I’ve been mostly quiet on the internet today due to some computer gaming, a habit that’s been developing this week, but will probably die out next week because I’ll start to be busying myself with other, more career-minded business. The world moves on, and the lineups were posted for tonight’s game, with the Dodgers noting Carl Crawford and Mark Ellis were injured, but available tonight, and not in the starting lineup. Then Adrian Gonzalez get scratched from the lineup with neck pain, but unfortunately the Dodgers are allowed to replace him. Therefore, the lineup for the visiting Dodgers look like this:
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) May 4, 2013
Meanwhile, in the Champions corner, Barry Zito and company lookalike this:
Tonight’s #SFGiants lineup: Pagan cf, Scutaro 2b, Sandoval 3b, Posey c, Pence rf, Arias ss, Torres lf, Belt 1b, Zito p
— San Francisco Giants (@SFGiants) May 3, 2013
Also important to note that the Giants finally sent down the very much offensively-struggling Hector Sanchez, and called up the doing-well-in-Fresno Francisco Peguero. Jeremy Affeldt also was taken off the disabled list today. You might be aware that tonight is Metallica Night at AT&T Park, and while Brandon Belt‘s mug with a wig has been floating around the tubes, a Panda picture surfaced:
— San Francisco Giants (@SFGiants) May 4, 2013
Game time is 7:15PM PST, and should be a good challenge against Kershaw. I won’t remind you how it went last time they saw him.
The “injury news” tab on Baseball Reference is busy for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Busier than most teams after the regular season started, I’m sure:
- 4/27 Injury Report: Mark Ellis Left Friday’s game against Milwaukee (April 26, strained right quadriceps)
- 4/27 Injury Report: Chris Capuano On the 15-day disabled list (April 17, strained left calf)
- 4/27 Injury Report: Zack Greinke On the 15-day disabled list and is expected to miss two months (April 12, broken left collarbone)
- 4/27 Injury Report: Hanley Ramirez On the 15-day disabled list and will miss two months (March 22, right thumb surgery)
- 4/27 Injury Report: Chad Billingsley On the 15-day disabled list and will miss the remainder of the season (April 16, right elbow surgery)
- 4/27 Injury Report: Scott Elbert On the 15-day disabled list (March 22, left elbow surgery)
- 4/27 Injury Report: Shawn Tolleson On the 15-day disabled list (April 13, to undergo back surgery)
That’s a lot of injuries that call for the disabled list to be used.
No decision on Ellis yet:
Don Mattingly said Mark Ellis feels better today. Still no decision on DL but unavailable
— Eric Stephen (@truebluela) April 27, 2013
And then right before the game tonight in Los Angeles:
And now the Dodgers have scratched first baseman Adrian Gonzalez.
— Tom (@Haudricourt) April 28, 2013
Per Eric Stephen of TrueBlueLA, Gonzalez was the only Dodger to start every game this season.
No information about the scratching of Gonzalez has been provided as of yet. UPDATE:
Adrian Gonzalez scratched from lineup tonight with a small skin infection in his right leg- at hospital now, but back at the stadium tonight
— Jon Weisman (@jonweisman) April 28, 2013
A name that’s actually missing from all that injury news is RHP Stephen Fife with right shoulder bursitis, and have had to recall Matt Magill to start in his place. That’s pretty far down the depth chart for the Dodgers, who have proved you cannot have too much pitching.
Some good news for the Blue team is that Hanley Ramirez is beginning his rehab tonight with their High-A affiliate and HanRam hasn’t been silent in his excitement to get back to playing.
Still, that’s a lot of injuries to happen for a team at one time and you don’t like to beat a team because they’re depleted (or at least I don’t), but because you beat them at their best. Maybe by mid-June the Dodgers will start to look like the Dodgers we thought they are supposed to be (minus Billingsley).
