The Dodgers [s]are[/s]were really, really good(?)

AB in DC

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[Splitting out from the MLB Game Thread]

MLB.com has a nice stat-heavy piece on the 2017 Dodgers so far. Among the findings:

ERA- is 4th best since 1920
27.4 percent hard-hit rate allowed, No. 1 in MLB
10.6 percent batting walk rate, highest in MLB, and
27.4 percent batting chase rate, second lowest in MLB

34.2 percent pitching chase rate, No. 1 in MLB
12.9 percent pitching popup rate, highest in MLB and
7.8 percent batting popup rate, second lowest in MLB

13.4 percent of batters faced third time through order, third-fewest in MLB
+44 Defensive Runs Above Average, No. 3 in MLB
+25 framing runs, No. 1 in MLB

and all of this is despite 34 disabled list trips, most in MLB
 

SoxFanInCali

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California. Duh.
The Dodgers have won as many games in their last 51 as the Giants have in the 114 they have played this season.
 

DeadlySplitter

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literally everything has gone right for them this year. Puig returns and hits bombs. A-Gon finally shows age and hits the DL long-term, this new kid Bellinger is a LH Judge. their starting pitching depth hasn't wilted to injuries. Seager has become a stud and keeps going.

they will 99% likely have to face a division rival in the NLDS. that familiarity in a 5 game series would scare me as a fan.
 

DJnVa

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Their 43-7 stretch is only the second such stretch in last 105 seasons.

They started 10-12 and are 69-21 since. That is a 124 win pace.
 

BoSox Rule

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The DL trips are a little misleading because they've gamed the new 10 day DL to set up their rotation.
 

Sam Ray Not

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A 19-29 finish to the season would still have them winning 100 games.
Something our guys have not done since ... 1946. And only one other time: 1912.

Another fun fact: the last (and only) time the Red Sox faced the Dodgers in the WS was 1916. Hard-fought series ultimately won by Boston's dominant pitching, including 13-shutout-inning performance by Babe "Chris Sale" Ruth in Game 2.
 

Van Everyman

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Honestly, I'm not trying to troll. Friedman has obviously done something pretty remarkable with this team.

But that Seattle team that won 116 games should be a cautionary tale about regular season dominance in MLB -- 162 games is really, really long. Hell, while I'm loathe to mention The Game That Shall Not Be Named, 16 is really, really long.

Also, according to a Chicago Tribune article last year, "Since the beginning of the wild card era only four of the 26 teams with the top record went on to win the World Series: The 1998 and 2009 Yankees, and the 2007 and 2013 Red Sox. That's 7 percent." (FWIW, it's higher now that the Cubs won).

That said, you have to imagine the Dodgers have by far the best odds right now.
 

Sam Ray Not

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That said, you have to imagine the Dodgers have by far the best odds right now.
By far the best odds of any individual team, but as your numbers suggest, "the field" is always going to be a much safer bet in MLB. And if Kershaw's back never gets right, all bets are off. (Yeah, he's underperformed in the playoffs over his career, but only by his lofty standards; it's not like he's been Playoff David Price out there :( ).
 

Remagellan

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Honestly, I'm not trying to troll. Friedman has obviously done something pretty remarkable with this team.

But that Seattle team that won 116 games should be a cautionary tale about regular season dominance in MLB -- 162 games is really, really long. Hell, while I'm loathe to mention The Game That Shall Not Be Named, 16 is really, really long.

Also, according to a Chicago Tribune article last year, "Since the beginning of the wild card era only four of the 26 teams with the top record went on to win the World Series: The 1998 and 2009 Yankees, and the 2007 and 2013 Red Sox. That's 7 percent." (FWIW, it's higher now that the Cubs won).

That said, you have to imagine the Dodgers have by far the best odds right now.

Aaron Sele, Freddy Garcia, Jamie Moyer, and Paul Abbott started games in that ALCS for that Mariners team. Even without Kershaw, the Dodgers can run out 4 better starters than that group in the playoffs, and more importantly, they have a much better and much deeper bullpen. Nothing is guaranteed, but I doubt they'll go out as quietly as that team did.
 
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Aaron Sele, Freddy Garcia, Jamie Moyer, and Paul Abbott started games in that ALCS for that Mariners team. Even without Kershaw, the Dodgers can run out 4 better starters than that group in the playoffs, and more importantly, they have a much better and much deeper bullpen. Nothing is guaranteed, but I doubt they'll go out as quietly as that team did.
Garcia, Moyer and Sele were ranked 2nd, 8th and 11th in FIP- in the AL among qualified starters. Wood, Darvish and Maeda are 3rd, 17th, and 22nd (if they qualified) among NL starters. The Mariners had the #1 bullpen in the AL by ERA, K/9 and WHIP, and #2 by K/BB. That's not counting Joel Pineiro, who got moved to the pen for the ALCS (and who kind of stunk in that role, but was by far their best starter in the regular season). The Dodgers bullpen is also #1 in all those stats. And Kaz Sasaki is not exactly Jansen. But I'm not seeing where LA is a vastly superior pitching team than Seattle if you're removing Kershaw from the equation for whatever reason.
 

jon abbey

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That Seattle team ran into the Yankee dynasty buzzsaw, three time defending champions and winners of ten postseason series in a row at that point. NY's rotation was Pettitte, Mussina, El Duque (big game master), and Clemens, all four of whom had much more accomplished careers than all four of the SEA starters.
 

trekfan55

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MLBN reports Darvish to the 10 day DL, expected to miss one start.

