Archive for the 'Dodgers' Category

Top 100 - 40 - 31

Thursday, March 21st, 2019

The Braves dominate this ten with 30 percent of the players, all of them right handed pitchers. The Dodgers and Mets both have a duo of position players that will impact their future lineup. That accounts for 70 percent of the players.

40. Kyle Wright RHP (Braves) - The Braves 2017 first round pick is having such a strong spring that he may force his way into the rotation. Last year he appeared in four games in relief. His low to mid 90s fastball and curve are good one-two punches but 43 walks in 109 innings is a cause for concern. Even in his six inning major league debut he had a 6/5 walk to whiff ratio. Another half season in AAA would be ideal. He was the first player in the 2017 draft to get promoted to the major leagues.

39. Andres Gimenez SS (Mets) - Andres may be a better defensive shortstop than Ahmed Rosario, but that is like trying to argue over which of two models is the most beautiful. Since Ahmed did not do anything to disappoint Andres will have to move to second. Offensively he does not appear to be a difference maker in the lineup. His power is lacking and except for his debut season in the Dominican Summer League he has not hit over .300 in his two years playing in the States. Robinson Cano has the next couple years at second base so Gimenez will play one more season at AA/AAA. A September callup is in the cards and a utility role may be his assignment in 2020.

38. Alex Verdugo RF (Dodgers) - Alex Verdugo may hit for average. Myworld looks at his tools and sees a fourth outfielder. The arm has the strength to play right field but his ability to hit for power is lacking. He also feels a bit of entitlement to the right field job after only hitting .260 last year with a .706 OPS. That is not the kind of production playoff teams look for in their corner outfielders. Perhaps he will mature and earn his position in right field with solid production. The Dodgers traded their two corner outfielders from last year, Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp so there is an opening for Alex to take.

37. Keibert Ruiz C (Dodgers) - The Venezuelan has the chance to be a two way player. He has the arm and defensive tools to be a solid defensive catcher. He also has the bat to hit for average and power. He has a .309 minor league career average and slugged 12 homeruns last year. The Dodgers do not have any catchers on their roster who can prevent Ruiz from taking over the position once he is ready. Trusting a rookie catcher with playoff implications on the line is tough so he will start the season in AAA and could be promoted by mid-season if injuries or struggles give the Dodgers no choice to salvage the 2019 season.

36. Peter Alonso 1B (Mets) - In the Futures game myworld witnessed a jaw dropping homerun that landed on the pavilion at Nationals Park. Only Albert Pujols has hit one there. The second round 2016 pick is not a defensive specialist at first base and has a propensity to swing and miss. His batting average will probably float around the .250 range but when he hits the ball it will travel a long way. Last year he slugged 36 homeruns between AA and AAA. Dominic Smith has been a disappointment at first base and also plays a poor defense. Both are having excellent springs. If push comes to shove Dominic has the most experience which will mean Alonso has to spend at least a half season in the minor leagues. Eventually he will beat out Smith for the first base job and if the National League adopts the DH the Mets could keep both and DH one.

35. Ian Anderson RHP (Braves) - Ian Anderson was a first round pick of the Braves in 2016. He has a lively fastball that can hit the mid-90s with a curve to buckle knees. The walks could be reduced but High A hitters struggled with a .198 average against him. Drafted out of high school he is still a couple years away from being considered for a rotation spot but at 6′3″ he has a good frame to be a durable starting pitcher. Ian got four AA starts last year and will probably start the 2019 season there. The Braves have no reason to rush him with their surplus of pitching.

34. Touki Toussaint RHP (Braves) - Dave Stewart did not think he would ever become a major league pitcher and sent him to the Braves with Bronson Arroyo to reduce salary. In his defense Toussaint did have trouble finding the plate but those issues appear to be rectified. Touki made his major league debut last year and is the favorite to win a spot in the back end of the rotation in 2019, especially with Mike Foltynewicz starting the season on the disabled list. Touki was born in Florida but his parents come from Haiti. The Diamondbacks wasted a first round pick for him in 2014 to get nothing in return.

33. Joey Bart C (Giants) - Joey “Bay Area Rapid Transit” Bart has a perfect name for San Francisco. With Buster Posey declining in his catching skills Bart is in a great position to take over that spot, especially now that the Giants are close to that tank and rebuild mode. Bart was the Giants first round pick in 2018. The bat will hit for big time power as his 13 homeruns in rookie ball prove. His arm is strong enough to control the running game. The other intangibles will develop with experience. Joey will start the 2019 season in a full season league. As a drafted college player he should move up the ranks quickly.

