger Stadium fixture

Why haven’t MLB and players agreed on an international draft? Money, mistrust and more

‘Total package’ Miguel Vargas one of three Dodgers prospects selected for Futures Game

We asked, Dodgers fans answered: Let Roger Owens throw peanuts!

And finally

Vin Scully during Roy Campanella night at the Coliseum. Watch and listen here.

Until next time...

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