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#2081 [url]

Oct 20 16 2:36 PM

I'm hoping Maeda snaps out of it tonight. He doesn't seem to have any physical issue, based on his velocity. Importantly we finally need to force Lester to throw to bases. How hard is it to bunt a ball towards the third base side of the mound, but not far enough for Bryant to field it? it's not like Lester is Chapman hitting 102 mph. Also, how hard is it to go on first movement from a lefthander and steal second base? It's time for our hitters to put their egos in their back pocket and drop some bunts to see if they can get Lester to unravel.

However, even if we lose tonight, and I think we have a good chance to win, we can think back to being down 2-1 to the Nats and coming back. We just need to win one game not started by Clayton and I'll take my chances with him.

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#2082 [url]

Oct 20 16 2:37 PM

It's been 28 years since the Dodgers have been competitive in a best of 7, so it is natural to be a bit pessimistic about things going forward. But at 2-2 with the pitching matchups going forward, this series is far from over, even if they lose tonight. I'm with Kyle on this one. Obviously I'll feel better if they go up 3-2 tonight, but being down 3-2 is far from insurmountable, particularly with the matchups. It was never going to be easy. 

Plus, it's the Cubs in the playoffs. I'm still half expecting their classic meltdown to happen. 

#2083 [url]

Oct 20 16 3:02 PM

monsooner wrote:
Who thinks we've still got a shot?

Obviously, we're in some trouble tonight. If the season numbers have anything to do with the outcome, we're gonna lose tonight.

But Clayton and a rejuvenated Rich Hill go Saturday and Sunday in Chicago. Back-to-back shutouts from them and the bullpen in their last two starts.

Don't lose heart, peeps!!! I don't see the Dodgers going quietly. And you never know - if we steal the game tonight, we're squarely ensconced in the driver's seat.

Go BLUE!
Game 5 is much more important for the Cubs to win then the Dodgers. So we are looking good no matter what IMO. Only thing I'm worried about is Maeda getting batted around, because if so, and Dodgers do advance to WS, may have to do something drastic like leave him off roster, and having Anderson, Stripling, or Stewart make a start in WS. 

#2092 [url]

Oct 22 16 3:51 AM

From Wall Street Journal:

The Dodgers’ Dave Roberts: Baseball’s Ultimate Micromanager
Los Angeles’s rookie manager makes more moves than anyone in the game in an effort to gain an edge in every at-bat.
By BRIAN COSTA
Oct. 21, 2016 3:42 p.m. ET
Los Angeles

The lineup card in the Los Angeles Dodgers dugout starts out like every other: neat and tidy, 25 names sorted by starters, bench and bullpen. But by the end of most games, it is an unsightly mess of marker ink, with names crossed out here and scribbled in there.

When it comes to in-game lineup revisions, baseball has never seen anyone quite as aggressive as Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, whose calculated tinkering has his team two wins from the World Series. In his first season on the job, he made 606 pitching changes, an all-time high. He called for a pinch hitter 324 times, the most by any team in nearly a quarter century.

“He’s using his roster differently than almost anyone ever has,” said Josh Byrnes, a top Dodgers executive. “And he’s doing it in his first year.”Roberts twice pulled pitchers in the midst of no-hitters so as not to overexert them. He called for more intentional walks than any other manager to reach this postseason. He recently brought in his best starter in relief of his best reliever. The only thing he doesn’t do once the game starts is sit tight.

Roberts, a 44-year-old former major-league outfielder, is a symbol of his time. As fatigue and injuries have made the everyday player something of a relic, the typical roster has become less a mix of people with defined roles and more of a collection of interchangeable parts. And nobody has had more moving pieces to juggle than Roberts.

The Dodgers were built on the strength of their depth. A bevy of injuries required them to rely on it. The team made 305 transactions during the regular season, the highest single-year total on record, according to Stats LLC. But the constant roster shuffling between games didn’t automatically create a revolving door once the games began.

The steady stream of substitutions is a byproduct of Roberts’s zeal to gain an advantage in every hitter-versus-pitcher matchup—and his willingness to use anyone in uniform to that end, if only for one at-bat.

“There’s a lot of trust that I have in everybody on the lineup card,” Roberts said. “So I think that for me to act aggressively early in games, to go to guys off the bench, or go to guys in the pen, I just feel comfortable with it.”

Few managers understand the value of a well-timed substitution as well as Roberts. His stolen base as a pinch runner for the Boston Red Sox during the 2004 ALCS helped spark a comeback that catapulted Boston to its first World Series title since 1918.

But these days, Roberts’ confidence in his maneuvering stems from an embrace of advanced statistics that fits a front office known for making effective use of them. To say Roberts relies on numbers in the dugout is like saying an air-traffic controller relies on communications in the tower. It’s true, but it’s the details that make the difference.

In considering whether to deploy a particular pitcher, the traditional manager might consider which hand he throws with and what his past results have been versus a particular hitter. The conversations between Roberts and bench coach Bob Geren delve into the rates of spin of a pitcher’s fastball, the swing type of the opposing hitter, the rate at which that pitcher induces ground balls and so on, all in search of a predictive edge.

“He blends everything,” Geren said.

Roberts has also almost entirely ditched one of baseball’s oldest strategies: sacrifice bunting. Though bunts have long been decried by modern baseball thinkers, Roberts took his disdain further than almost anyone. Dodgers position players had only five sacrifice bunts during the regular season, the lowest total by any team in recorded history dating to 1894.

Yet inside the Dodgers’ clubhouse, Roberts relies less on his analytical savvy than on his affability and status as an ex-player. The wonky side that Geren sees is less familiar to the players affected by it.