32. A.J. Puk LHP (Athletics) - Tommy John surgery prevented him from pitching in 2018, just as he was dominating in spring and the talk was that he was earning a spot in the Athletics rotation. The 2016 first round pick has an explosive fastball that is clocked in the high 90s. At 6′7″ and throwing lefthanded that is a keeper. He needs to improve on his third pitch (change) and enhance his control to make it as a starter. Also, after missing all of last season the Athletics will be patient with him as he eats up innings in rehab. Myworld does not expect to see him in the Athletics rotation until 2020.

31. Brendan McKay 1B/LHP (Rays) - The Rays are hoping to make the 2017 first round pick a two way player. Currently his arm is way ahead of his bat. During his college days his primary position was at first base and he was used as a reliever. Facing minor league pitching he has only been able to hit .221 with a .366 slugging. That will not cut it as a first baseman in the major leagues. It could make him a third or fourth pinch hitting possibility. His left handed arm has been a pleasant surprise with a fastball in the low 90s with an excellent feel for the strike zone. Joe Kelly found his arm rising higher up the minor league level than his bat could keep up and eventually focused on pitching. The same may apply to McKay as his arm outpaces his bat. He could start next season in AA but his bat may not be ready yet for that level.

Top 100 - 60-51

Thursday, March 14th, 2019

Back to finishing our Top 100 prospects.

60. Gavin Lux SS/2B (Dodgers) - Gavin was a 2016 first round pick. He looked like a bust after a disappointing 2017 season when he hit just .244 with a .693 OPS. Last year he broke out with a .324 average and a .913 OPS. He has speed, can hit for power and average and has the tools to play shortstop. One area he needs to work on is his consistency in the field, with 27 errors in 92 games an unacceptable rate for a major league shortstop. Second or third base may be his ultimate position with Corey Seager set at short. He should start the 2019 season in AA where the Dodgers could call him up if Seager is unable to perform again for long periods of the season.

59. Vidal Brujan 2B (Rays) - The Rays are always looking for a bargain and they got one with Brujan, signing him for just $15,000 out of the Dominican Republic in 2014. Speed and the ability to make contact are the ingredients he brings to the game. Last year he stole 55 bases with a 63/68 walk to whiff ratio. It was also his first year of full season ball where he showed a little pop with nine homeruns. His combined average at Low A and High A was .320 with a .403 OBA. With his ability to steal bases and to get on base Vidal would make an ideal leadoff hitter. His defense is gold glove quality at second base and he has the tools to play shortstop, but the Rays are a bit stacked there. Next year he should start the season in High A where he hit .347, slugging .582 in just 27 games.

58. Leody Taveras OF (Rangers) - The bat will determine whether the Dominican becomes a fourth outfielder or a quality major leaguer. His glove is gold but the bat is far from silver. Last year he hit just .246 with very little power (.332 slugging). That could allow him to start in centerfield and hit in the ninth spot but a better bat with less of a glove could be preferred. He does have the speed to steal bases and the age he plays in is usually young for the league so there is possible development in his future as he catches up to the league. Leody will start next season in AA where he could get a callup if the Rangers need help in centerfield, but the Rangers would prefer the bat to play.

57. Dustin May RHP (Dodgers) - Dustin was drafted two rounds behind Lux in the 2016 draft. Last year his fastball was consistently in the mid-90s and at 6′6″ that is a tough pitch to hit. His secondary pitches are plus with a cutter that gets a lot of ground ball outs. In six starts at AA he limited the opposition to a .209 average. A 29/122 walk to whiff ratio shows his ability to throw strikes. Dustin should start the season in AA where he would be a phone call away from major league action. The Dodgers had success last year with Walker Buehler so calling up another rookie to impact the rotation would be something they would not hesitate to do. Clayton Kershaw cannot stay young forever.

56. Danny Jansen C (Blue Jays) - Danny has come a long way since being drafted in the 16th round in 2013. Last year he made his major league debut, setting the stage for the Blue Jays to make him their starting catcher in 2019 as they rebuild for a run in 2021. His bat should hit for double digit power with a batting average around .270. He makes steady contact with a 44/49 walk to whiff ratio. While his defense has improved he is still a below average catcher who may have trouble stopping a run game. He should start the season as the Blue Jays starting catcher in 2019 and the Blue Jays will have to hope his defense plays.

