DodgerHeads Live: Dodgers clinch NL West title, Clayton Kershaw health update & rookies impress

Dodger Blue

Dodger Blue

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"DodgerHeads" host Jeff Spiegel is joined by managing editor Matthew Moreno to discuss the Los Angeles Dodgers' clinching their NL West title in the past 11 seasons, Clayton Kershaw's latest start, reflect on how rookie pitchers have performed, and answer questions. #DodgerBlue #DodgerHeads #Dodgers #ClaytonKershaw ⚾️ Subscribe: ⚾️ Podcast: 🤍 ⚾️ Twitter: 🤍DodgerBlue1958 | 🤍 ⚾️ Instagram: 🤍DodgerBlue1958 | 🤍 ⚾️ Facebook: 🤍 ⚾️ Website: 🤍 ⚾️ Watch parties: 🤍

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DodgerHeads Live: Dodgers clinch NL West title, Clayton Kershaw health update & rookies impress
DodgerHeads Live: Dodgers clinch NL West title, Clayton Kershaw health update & rookies impress
DodgerHeads Live: Dodgers clinch NL West title, Clayton Kershaw health update & rookies impress
DodgerHeads Live: Dodgers clinch NL West title, Clayton Kershaw health update & rookies impress
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Ken Stephens
2023-09-20 01:34:53

One of the benefits of using an opener, like we're going to do tonight, as it at least gets around the idiotic rule of a starter having to go 5 innings to get credit for a "win" (even though there is no minimum needed to get a "loss.")

The notion of pitchers winning or losing games has been around since the cave man era of baseball, although putting it that way may not be fair to cave men since even in the days where they could only grunt, they probably weren't this stupid.

You don't hear much grunting against it even after all these years, and Kersh at least brought up the point that pitchers don't win games, teams do. You would think that pitchers would be graded only on pitching, and we even have the concept of earned runs so that their performance isn't eroded by poor defense. By the way, in the category of ERA+ with over 1500 innings pitched, Kershaw has the best ERA+ in the game, all time.

Somehow though, a pitcher "winning" 200 games becomes a big deal, a milestone, in spite of how clearly dumb this idea is. We can look at a number of pitching stats to evaluate pitching performance, but things like run support or the outcome of games has nothing to do with pitching and only appears to if you are a fool. Tradition does trump even a minimal amount of thinking in this case anyway.

To be fair to the pitchers though, the public and even teams rely on this bunk to judge them, and even has an impact on how much they make. Look at my win loss record, you need to pay me more, and they do, or they pay you less if this stat doesn't look so good, you play on a team that scores less runs for instance, and that has something to do with your performance.

Managers also rely on this 5 inning rule to manage starters' outings, where they put a personal stat which has no real bearing over the team's well being. Let's leave you in so you get the win, in addition to a number of other mental gymnastics that has to do with pitchers' wins and losses that gets pondered.

Using an opener at least gets the team out of this apparently painful decision to put an individual pitching stat which has nothing to do with pitching over the team's winning or losing the game, and wins and losses are indeed a team stat, duh!!! Let's let him finish the 5th because we somehow see this as more important than the team winning and we're not too bothered with this costing the team the win or not.

The idea of pitchers winning and losing games needs to be completely purged from the game and all those who think this is relevant need to somehow come to their senses and hang their heads in shame, and wear pointy caps with a D on it rather than ball caps, but until then, we'll have to settle for openers.

Ken Stephens
2023-09-19 21:53:42

Here's a fun set of stats for those who think that the Braves simply outclass us right now. Over the past 15 days, the Dodgers have averaged 6.46 runs per game, with the Braves averaging 5.5. On the pitching side, the Dodgers have a 3.94 ERA, and the Braves have been dead last in baseball with a whopping 7.19 ERA.

Given that playoff matches are decided not by a team's overall season record but instead how a team is playing at the time, a lesson that many Dodgers fans learned painfully last year, things at least in the present moment tell us that the Dodgers have played considerably better over the last couple of weeks than the Braves, and this is definitely something that is more meaningful than how many more games the Braves have won over the season, most of which is too far in the rear view mirror to be very meaningful.

I'm not sure why people are worried so much about the Phillies, the Brewers are a bigger threat, especially given how good their pitching has been, 2.02 ERA the last 15, best in baseball. I think some people are seeing ghosts of last year with the Phillies and their improbable pennant win, and while another improbable run may be in the cards, it's not called improbable for nothing. I can see the Dodgers beating both these teams in a series though, although with the Braves it will be much closer and an epic series by all appearances at this point. It will be fun to watch.

Atlanta may be falling into the same trap we did last year, great season, not so great finish to it, and we know what happened to us last year. Playoffs are like all series, it comes down to which team is playing better over a few games, nothing more and nothing less. We have a real shot to win it all this year, more so than last year, all things considered.