The duality is important. Roberts needs his grasp of how to play the odds to make so many moves during games. But he needs his credibility with players to convince them to embrace roles that are more varied and less structured than what they may be accustomed to.“We don’t have any conversations like that,” Dodgers outfielder Howie Kendrick said. “And honestly, I wouldn’t want to have any conversations like that.”

“If you don’t have that, then a lot of the tactical stuff, you just don’t have the political capital to carry it out,” said Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi. “He’s absolutely built that and built trust with the players.”

The relationship-building side of what Roberts does was easier for Dodgers executives to foresee when they were interviewing candidates for the job last fall. His energetic demeanor sold them from the outset. The bigger question was what kind of tactician he would be.

To find out, the Dodgers’ brass had him sit with them and watch a video of Game 5 of the 2015 division series, in which the Dodgers lost to the New York Mets. He was asked, essentially, to talk them through how he would manage each situation that arose in that game and why.

“It’s more about an attention to detail than, ‘I would bunt here.’ ‘Oh, that’s great, we would bunt, too,’” Zaidi said. “It’s more getting inside a potential manager’s head.”

As it turned out, the way Roberts thought through that game was not unlike the way he had to manage many regular-season games, with an aggressiveness typically reserved for October. With the Dodgers trailing the Cubs 3-2 in the NLCS entering Game 6 on Saturday, Roberts will need every possible matchup advantage he can gain.

The feeling will be familiar.

#2093 [url]

Oct 22 16 6:17 AM

Good article, although Roberts screwed up with his poor lineup (and took Maeda out one batter too early, IMO) in the last game. I think he's still making rookie mistakes and tends to overthink things.

#2094 [url]

Oct 22 16 8:41 AM

Shmolnick wrote:
Good article, although Roberts screwed up with his poor lineup (and took Maeda out one batter too early, IMO) in the last game. I think he's still making rookie mistakes and tends to overthink things.
Agree.  Micromanaging is not usually considered an asset.

#2095 [url]

Oct 22 16 10:34 AM

Shmolnick wrote:
Good article, although Roberts screwed up with his poor lineup (and took Maeda out one batter too early, IMO) in the last game. I think he's still making rookie mistakes and tends to overthink things.


Considering spin rate etc. in making decisions is fine but I'd love to know what sabremetric stroke of genius led to the choice of Chooch as a cleanup hitter against a guy he was zero for lifetime against (and still is).

#2096 [url]

Oct 22 16 12:55 PM

Shmolnick wrote:
The Dodgers must all get very fired up for tonight's game. They need that killer instinct to reverse the momentum and crush the spirit out of the Cubs. I hope they've been watching video of bad call on Gonzalez all day.

I fear the outcome however because in my heart of hearts, I believe the Dodgers are still lacking in starting pitching strength. I fear Maeda is done and I fear that the Cubs are now the ones who are all fired up. Honestly, under normal circumstances, I wouldn't mind seeing the Cubs win a World Series, but now with the mainstream media AND MLB so obviously in the tank for the Cubs, I am rooting for America's Darlings to blow it in spectacular fashion. Spectacular, psyche-destroying, mainstream media-confounding fashion so that they go another f*g 100+ years without a championship. Screw them.

I know you wrote this before game 5, but I think it still applies.  Needless to say, I agree with you.  There's still a chance the Dodgers can win both games (the pitching matchups favor us), however, it's going to be incredibly tough.  Having said that, it would be a very Cubs thing for them, after being down 2-1, to come back to Wrigley up 3-2, and blow it.  If there's ever a time for the curse of the Billy Goat to rear its head, tonight would be it.

Also, and maybe it's me, but while I really have no problem with the Cubs in the way that I did with the Mets, Cardinals, Phillies, etc., I do think that there would be something slightly lost with baseball as a whole if they finally won the World Series.  I just find it really cool that there's a team that exists (in any sport) that hasn't won a World Series in 108 years.  The mystique, the whole thing with curses, it's kind of fascinating.  So it's not that I have a problem with them, I just like that there's a team who hasn't won in a 108 years and counting.  And also, what purpose would the Cubs actually serve if they finally won?  The whole point of their existence is to cause pain and misery to their masochistically inclined fans.

#2097 [url]

Oct 22 16 1:44 PM

beefchopper wrote:
Shmolnick wrote:
Good article, although Roberts screwed up with his poor lineup (and took Maeda out one batter too early, IMO) in the last game. I think he's still making rookie mistakes and tends to overthink things.


Considering spin rate etc. in making decisions is fine but I'd love to know what sabremetric stroke of genius led to the choice of Chooch as a cleanup hitter against a guy he was zero for lifetime against (and still is).
Do you remember when Joe Maddon was with the Rays and they were playing a completely meaningless game?  He wrote out the lineup card based on the Tommy Tutone song, Jenny/867-5309, where the center fielder batted first, shortstop second, left fielder third...ordered by defensive position.  Presumably the DH was the 0 and the second baseman was batting ninth.  Batting Kike' leadoff and Ruiz cleanup had that kind of look.




#2098 [url]

Oct 22 16 3:15 PM

I realize that most people think differently, but I've always thought that Bill Murray is an unfunny douchebag. Fuck him and his Cubs.

#2099 [url]

Oct 22 16 6:56 PM

Needless to say, there is nothing more to say here. Either team in the World Series can do something I have never witnessed: Win a World Championship. I'm closing the season thread and opening the Hot Stove.

In extremos orientem in qualitatem; in extremos occidentem in saporem.

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