55. Brusder Graterol RHP (Twins) - The Venezuelan may only stand 6′1″ but his fastball blazes across the plate in the high 90s. He also has a plus slider that will get its share of swings and misses. Last year he limited the opposition to a .234 average reaching High A. Brusdar needs more work to improve on his changeup, which would make his fastball that much more deadly. His velocity comes with solid control, a 28/107 walk to whiff ratio showing he can find the plate. The 2019 season could see him start the season in AA if he has a good spring.

54. Alec Bohm 3B (Phillies) - The Phillies inability to sign Manny Machado leaves the future of third base in the hands of Bohm. The 2018 first round pick has big time pop, despite the absence of any homeruns last year in over 150 at bats. His ability to draw a walk and make quality contact should result in averages bordering .300. There is still some concern that his 6′5″ height could result in a move to first, where his overall value could take a hit. Next year Alec should start his season in Low A where his power numbers should improve. If his bat produces he should advance quickly.

53. Jarred Kelenic OF (Mariners) - The Mets first round pick in 2018 was included in a trade to the Mariners for Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz. Jarred has all the tools to be a quality major leaguer. He has good speed, an arm that could fit in right and the power to hit 20 plus homeruns. The big question is whether the bat will make enough contact for him to hit for a decent average. A tendency to swing and miss may leave his average in the neighborhood of the .250s. The Mariners should start him in Low A for 2019.

52. Nolan Gorman 3B (Cardinals) - Nolan is the Cardinals first round pick for 2018. He impressed right away with his ability to hit for power, mashing 17 homeruns and rising all the way to Low A in his professional debut. The Cardinals hope his defense gets more fluid so he can stick at third. A lack of speed makes moving to the outfield detrimental and his value decreases with a move to first. You know the bat is scary when pitchers walk him 34 times in 64 games. A repeat of Low A where he hit only .202 would be a good place for him.

51. Yusniel Diaz OF (Orioles) - The Orioles acquired the Cuban from the Dodgers in the Manny Machado trade. Perhaps he was a little disappointed leaving Los Angeles because his bat seemed a little vanilla with Bowie, hitting .239. He had a 41/39 walk to whiff ratio in the Southern League but that collapsed to 18/28 in the Eastern League. If he can control the strike zone he should hit in the .300s, but if he gets lazy the bat could disappoint. Yusniel did hit a couple homeruns in the Futures Game. Don’t be surprised to see him on the major league roster after April, provided the bat is producing. The strong arm will fit him in right field.

Myworld’s Top 100 - 100 to 91

Saturday, February 23rd, 2019

It’ll take some time for myworld to get through this, but this is our Top 100 prospect list using the ratings of Baseball America, MLB.com, fangraphs, baseball prospectus and two rather obscure sights Razzball and Prospects 1500. Values were assigned to those players based on their ratings, i.e. the number one prospect was given 10 points while number 100 was only given .1 points. Below are the first of the bottom hundred.

100. Seth Beer 1B (Astros) - At one point in his youth Seth played on the U.S. College National team with Jake Burger. They won gold. Seth was drafted by the Astros in the first round of the 2018 draft. His defense falls short of being a major leaguer but his bat could get him an opportunity. There is very little speed in his legs to be used in the outfield, so if the Astros want to make good use of him first base and designated hitter are his best spots. Last year he showed some big time power, slugging 12 homeruns and 14 doubles at three different minor league levels, reaching High A. He also seemed pretty adept at taking a walk with a .389 OBA. Not a lot of “hit first with very little defensive ability” have success in the major leagues. The baseball world is still waiting on Dan Vogelbach, which is the type of comparison for Seth Beer.

99. Brandon Lowe 2B (Rays) - The Rays are going pretty Lowe with their top prospects, also having brothers Nathaniel and Joshua on their prospect lists. Brandon will not wow you with his defense or steal a lot of bases. His best tool is a lefthanded bat that sprays the gaps. Last year he opened some eyes with his 22 homeruns, six more than he had hit in his previous two seasons. That got him a major league look where he sent six more over the fence in just 43 games. That power, along with his ability to hit between .270-.300 should give him a major league opportunity next year. Myworld will be surprised if he repeats his 28 homerun total.

98. Bubba Thompson OF (Rangers) - Anyone with the name Bubba has to have some power in his bat. The 2017 first round pick of the Rangers played quarterback in high school and was going to play baseball (and not football) at Alabama until the Rangers offered him $2.1 million. While he is a tremendous athlete his jack of all trades pursuit of sports leaves him a bit raw in baseball. There is speed to play centerfield and the arm to fit in right. His bat does carry some power but he must do a better job making contact (104 whiffs in 84 games). As he focuses on baseball the contact issues should improve. Last year he showed off his speed with 32 stolen bases at Low A.