The game ended 5-3, but the Giants had plenty of moments where their pitchers and their defense came through for them. Tim Lincecum had a stretch where he looked stellar, and then other moments where nobody knew where his fastball was going. After Jose Mijares loaded the bases off of a weak hit, a line drive, and a curveball for a HBP on Mark Ellis, George Kontos came in to save the day on what was deemed the biggest hit in win probability added for the Dodgers on this Matt Kemp double play:
Could Pablo Sandoval thrown home or to second and got the second out? Debatable. He did do the smart thing by getting two sure outs: one at third, and one at first as the Dodgers would score what would be their last run of the night.
So he decided to throw his 3-2 pitch and strut off.
“Dah! Dah! Dah! Dah! Dah! Dah! Dah! Dah!”
Matt Kemp went 0-for-the-series and Chad Gaudin was more than happy to be a contributor to the cause, and also had pretty good control in Wednesday’s outing.
I mean, look at that handsome defense
Even from that angle I get lost in his beautiful eyes
And one more angle for good measure
Good game, Luis Cruz, but not even close.
The Giants have an off-day today, then engage with the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday at 1:35PM PST at home in front of what I’m guessing will be three straight sell-out crowds.
MLB.tv is being horrible in allowing me to re-watch today’s Mexico-Canada broadcast, so I have to rely on articles from Deadspin and MLBAM embedded video clips, which is fine, but the original broadcast on MLB Network had the best views, in my opinion. To give you some background on this game, this matchup was getting a little chippy early, more through actions than in words until the 9th inning. Team Canada catcher Chris Robinson had a couple of aggressive slides into 2nd base to break up a double play, the second of which he had his right spike pretty high up in the air. Karim Garcia from Team Mexico had a collision with Craig Robinson at the plate, but to be fair to Mr. Garcia, Robinson was very much in his running lane. Fast forward to the 9th inning, and Craig Robinson, who was clearly on Mexico’s good side, laid down a bunt hit.
UPDATE: HERE’S THE EMBEDDED VIDEO OF THE FIGHT:
What you’ll notice is Mexico 3B Luis Cruz takes exception to this move, and makes what appears to be an order to the pitcher to hit the next batter in the ribs.
The full video of the bunt + ordering is below.
Then it begins to go down with the pitch
then the benches clear
then we find someone to dance with
which makes me wonder what’s in Sergio Romo‘s eyes
That’s scarier than any look my wife has ever given me, I’ll tell you that much. Credit Larry Walker with trying to keep some peace, as apparently he told Adrian Gonzalez to stay back because “you’re too important to this game to get hurt in this.”
You’ll notice that someone threw a water bottle that hit the Canadian pitching coach
…and Cale Iorg threw it back in the direction he thought it came from, which might not have been where it actually came from
Probably not going to help his cause going forward.
The Canadian coach commented on what he thought was the reason for the brawl was:
“What happened tonight is because of the rules they have.” — Canada manager Ernie Whitt, blaming the brawl on run differential
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 10, 2013
I’m not so sure the run differential run needs to be re-examined, but maybe players on the roster should know the tiebreakers.
— Stuart Jones (@HeHitsItDeeeeep) March 10, 2013
Yes, I was too lazy to repeat what I put in a tweet. Really though, is it so hard to be grown ups? I know I’m probably in the minority on at least this part, but just because one thing happened to you doesn’t mean you have to sink to their level and possibly make things worse. No suspensions have been announced yet, and there is a possibility it could affect the regular season playing time of some major leaguers that were involved in this incident.
Idea: Rank the best individual seasons of the 2012 MLB regular season (Spring Training, Minor Leagues, and Postseason are not included), while considering offensive and defensive facets of the game.
Consider: Using the individual metrics to measure individual performance; full avoidance of projecting results for shortened seasons, and past years performance to justify or dictate standings.
This is not: “Most Valuable” anything. Rather, this is “best,” like Baseball America does, so there is no confusion as to what I am ranking. It is also not a “this is a ranking of who I want in 2013, or wanted in any other year.”
This is: My opinion, and will be disagreed with by many.
80. Adrian Gonzalez (18 HR, 47 2B, .346 wOBA, 3.6 fWAR, 0.7 rWAR) – The centerpiece of the deal that sent him from Boston to LA, Gonzalez was below average (for him) last year, so the Dodgers are certainly hoping for the 2006-2011 versions of the 1B.