Will MLB look into this? Are they gaming the system?
 

SoxFanInCali

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California. Duh.
Darvish came out of his last start early, reportedly because of a back issue, so it's not a shock they would shelve him for a start. Apparently Alex Wood may join him on the DL due to some shoulder inflammation after his start tonight.

Granderson hit a grand slam, and Puig homered in the 12th to beat the Pirates. Their magic number is 14 to make the playoffs and 19 to win the division. On August 21st. Ridiculous.

Over the last month, their longest losing streak is...one game.
 

Average Reds

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MLBN reports Darvish to the 10 day DL, expected to miss one start.

Will MLB look into this? Are they gaming the system?
What is MLB going to do if they look into it?

At this point in the season, virtually every player is playing with some sort of nagging injury. If you are fighting for the playoffs, you want your players to play. If you are comfortably assured of the best record, you can use the 10 day DL to make sure your key players are in shape for the postseason.

There is literally nothing to see here.
 

timlinin8th

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What is MLB going to do if they look into it?
The answer is nothing. This is what MLB wanted when they negotiated the DL change. How often in the 15-day DL period would teams keep guys with nagging injuries on the field since they couldn't afford to lose that player for two weeks?

That doesn't make for a good on field product, so MLB was more than willing to implement the change knowing full well some teams would be using it to keep guys fresh. In my view, if you got the depth in your 40 man to leverage the 10 day in that way, then that is a good thing for everyone. I hate watching players break down on the field; I'd rather watch a fringy guy get a brief stint.
 

AB in DC

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The record for earliest clinch of a playoff spot is the 1998 Yankees, who clinched on August 29. It looks like that record is just out of reach, but an August clinch is still possible with a three-game sweep of the Brewers this weekend.

Suppose hypothetically that LA goes 2-0 over the next two days and Milwaukee (6th place in the NL) goes 0-1 (off-day Thursday). A sweep would put the Dodgers at 94 wins and the Brewers at 65 losses. But the Brewers have seven more games left against the Cubs. If the Cubs go 1-4 between now and Sunday, they'll be at 61 losses, meaning that the second-place team in the Central will have at least 67 losses. That would put the Dodgers' magic number at 4 with four days remaining in the month.
 

Oppo

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Can someone explain why Rich Hill went out for the bottom of the 10th after the Dodgers failed to score in the top of the inning? Even if he gets thru the 10th perfect, it only works out if the Dodgers score in the top of the 11th and he can get thru the bottom of the 11th. It could only go wrong for him, unless they had scored themselves in the 10th and he could go for the no no.
 

DanoooME

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Can someone explain why Rich Hill went out for the bottom of the 10th after the Dodgers failed to score in the top of the inning? Even if he gets thru the 10th perfect, it only works out if the Dodgers score in the top of the 11th and he can get thru the bottom of the 11th. It could only go wrong for him, unless they had scored themselves in the 10th and he could go for the no no.
Because he was still pitching well and only had thrown 95 pitches at that point? Just because he's thrown 9 innings doesn't mean he can't go more.

Kenley Jansen wasn't available last night per Dave Roberts, so there goes their best bullpen option. In fact, Ross Stripling was up in the bullpen if Hill got into trouble, and it's not like their pen is loaded with great arms, so Roberts probably went with his best option at the time.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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They're also up in the division by a jillion games, so allowing Hill the chance to get his piece of history wasn't going to hurt the team in the slightest.
If Kershaw and Wood weren't already on the DL (and Darvish, though that may be phantom), I'd agree. As it is, I'm not sure I'd have taken the chance with such an injury prone pitcher as Hill. They obviously still will easily clinch, but they do need SPs come play off time.
 

Plympton91

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The answer is nothing. This is what MLB wanted when they negotiated the DL change. How often in the 15-day DL period would teams keep guys with nagging injuries on the field since they couldn't afford to lose that player for two weeks?

That doesn't make for a good on field product, so MLB was more than willing to implement the change knowing full well some teams would be using it to keep guys fresh. In my view, if you got the depth in your 40 man to leverage the 10 day in that way, then that is a good thing for everyone. I hate watching players break down on the field; I'd rather watch a fringy guy get a brief stint.
And given the $400,000 difference between major and minor league salaries, the players union is plenty happy to go along as well. For the 10 days that a marginal Player is in the majors, he's making more than a typical A ball player makes all season.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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And given the $400,000 difference between major and minor league salaries, the players union is plenty happy to go along as well. For the 10 days that a marginal Player is in the majors, he's making more than a typical A ball player makes all season.
The union is happy for the dues they get. They give two shits about minor leaguers or that big a disparity wouldn't exist.
 

jon abbey

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Dodgers actually lose a home series, they need to go 25-10 from here to get to 116 wins.
 