97. Will Smith C (Dodgers) - Will Smith may lack the tools of Keibert Ruiz but he is ahead of him in the race to the major league roster. Will showed some power in AA with 19 homeruns but then struggled when promoted to AAA hitting just .138. The Dodgers used him a little at third base and he has good speed for a catcher, so left field could be a possibility if Ruiz wins the catcher job. The 2016 first round pick has a strong arm to stay at catcher. In 2017 he was voted the top defensive catcher in the California League. The Dodgers should give him his major league debut some time during the year.

96. O’Neil Cruz SS (Pirates) - At 6′6″ myworld does not see him staying at shortstop but that is the position the Pirates still list him at. Last year he played 102 games at short. If he can stick there his tremendous power will be an asset for the position. His arm is powerful enough to play right field and for a big man he runs well. The Dodgers first signed him in 2015 when he was a mere 6′1″, paying him a $950,000 bonus. They traded him to the Pirates for Tony Watson. Last year he hit 14 homeruns with a .488 slugging percentage. He is still only 20 so the Pirates will be patient with him, promoting him a level a year. Next year it will be High A.

95. Jahmai Jones 2b (Angels) - The 2015 second round pick looked to be a five tool light outfielder, with speed, power, a good throwing arm and the ability to hit for average. Then the Angels moved him to second base, a position he played in high school and those gaudy offensive numbers dropped. Coming into this season Jahmai had a .281 career minor league average. Last year he hit .239 at High A and AA. He has the speed to steal 30 bases and the power should develop enough to hit double digits in homeruns. A second season in AA should show some improvement on the offensive end with a major league debut slated for sometime in 2019.

94. Ronaldo Hernandez C (Rays) - Ronaldo is the second Ray on this list. He will not be the last. The Rays signed him in 2014 after they saw him play as a 15 year old in the infield on the Colombian 18 and under World Cup Team. They moved him behind the plate where Ronaldo has all the tools to be an above average defensive catcher. The arm is strong enough to tame running games and he keeps balls from visiting the back stop. His bat has been a surprise with averages north of .300 in 2016 and 2017. Last year he fell short with a .284 average but he did hit a career high 21 homeruns. It will be a couple years before he makes an impact with the Rays but he will join Jorge Alfaro as another Colombian catcher in the major leagues.

93. Michael Chavis 3B (Red Sox) - It is the first day of spring training games and Chavis has already gone deep. The 2014 first round pick saw his career stalled when he was suspended for 80 games to start the 2018 season after hitting 31 homeruns in 2017. The Red Sox hope to continue to get big time power from him. Last year he hit 9 homeruns in 46 games, which project close to his 2017 totals. With Rafael Devers at first base Chavis may have to move to first. His defense at third would not win any gold gloves. It is the bat the Red Sox would want to get in the lineup.

92. Corbin Martin RHP (Astros) - The 2017 second round pick throws hard. His fastball crosses the plate in the mid-90s and can hit the high 90s. What makes it effective is his ability to hit all four corners of the plate. His curve, slider and change also give him four pitches to fit in the rotation, The Astros received the second round pick from the Cardinals as punishment for hacking the Astros system. Last year Martin pitched in High A and AA, limiting the opposition to a .199 average. He could make the Astros rotation sometime this year if injuries open a spot for him, or his success in the minor leagues is just too good for the Astros to ignore.

91. Nate Lowe 1B (Rays) - The third Ray on this list and the second Lowe. Brandon was a 13th round pick in 2016 while his brother Josh was drafted in the first round of that draft. Nate appears to have had a better year, slugging 27 homeruns and hitting .330 as he climbed all the way to AAA. There is very little speed in his legs for him to move to the outfield, so he needs to show the power to justify him playing at first. Nate destroyed High A and AA pitching for a .340 plus average, striking out just three more times than he walked. That would be excellent for a power hitter.

Dodgers Continue to Build Through Prospects

Wednesday, February 20th, 2019

The Dodgers have won the National League West the last six years. They must be doing something right, though they have not won a World Series since 1988. In 2016 myworld rated them as having the second best prospect class with Corey Seager, Julio Urias, Jose Deleon and Grant Holmes. The last two years myworld has put them in the ninth spot. Last year the Dodgers who made Top 100 lists included Walker Bueler, Alex Verdugo, Yadier Alvarez, Keibert Ruiz, Yusniel Diaz, Jeren Kendall, Mitchel White, Starling Heredia and Edwin Rios. That is almost a starting lineup with a couple starting pitchers.

