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Friday, October 13, 2017

Five minute Los Angeles Dodgers Preview

First, let’s start by reminiscing. 

Wonderful.

OK, on to this year.  As everyone knows, for the majority of the season, the Dodgers were far and away the best team in baseball, just like the were Cubs last year.  There were comparisons and accolades, and then the Dodgers really stumbled down the stretch.  They still finished with the best record in baseball, but only fourth in run differential. 

There are some big differences between this year and last year’s team.  The biggest is Cody Bellinger, who had an all-time rookie season that was completely overshadowed by Aaron Judge.  He’s a pretty notable upgrade on Adrian Sore Loser Gonzalez.  Another notable one is the addition of Yu Darvish.  He’s only pitched against the Cubs once (though there are guys who’ve faced him more), but he has the type of stuff that could give the Cubs lineup fits.  On paper, he’s better than any of the non-Kershaw pitchers the Cubs faced last season, and he should get 2 starts.  Third, the Dodgers had careers years out of a number of players, starting with a great getting even better (Kenley Jansen), an already good player turning into a borderline MVP candidate (Justin Turner), and total scrap heap rehab types (Chris Taylor and Brandon Morrow).  In other words, they won’t be starting a washed up backup catcher at cleanup in a 2-2 series this time around. 

Last year, as a team, they were very suspect against left handed pitching.  They’ve fixed that, even though some of their big bats are lefties.  Puig had a bounceback year, which also helps that issue.  Just like the NLDS, the Cubs are the rightful underdog, but I also have plenty of confidence that the Cubs can win a series.  The rotation and bullpen are both a mess right now, but even with that I’m not mentally conceding game 1 against Kershaw.  The Cubs hit him hard to close out last year’s series, and carried it over this year.  I don’t believe in just happy to be here, even after last year.

Cubs in 6

Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: October 13, 2017 at 10:35 AM | 104 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. Andere Richtingen Posted: October 23, 2017 at 07:36 PM (#5560686)
I haven't read anything but the snippet quoted, but I have serious doubts that a new pitching coach will improve walk rates, and have even more doubt that bringing a new pitching coach in with the clear charge of "you must improve walk rates" is anything but a terrible idea.
   102. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: October 24, 2017 at 09:24 AM (#5560791)
Why do you think the charge would simply be "you must improve walk rates"? Couldn't it be the particular approach they used led to more walks (i.e. certain pitches to start counts, the sequences, etc), so they want to do something different and it sounds like Bosio wasn't that willing to adjust?
   103. Andere Richtingen Posted: October 24, 2017 at 10:38 AM (#5560837)
I don't really think that's the charge, but the article makes it sound like the coaching and the walk rates be two sides of the same coin. And I am very skeptical about that.

The team walk rate has indeed spiked: it went from 2.5/9 IP in 2015 to 3.1 and now 3.5. Perhaps there is some very specific flaw about the current approach that is behind that, but my guess is that it is mostly about pitchers who have always given up a lot of walks giving up even more.
   104. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: October 24, 2017 at 01:05 PM (#5560957)
Oh, I'm sure it's multiple things, including talent. It'll be interesting to revisit this next year.
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