Ken Stephens
2023-09-19 20:07:45

Let's go back to the beginning of the season where there was plenty of skepticism about the team's chances of winning the division. In spite of having what was still one of the strongest rotations in baseball we somehow were short a top starter or two in the eyes of a lot of people. What would they say if they knew we'd lose May, Urias, and Gonsolin, throw away that piece of crap "Thor" who I said from the start was a mistake bringing in, not bring in any of the top starters that people were pining for, and be down to a winged Kersh, a guy with a 6 ERA we'd trade for, and a bunch of kids?

What if we then said we'd not only win the division but run away with it? We need to start by tipping our hat to Doc, and when the talk turns to manager of the year, his name needs to be at the very top of the list with what he's done with the team this year. This will be true regardless of what happens in the post season as this is and will always be too small of a sample to judge anyone on anything.

We do seem to be in a better spot this year, it's much more of a team than we had last year with a lot of stars wearing the same uniform versus a real team which are inspired to win for each other. In addition to Roberts, the front office also deserves a lot of credit, this got done without bringing in any big names either over the offseason or at the deadline, but they got a lot of mileage from these pickups without really affecting the future of the team. This is particularly important given that the future has become the present where we're already relying substantially on some of these kids.

Roberts does have his quirks, his blind spots, his placing way too much weight on past performance and not paying anywhere enough attention to the present, what's going on now. His fetish with lefty righty splits in the face of all evidence may be the stupidest managing of all time, to the point to have us wondering if he had brain damage, but even though he is a slow learner in some aspects of managing, he does learn, and is a great manager overall by any sensible measure.

The most I have been impressed with him is his telling Lynn to not hold back and let's see what you can do, and the answer came back as he's good for 4 strong innings. Lynn isn't alone in this regard and some may remember my posting a while back that we need to adapt to the new pitch clock era by looking to not leave guys in there longer but to limit their innings and have bulk guys in the pen to pick up the slack so we're not using 4 or 5 relievers every night, the reason why you want to leave them in longer and too long.

This goes fully against traditional baseball thinking but this is not traditional baseball anymore, and I am super impressed that Doc has come to realize this, and in a way that is way out front of the pack. I'm very excited to see what this team can do in the playoffs, we may or may not win but I'm confident we won't be going into the turtle and look like deer in headlights as an inferior team shows us up.

2023-09-18 08:28:36

This video was so powerful, it really moved me.

Howie Land
2023-09-18 08:25:59

Great show, guys! You 2 are the reason I subscribed and continue to love the vlogs, but I missed Blake tonight. He always adds the perfect counterpoints (kinda like celery in tuna salad, lol). Go Dodger Blue!

Gordon Ames
2023-09-18 05:57:29


2023-09-18 04:17:19

I feel like a lot of us fans are just so spoiled by being alive during such a strong era for the Dodgers as an organization. To me, it's a case of not knowing what you truly have until (or maybe unless) it's gone. I'm born in '90 so didn't exactly grow up seeing great success for my home team. If for some unlikely thing were to happen where this whole system gets completely annihilated, there'll be fans of this era being like "Man, remember those days when Dave Roberts led us to the playoffs and we said we didn't care? I wish we had those days again." Fortunately, or unfortunately--depending on whether you wish people were to realize what we fans have--that's probably not gonna happen in our life time.

And blah blah blah "regular season doesn't matter" but you don't get to play in October if you don't win in the regular season. Ask the boys in the cities south of LA, like Anaheim and San Diego if the regular season matters. Not that any team should or would rest on their laurels, but I do grow weary of all this entitlement within our fanbase.

If anything, even if they don't win it all, we should still be right there with the team to lift them up for next time--not slap them down.

Pizza Inthebox
2023-09-18 04:04:36

It is really good for younger Dodger fans to learn our history, especially from Brooklyn, when the nickname given to the team was “Dem Bums “. Historic under achievers during postseason, losing to the Yankees.

Great and beloved Dodger teams in the 1970’s cemented LA fan’s support and attendance, no matter the outcome.
LA fans learned to appreciate the entire year and live for baseball, before postseason.

So when we do win, we appreciate Tommy Lasorda saying “How sweet it is, the fruits of victory!” We now know more than any other baseball fans how hard it is to win the World Series, even with a great team.

We should cherish these past 11 Dodger years the way Ken Burns would talk about them. Dodger fans are great baseball fans historically. Go watch Ken Burns “Baseball” and you’ll appreciate our current Dodgers teams (and front office) that much more. These are magical times Dodger fans! Don’t take them for granted. ⚾️

Craig Osterberg
2023-09-18 03:46:23

Good show

2023-09-18 03:34:39


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