79. Carlos Beltran (32 HR, 13 SB, .355 wOBA, 3.6 fWAR, 3.6 rWAR) – Plays pretty well for a guy with a bad everything. Should he do something like this again next year, he will be well worth the money the Cardinals paid him.
78. Doug Fister (161.2 IP, 7.63 K/9, 4.13 tERA, 3.6 fWAR, 3.2 rWAR) – Suffered a very unfortunate typo in his name, but hopefully he was not aware of that, and the former Seattle Mariner is showing he has plenty of value in Detroit’s rotation. Also glad he was not seriously hurt on that line drive off his head in the World Series.
77. Paul Goldschmidt (20 HR, 18 SB, .363 wOBA, 3.7 fWAR, 3.1 rWAR) – Arizona’s resident Tim Lincecum-masher also nearly had a 20-20 season, and he has established himself to be a force to be reckoned with.
76. Jarrod Parker (181.1 IP, 6.95 K/9, 4.32 tERA, 3.7 fWAR, 3.8 rWAR) – Can’t wait to see that changeup in action again, but Parker needs to tune down the walks to further reach that projected ceiling of his.
75. Adam LaRoche (33 HR, 35 2B, .361 wOBA, 3.8 fWAR, 4.0 rWAR) – Must be nice to have a team with hitters that can just boom every which way. I still have nightmares about the series San Francisco had in Washington this past season.
74. Kyle Lohse (211.0 IP, 6.10 K/9, 4.20 tERA, 3.6 fWAR, 3.9 rWAR) – Still looking for a team at the moment I’m writing this, but it sure helps when your defense is behind you and you don’t walk guys, doesn’t it?
73. Nick Swisher (24 HR, 36 2B, .363 wOBA, 3.9 fWAR, 3.5 rWAR) – Really hope he helps Cleveland out, because I’m tired of seeing them be bad, same way I feel for the Royals.
72. Denard Span (38 2B, 17 SB, .325 wOBA, 3.9 fWAR, 4.8 rWAR) – May not have pop, but Washington traded for a good CF, which along with an Adam LaRoche signing, has set in motion some Michael Morse trade discussion amongst the people
71. Albert Pujols (30 HR, 50 2B, .360 wOBA, 3.9 fWAR, 4.6 rWAR) – Pretty remarkable numbers considering The Machine did very little in April, and only one big fly in the last month of the season.
70. Josh Willingham (35 HR, 30 2B, .380 wOBA, 3.9 fWAR, 2.9 rWAR) – His 3-year/$21MM deal sure seems like a steal now, doesn’t it? Especially if you put 1.0 WAR = ~$5MM.
69. Josh Johnson (191.1 IP, 7.76 K/9, 4.19 tERA, 3.8 fWAR, 3.1 rWAR) – Another new Blue Jay, and as long as he can stay healthy, he should be a pretty reliable starter, although maybe not the ace of the staff, especially if Dickey goes all 2010-2012 on everybody.
68. David Murphy (15 HR, 10 SB, .369 wOBA, 4.0 fWAR, 3.2 rWAR) – Definitely an under-the-radar type season from Murphy, so there is good reason as to why he is projected to start in the OF for Texas in 2013.
67. Anibal Sanchez (195.2 IP, 7.68 K/9, 4.07 tERA, 3.8 fWAR, 1.2 rWAR) – I’d say Anibal’s audition for Free Agency went pretty well, and should make for plenty of pitcher wins in the coming years.
66. Brandon Phillips (18 HR, 15 SB, .325 wOBA, 4.0 fWAR, 3.5 rWAR) – I did not consider his flashy plays or his twitter account in his evaluation. Had I, he would’ve been ranked higher.
65. Alfonso Soriano (32 HR, 33 2B, .350 wOBA, 4.0 fWAR, 1.8 rWAR) – Soriano may not have wanted a trade to the Giants due to the climate, so I do wonder whom he’s waiting for in terms of a trade partner.