Myworld would probably rate Keibert Ruiz as their top prospect this year. Catchers who can provide some offense are not easy to find. He can also hit from both sides of the plate. His defense is solid, his arm is strong and the intangibles appear to be there. A 26 percent success rate on the caught stealing front is evidence of an average arm. His bat has the potential to hit for double digits in homeruns while hitting for a relatively high average. He will not be an automatic out as it appears most catchers are nowadays. Last year he played in AA so expect a full year in AAA with a possible September callup.

Gavin Lux would rate next on the list, and this is a bit of a surprise. The 2016 first round pick appeared to be somewhat of a bust after hitting just .244 in 2017 with issues throwing the ball accurately. His errors at shortstop were still pretty prevalent last year, but with Corey Seager planted at short the best position for Gavin may be second. His bat showed a little more life last year with a .324 average and 15 homeruns between High A and AA. Another full season in AA and he could be ready for the Dodgers by 2020.

Jeter Downs could be a steal from the Reds. Named after Derek Jeter, the Dodgers acquired him by saying goodbye to Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp in a trade with the Reds. Jeter still has some progressing to go, but plays the same position as Gavin, so where he fits is a question mark. He did hit for marginal power (13 homeruns and .402 slugging) in Low A and showed good speed with 37 stolen bases. His range and arm probably fit best at second base, but if his bat plays he could cut it in a super utility role.

Edwin Rios strikes out too much and is pretty stiff to stay at third base. First base may even be a challenge. His speed is non-existent so playing the outfield is not in the cards. What Edwin has is the ability to hit the ball hard when his bat makes contact. A 23/110 walk to whiff ratio is a red flag but he did hit .304 in AAA. The best thing the Dodgers could do for him is to trade him to an American League club where he could play DH.

Will Smith is another possible catcher for the Dodgers. He was also a first round pick in the 2016 draft. His bat may not be as consistent as Ruiz, but the pop is there, enough so that the Dodgers used him for 43 games at third base. There was a bit of a struggle in AA where he finished with 9 errors and an .880 fielding percentage. The bat is powerful enough to slug 20 homeruns between AA and AAA. The tools are there for him to catch, with an above average arm and soft hands. A .138 average at AAA means he has more seasoning to do at that level before he suits up in a Dodgers uniform.

In the outfield myworld is not as high on Alex Verdugo as many are. We think he will end up being a fourth outfielder. His bat does not seem to hit for the big time power that teams look for in their corner outfielders. Last year he did hit .329 in AAA but against major league pitchers it dropped to .260. The one big criticism with him is his lack of fire to want to be the best. He seems content on being average.

An outfielder who has power is D.J. Peters. His big issue may be an inability to make contact. Last year he struck out 192 times in 132 games. He did slug 29 homeruns, good for a .473 slugging average. At 6′6″ there is that Aaron Judge comparison, but his defense is not as strong. The arm exists to play right field. If Verdugo does not pan out Peters is ready for 2019. Don’t expect an average over .250 but 40 homerun seasons could be possible. He will see most of next year in AAA and the question is whether Steven Moya or Aaron Judge are the best comparisons.

Jeren Kendall is the antithesis of Peters. The 2017 first round pick is packed full of speed, but is not a punch and judy hitter. He had enough pop to blast double digit homerun totals. The speed will allow him to fit in centerfield and steal 40 plus bases. Like Peters he has trouble making contact with 158 whiffs in 114 games resulting in a disappointing .215 average. Despite the low average the Dodgers will probably promote him to AA.

Starling Heredia is a potential power/speed package that was signed for $2.6 million out of the Dominican Republic in 2015. After hitting over .400 at two different rookie levels in 2017 in 110 at bats, Starling could not find himself over .200 in 203 at bats at Low A last year. The 2019 season will be a pivotal year for Starling.

The Dodgers always seem to develop ace pitchers. Last year it was Walker Buehler. This year look for Dustin May and his mid-90s fastball. At 6′6″ he has good height, which is usually a problem for finding the plate. Dustin has no problem throwing strikes. He needs to develop a little more consistency with his curve, cutter and change, but the requisite pitches are there for him to fit in the rotation. Another half season in AA could make him ready for the Dodgers rotation in 2019 if he achieves success in AA/AAA.