Sam Ray Not

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Dodgers drop their third in a row to fall to a paltry 91-39. Would now need to go 25-7 to tie Seattle's record, or 26-6 to break it, which seems like a lot to ask with the only real priority now being to get guys healthy and rested.

Ah well: as the Mariners, Patriots and Warriors will tell you, the sports gods don't look kindly on regular season win records.

On a related note, these Dodgers still have an outside chance to equal the total regular season W-L of the 2014-17 Warriors — if they win their next 116 games in a row. :)
 

AB in DC

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Getting creamed by the D-Backs tonight, which will be the 9th loss in the last ten games, cutting the division lead to 12 1/2 games. (By comparison, the Nationals have a 16-game lead and the Astros 13 1/2)
 

Michelle34B

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Ex-Tiger Diamondbacks had a day. JD Martinez and Robbie Ray.

J.D. Martinez is a completely different hitter since leaving the Tigers.
With the Astros, hitting a hanging slider from Scherzer for a home run

Today's four-homer game.

You can see him change the angle of his shoulders, and use hip extension to get the ball in the air. He was already on a tear, with 7 homers in his last 16 games (65 plate appearances).

Robbie Ray has struck out 53 Dodgers in 21.2 IP this year. In the last week, he has had two starts against the Dodgers for a combined 14.1 IP, 7 H, 2 BB, 1 ER. The lone run being a solo home run by Curtis Granderson in the 7th, with the Diamondbacks leading 6-0. This last start he had a perfect game in the sixth inning.

It isn't hard to imagine a month from now where the Diamondbacks have Greinke pitch the wild card game, and Robbie Ray in a game one matchup against Kershaw.


That said, the Dodgers built a tremendous lead, and have been able to weather DL stints by Kershaw and Bellinger, Joc Pederson being optioned to AAA(12 H, 1 2B as an XBH, 17 K in 77 PA while there...) with the signing of Granderson, and currently Seager being rested with a sore right elbow.


The rotation has had some issues,



except for that one guy who managed to win a game while Dodger Stadium is burning.


 

jon abbey

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Swept for the second time in nine days by their most likely first round possible playoff opponent Arizona, now 1-11 since going 91-36. Actually you could break up their season into three parts:

15-14
76-22
1-11
 

Sam Ray Not

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15-14
76-22
1-11
Insane. Whoever had them dropping 11 of 12 when they were 91-36, with Kershaw about to return: collect your prize!

On the bright side for Dodgers fans: with last night's loss, Seattle's 116-win record is officially off the table, so maybe the baseball gods can start smiling on them again.
 

Michelle34B

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1st inning
Charlie Blackmon singles
DJ LeMahieu doubles
Nolan Arenado homers
Mark Reynolds singles

2nd inning
Charlie Blackmon and Nolan Arenado both walk

3rd inning
Parra singles
Story doubles

4th inning
Charlie Blackmon walks
DJ LeMahieu strikes out
Nolan Arenado grounds out.
Kershaw removed after 86 pitches.


Clayton Kershaw allows hits to the first four batters to start a game, for the first time in his career. He walked two in the second inning, when he has only walked more than one batter in 7 of his 23 starts. He was on a fantastic run of winning eight consecutive starts before he went on the DL with lower back tightness after the July 23rd start against the Braves.



Corey Seager returns to the lineup tomorrow, and Dodger Stadium continues to burn.
 

Sam Ray Not

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August 25:
LAD 91-36
ARI 70-58, 21 games back

Sept 7 (13 days later):
LAD 92-48
ARI 82-58, 10 games back

I mean, good thing they had a 21-game lead rather than a measly 12 or 13! Has a division leader ever lost *11 games* off their lead in such a short time?
 

Sam Ray Not

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...And the Pythag drop-off may be even crazier: those same measly 13 days ago, the Dodgers were tops in the majors in run differential at +223, over 60 runs better than any other team, and 94 runs better than the Indians.

As of tonight the Indians lead the majors in run differential at +199, 22 runs better than LA.

August 25:
LAD +223
CLE +129

Sept 7:
LAD +177
CLE +199
 

B H Kim

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The Nationals are now just six games back for the #1 NL record. As a Nats’ season-ticket holder, I’d love the extra home game if they make the NLCS, but I think I’d prefer getting the Cubs in the NLDS instead of the Diamondbacks.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I mean, good thing they had a 21-game lead rather than a measly 12 or 13! Has a division leader ever lost *11 games* off their lead in such a short time?
I doubt it. It has taken the perfect combination of a lengthy losing streak by the Dodgers (7 in a row and 12 of their last 13) and an epic win streak from the D-backs (13 and counting) to shave those 11 games from the deficit. Difficult to see that continuing too much longer.