64. A.J. Ellis (20 HR, .373 OBP, .341 wOBA, 4.1 fWAR, 3.2 rWAR) – What will always bother me about this guy is not even on him, but on his manager for not putting him in a better spot to have that OBP being taken advantage of. At least the pitchers had someone to bunt over.
63. Matt Wieters (23 HR, 27 2B, .331 wOBA, 4.1 fWAR, 3.2 rWAR) – Looks like he’s ready to bust into the next tier of catchers with that power that he’s showing off from his position.
62. David Freese (20 HR, 25 2B, .365 wOBA, 4.1 fWAR, 3.6 rWAR) – I’m probably the only one with this problem, but when I think “David Freese” I only think of him in the Postseason, not what he can do to you in the regular season. My fan-side showing, I guess.
61. Hiroki Kuroda (219.2 IP, 6.84 K/9, 4.15 tERA, 3.9 fWAR, 5.2 rWAR) – You will see no tears out of the NL West that Kuroda is once again locked into playing in the AL East in 2013.
While the Giants have been trying to figure out their roster for the postseason, the Dodgers have reeled off five straight victories to keep themselves in the hunt for the second wild card. With their elimination number being two, the Dodgers can only afford to lose one game of this series at the very most, and that assumes that the Cardinals woud lose all three games of their series with Cincinnati. If the Cardinals lose two against the Reds this week, the Dodgers must sweep to force a tiebreaker. Then there’s the number one crazy scenario that if the Dodgers sweep the Giants and the Reds sweep the Cardinals the Dodgers would make the playoffs while St. Louis would be left scratching their heads, making it the second year in a row the World Series champion from the season prior did not make the playoffs. Should the Giants eliminate the Dodgers/Dodgers get eliminated before Wednesday, I do not expect Clayton Kershaw to make the Wednesday start.
Monday, October 1st: RHP Matt Cain vs. RHP Aaron Harang
One sentence summary: In his three starts against LA, Cain has allowed 2 BB in 21.1 IP and 0 HR, while this will be Harang’s first look at the Giants, and he has allowed multiple walks in his last five starts, plus he’s also not been able to get to the sixth inning since mid-August.
Tuesday, October 2nd: LHP Barry Zito vs. LHP Chris Capuano
One sentence summary: In five starts against the Dodgers, the defense has backed Zito has he’s allowed 7 ER in that time, while in Capuano’s two starts against the Giants, he’s seen 8 ER attached to his record.
Wednesday, October 3rd: RHP Ryan Vogelsong vs. LHP Clayton Kershaw
One sentence summary: Ryan Vogelsong may have better results in the HRA department vs. his opponent than Kershaw does in this matchup (0 to 2) when SF-LA meet up, but it’ll be up to Vogelsong to show he can pitch well against someone other than the Padres.
Superstar Bats Are Prevailing
Matt Kemp may not be leading the team in HR (23), but the loved-by-LA Bison has roped 4 HR in the past week while sporting a crazy .650 wOBA in the past week (.390 wOBA overall). The previously cold Shane Victorino (.468 wOBA Last 7, .316 wOBA overall) and AJ Ellis (.460 wOBA L7, .337 wOBA overall) have even contributed a dinger to the cause. Adrian Gonzalez (.430, .345) may not have HR’d in the past week, but his .524 BABIP has led him to be a team player as well. Let us not forget this team just played the Padres and the Rockies. Mark Ellis (.247 wOBA L7, .316 wOBA overall) and Andre Ethier (.240, .343) have the lone scuffling numbers within the past week for LA.
So there’s this guy that’s making an MVP run and his name is Buster Posey and despite two GIDP’s lately to bring his total up to 19, he has been the Giants hottest bat of late (.519 wOBA L7, .404 wOBA overall). Next in line are three guys that weren’t starters at the beginning of the year: Hector Sanchez (.479 wOBA in 12 PA, .293 wOBA overall), Marco Scutaro and his sickness (.423 wOBA L7, .327 wOBA overall), and Xavier Nady and his X-ness (.421 wOBA in 14 PA, .260 wOBA overall). Just to humor you, Aubrey Huff (.268) has a higher wOBA than Nady. Maybe that didn’t make you laugh. Whatever. You should know though that they’re going to need one guy to get warmer and that is Angel Pagan who sits at the top of their lineup doing a bit not well of late (.171 wOBA L7, .338 wOBA overall). Milestone updates: Angel Pagan is 2 HR away from 10, and 1 SB away from 30; Gregor Blanco is 4 SB away from 30; Brandon Belt and Marco Scutaro are 3 HR away from 10. If Marco Scutaro gets 14 hits this series, he’ll get 200 hits for the season. 14 hits in a series would also likely be some sort of record.