Mitchel White was a second round pick in the 2016 draft who also has good height (6′4″) and a good mid-90s fastball. His best pitch may be his slider. A lack of command made him a bit hittable in AA with hitters tagging him for a .273 average. He has had Tommy John surgery right before competing for college and a myriad of injuries have limited him to less than 100 innings, except for last year when he logged in 105.

Dennis Santana is a converted shortstop and a bargain signing ($170,000) out of the Dominican Republic in 2012. As a shortstop he had a good arm, but after he showed his bat was lacking after his first year the Dodgers converted him to the mound. His fastball can rise north of the mid-90s but his poor secondary stuff could make him fit best in the bullpen. Last year hitters struggled making contact off him, hitting him at a .183 clip. He did get one poor appearance (12.27 ERA) in the major leagues but he hopes for more in 2019. Expect the Dodgers to find some room for him in the bullpen by mid-season next year.

Yadier Alvarez is a Cuban who the Dodgers spent $16 million to sign. They have not had much success with their Cuban mega signings. Yadier has a lot of flash with his fastball reaching triple digits. His biggest problem is finding the plate with 43 walks in 48 innings last year in AA. He has a good slider, which when combined with his fastball could make him a good closer. The lack of a third pitch will make it difficult for him to make it as a starter unless he can find the plate more. The Dodgers will probably put him in the bullpen in AA for 2019.

Pearce Leads Red Sox to World Series Victory

Monday, October 29th, 2018

As myworld focused on pointing out players who would be the most unlikely heroes in these playoff games, one was voted the MVP of the World Series. Steve Pearce hit two homeruns yesterday to lead the Red Sox to a 5-1 win. He hit three homeruns in the World Series and drove in eight runs. Released by the Orioles three times and traded during mid season to the Red Sox by the Toronto Blue Jays, Pearce becomes our most unlikely hero that actually became a hero.

David Price also pitched a great game. Price has had a history of struggling in the playoffs, but in this post season he pitched mostly solid games. Last night he gave up just three hits, one of them a first inning solo shot from David Freese to lead off the Dodgers at bat. That turned out to be the only run of the game.

Clayton Kershaw continued his post season struggles, though he went seven innings. The Red Sox touched him for three homeruns, Steve Pearce with a two run blast in the first and Mookie Betts with a solo shot in the sixth and J.D. Martinez with a solo in the seventh. Kershaw only allowed four other hits, but it was the homerun ball that killed him. Steve Pearce slugged his second homerun of the game and the fourth for the Red Sox in the eighth inning, a solo shot off Pedro Baez.

Joe Kelly and Chris Sale closed out the game with one inning of splendid relief work each. They faced six hitters and struck out all six. Kelly was another World Series rock, appearing in five games and not giving up a run. When he was struggling during mid-season and Alex Cora was questioned for continuing to bring him in during tight games Cora’s response was “We’re going to need Kelly”. That proved very prophetic.

The 119 wins by the Red Sox for the 2018 season have only been topped by the 1998 New York Yankees (125) and the 2001 Seattle Mariners (120). Puerto Rico has to be proud with rookie manager Alex Cora guiding this 119 win team to a World Series championship. It was their fourth championship in the last 15 years, three more than the New York Yankees have won during that time. That has to irk some Yankee fans.

Red Sox Rally to Win Game Four

Sunday, October 28th, 2018

The Dodgers had just gotten a three run homer from Yasiel Puig in the bottom of the sixth. Rich Hill was in cruise control through the first six innings. A walk in the seventh and Dave Roberts came out. Despite chants from the crowd to leave Hill in Roberts took him out. The Red Sox brutalized the Dodger bullpen for nine runs in the next three innings to win 9-6. A most unlikely hero Steve Pearce was instrumental in the rally with his four RBIs.

The two starting pitchers, number four starters in their rotation at best, Eduardo Rodriguez and Rich Hill were in a pitcher’s duel. Rodriguez was the first to break down when he gave up four in the bottom of the sixth, including the big three run blow to Yasiel Puig. Dave Roberts, having witnessed the break down of Rodriguez in the sixth did not want to see the same thing happen to Hill in the seventh. He pulled Hill after a one out walk, hoping the bullpen would preserve the shutout.

Things got ugly after that. Scott Alexander walked the one batter he faced, Brock Holt. In came Ryan Madson. He retired pinch hitter Jackie Bradley on a popup. Keith Moreland pinch hit for the pitcher’s spot and he took Madson deep. It has not been the best of seasons for Ryan Madson. Madson has now inherited seven runners on base in this World Series and allowed all of them to score.

He got out of the eighth and it was time for Kenley Jansen to get the two inning save. He failed the night before giving up a solo blast to Jackie Bradley in the eighth to begin the marathon game. He failed last night giving up a solo blast to Steve Pearce to tie the game. Both teams were hoping that a marathon game would not follow.

Roberts turned to Dylan Floro to pitch the ninth. The RBI man Rafael Devers, who in his previous start ended his consecutive RBI streak at eight games started another streak with a pinch hit RBI single to give the Red Sox a 5-4 lead. Steve Pearce then assaulted pitcher Kenta Maeda with a bases clearing double to drive in three runs.

Those three runs proved crucial when Enrique Hernandez hit a two run homerun off the Red Sox struggling closer Craig Kimbrel in the bottom of the ninth. Like Kenley Jansen, it seems like Kimbrel gives up a run each time he comes in to pitch. With a 9-4 lead it was probably an inning the Red Sox did not need Kimbrel. After throwing 28 pitches in both games three and four he may not be too fresh for game five.

Game five will be Clayton Kershaw and David Price, two pitchers maligned for their post season starts.

Manny Machado seems to be making a habit of stepping on the legs of first basemen. He did it again last night, stepping on the foot of Steve Pearce when he grounded out for the second out in the ninth. Against the Brewers he appeared to kick the leg of Jesus Aguilar when crossing the bag. It appears his dirty play and lack of hustle post season performance could cool teams wanting to bid top dollar for Machado. A lot of teams may fear that once he gets his money he will dial it back and cruise through the rest of his career.

Dodgers Win Marathon

Saturday, October 27th, 2018

Myworld lasted until the 13th inning before crashing. The game lasted seven hours before ending. That is past 3 A.M. Eastern time. It was the longest game in World Series history, lasting longer than the four games combined that were played in the 1939 World Series.

Max Muncy, released last year by the Athletics and turning into a slugger for the Dodgers put an end to the game with his walk off solo shot off Nathan Eovaldi in the bottom of the 18th. Nathan, released by the Yankees was working his seventh inning of relief. His pitch count was in the 90s. Muncy almost ended the game earlier, hitting one out in the 15th but it went foul. His uniform number 13 is giving him some luck.

Rookie Walker Buehler was unhittable for the Dodgers. The Red Sox mustered just two hits off him. The game would have ended 1-0 Dodgers if Roberts had not pinch hit for him in the seventh. He brought on Kenly Jansen to put together a two inning save. Jackie Bradley put an end to that notion with his two out solo shot in the eighth.

Joc Pederson had homered off Rick Porcello in the third to give the Dodgers an early 1-0 lead. For Joc it was his fourth World Series homer in nine World Series games. He has a World Series homerun every seven official at bats.

Ian Kinsler made an error in the bottom of the 13th with the Red Sox up 2-1. Ian is one of three finalists being considered for a Gold Glove at second. He was trying to get Yasiel Puig at first but threw it past the first baseman. That Muncy kid scored from second. Kinsler had entered the game as a pinch runner in the 10th. He was almost picked off at first, overran the bag at third and almost tagged out. The third time was the charm with Cody Bellinger gunning him down at home.

The Red Sox got their run in the top of the 13th on a throwing error by pitcher Scott Alexander that allowed Brock Holt to score from second. So the two teams matched solo shots and throwing errors to allow a runner to score from second to score their first two runs. Both runners who scored from second on the throwing errors got on base via a walk.

The Red Sox threw four of their starting pitchers in an attempt to win the game. Rick Porcello started the game. Eduardo Rodriguez got one out in the ninth. David Price got two outs in the ninth but also gave up a single and walk. Nathan Eovaldi is probably out after his six innings to close out the game. The Red Sox have chosen Eduardo Rodriguez to start game four.

Red Sox Steal Another Game

Thursday, October 25th, 2018

Myworld had a busy day yesterday. We were conked out after the fourth inning of last night’s game. The last we remember the Dodgers were up 2-1. When we awoke the Red Sox had won 4-2.

David Price pitched well. He went six innings allowing just two runs. The bullpen of Joe Kelly, Nathan Eovaldi and Craig Kimbrel went perfect with one inning each for the last three. The Dodgers offense managed only three hits off Price, going 0 for 16 after they scored two runs in the fourth.

In this new game of relying on the bullpen, Hyun-Jin Ryu may have been left in one inning too long. He gave up three runs in the fifth, enough to give the Red Sox the win. Ryu retired the first two hitters in the inning but the number nine hitter Christian Vazquez ripped a single to keep the inning going. That brought the top of the Red Sox order and should have singled to Roberts that it was time to go to the pen. Mookie Betts got the second of his three hits and Andrew Benintendi walked to load the bases.