Series Prediction: Good Night, LA
Although I never predict the Giants to lose a series (because baseball), I think they’ll close out the season with a series win and actually feeling decently confident as they go home to start a playoff series on Saturday.
Monday: Giants win (Matt Cain > Aaron Harang)
Tuesday: Dodgers win, yet get eliminated
Wednesday: Giants win thanks to Kershaw’s replacement
If you’re a baseball fan, unless you’ve separated yourself from anyone with internet access, you’ve been hearing about this blockbuster of a deal for the last 24 hours or so. If you’re from the LA Times, you’ve actually thought about this since Thursday. We’ve had plenty of time to digest what players would be involved, and really the only thing we’re not exactly sure of is the dollar amount that the Red Sox will cover. I’ve also personally wondered how the Dodgers finances with the luxury tax would go, and luckily there are people that know how that works.
A lot of people, Giants fans especially, aren’t sure how they feel, with the emotions ranging all over the place. While I can’t tell you how to feel, let me tell you what I feel:
How the trade impacts 2012: The Dodgers won’t get these guys
until Sunday at the earliest I believe until Saturday’s game, so the Dodgers will get 36 37 games out of Gonzalez, Beckett (6-7 starts?), and Punto for this season. Carl Crawford is out due to Tommy John surgery, so we won’t see him until 2013. While Adrian Gonzalez makes the Dodger lineup more formidable all by himself, he doesn’t all of a sudden make it invincible. After the Giants got swept by a team led by Kemp, Ethier, and Hanley, they returned the favor by sweeping them in their own house with the same team in Dodger blue. While the addition is scary, we should be realistic as well. All together, these guys may add 1-2 extra wins to their lineup than what they would’ve had without them. I do not think the Dodgers win the West this year, but I think they’ll be competitive for the 2nd wild card spot.
How the trade impacts 2013-2016: This is what Giants fans should be worried about and where the Dodgers get their money’s worth out of their players. Assuming good health, you’re looking at a lineup that has Crawford, Hanley, Gonzalez, Kemp, and Ethier. This doesn’t even include guys the Dodgers might add or bring up from the farm. It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Giants play second fiddle to the Dodgers these years a la Nationals in the NL East, but I also wouldn’t be surprised to see them and the Giants neck-and-neck again (Clayton Kershaw can’t do everything).
Important to note Hanley will be a FA in 2014, Clayton Kershaw in 2015, and Josh Beckett in 2015 as well. I think the Dodgers will hold on to two of the three of those guys. I’ll let you guess which two.
How the trade impacts 2017-2019: This is when the contracts are starting to end, and more importantly when some of the players start to get old. Carl Crawford (age 36, contract ends in 2017), Adrian Gonzalez (36, 2018), Andre Ethier (35, 2017), Matt Kemp (35, 2019), and probably Clayton Kershaw and Hanley Ramirez will all be in their mid-30’s (probably for CK and HR = if they’re on the LAD) and taking up from $100-$120MM of their team’s payroll. You may not be worried about guys like Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw if you’re a Dodger fan, but what about Adrian Gonzalez? Carl Crawford? Even Hanley Ramirez? I’m not convinced these every one of these guys are still amazing when we’re closer to the year 2020 than we are to 2012.
I don’t know what the Giants will be these years, and the climate of the NL West could be totally different — the Rockies could be relevant! — who knows! Maybe realignment will have happened! All you need to know is that the Dodgers won’t be as great in 2017-2019 as they will be in 2013 and 2014 for sure. So until the next couple years, enjoy the pennant race of 2012.