The Dodgers brought in Ryan Madson, a batter before J. D. Martinez. He walked Steve Pearce to tie the game. J.D. Martinez does what he does best, slicing a single to right field to break the tie and give the Red Sox a 4-2 lead.

Rafael Devers failed to drive in a run, ending his consecutive RBI streak at eight games. With an RBI he would have broken the record he now has to share with Lou Gehrig, Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Howard of post season consecutive game RBI streak with eight.

The series now goes to Los Angeles where the Dodgers will try to change their fortune at home.

Red Sox Strike First in World Series Win Over the Dodgers

Wednesday, October 24th, 2018

These two teams have not met in a playoff game since 1916. Babe Ruth pitched in that World Series game. Clayton Kershaw, another pretty good lefty had never pitched at Fenway. His struggles in the playoffs continued as the Red Sox treated his first visit rudely with five runs in just four innings of work. Chris Sale, the ace of the Red Sox staff was only able to survive four innings before departing with three runs allowed.

The Red Sox bullpen was pretty sharp, limiting the Dodgers to just one run in the last five innings. If that is the Red Sox achilles heel it is the bullpen. Craig Kimbrel was pretty sharp for once, retiring the Dodgers in order with two whiffs. Andrew Benintendi had a good day with four hits, all against lefthanded pitchers.

Tough to find an unlikely hero. Rafael Devers got the start at third. If you had to identify one it would be Eduardo Nunez. He pinch hit for Devers in the seventh with the score a precarious 5-4 and hit a three run homerun. That put the game safely on ice for the Red Sox.

Mookie Betts gave the nation an opportunity for free tacos at Taco Bell with his stolen base in the first inning. You have to get the taco on November 1 between 2-6 PM local time. J.D. Martinez got a big hit with his RBI double off the wall in center field to give the Red Sox a 3-2 lead. He could have had a triple if he had not stumbled rounding second.

Rafael Devers RBI single in the seventh gave him RBIs in eight consecutive post season starts. He now joins an esteemed group led by Lou Gehrig, Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Howard for the longest RBI streaks in post season history.

And finally the villain of these playoffs, Manny Machado drove in three of the four runs for the Dodgers. He had an RBI single, RBI ground out and sacrifice fly to drive in the three runs but it was not enough.

Puig Leads Dodgers to the World Series

Sunday, October 21st, 2018

Yasiel Puig has lost his ability to be the center of attention and that is probably a good thing. Now he just blends in. Until he hits a three run homerun to lead the Dodgers to a 5-1 win. That is also probably a good thing.

It was actually a two run homerun from Cody Bellinger in the second inning that gave the Dodgers a 2-1 lead. He was voted the MVP of the World Series despite only hitting .200. It was clutch catches, clutch running (beating out a DP grounder prior to the Puig Homeruns) and clutch hitting that got him the vote.

Puig extended that lead with a three run bomb off of the unlucky Jeremy Jeffress. Jeffress had a couple unlucky outings in which he gave up big homeruns, his first to Justin Turner, a two run shot in the eighth inning of the second game that erased a 3-2 Brewer lead.

Rookie Walker Buehler did his best impression of Clayton Kershaw in his 4.2 innings of work. He struck out seven and only allowed a solo shot to Christian Yelich in the first. The only problem with that impersonation is Buehler throws righthanded and Kershaw sometimes struggles in the playoffs as a starting pitcher.

Kershaw did come on in the ninth to close out the game, putting an exclamation point to the victory, striking out two of the three hitters he faced. Striking out the last hitter and receiving the catcher’s hug is always a cool experience. Normally starting pitchers are not in that long to feel that initial celebratory vibe. Kershaw got to experience it.

The unsung hero may be Ryan Madson. He is not used to having regular season ERAs over 5.00. That does not matter when you enter the playoffs. He got five outs in game seven and finished with a playoff ERA of 1.80. Those are the kind of numbers he is used to seeing. He also was credited with the game seven win.

Now the World Series the networks were hoping to televise, the Red Sox versus the Dodgers. No back to back champs this year. You have to go back to 2000 for the last back to back champ. That was the year the New York Yankees won their third consecutive World Series. For the Dodgers though, they are going back to back in the World Series, and three appearances in the last four. But this time they hope to finish as a World Series winner, something they have not done since 1988.