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Dodgers Week 18: Position players pitching, batting practice shirts & winning on the road

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MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Atlanta Braves Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers ended the week on a sour note, coming to within one out of being no-hit in Atlanta, but still ended up with a winning week on the road against National League contenders. But their last week was a tale of two trips. The pitchers allowed 20 runs in three games against the Phillies, then allowed just eight runs in four games against the Braves.

So much happened this week, including nonsense surrounding the Dodgers’ batting practice attire in Atlanta. The final result was four wins and three losses, enough to keep LA atop the division, though the lead is down to a half-game.

Batter of the week

Yasmani Grandal continued his torrid July, hitting four home runs while hitting .292 (7-for-24) with three walks and a team-leading six RBI.

Pitcher of the week

Rich Hill was magnificent on Thursday in Atlanta, pitching seven scoreless innings with eight strikeouts and just four baserunners. Since returning from the disabled list on June 19, Hill has a 2.47 ERA with 52 strikeouts and 12 walks in 43⅔ innings.

He narrowly beat out Clayton Kershaw, who pitched into the eighth inning for his longest outing of 2018 on Friday night, striking out eight with no walks and just one run allowed.

Week 18 results

4-3 record
32 runs scored (4.57 per game)
28 runs allowed (4.00 per game)
.561 pythagorean record

Season to date

59-47 record
504 runs scored (4.75 per game)
409 runs allowed (3.86 per game)
.597 pythagorean record (63-43)

Miscellany

The white flag: My love for positional players pitching is rooted in its rarity, and it is getting strongly tested with a spate of such occurrences in 2018. The novelty worn to the nub, at least the Dodgers’ first entree in this arena in four years was perfectly cast. Human Swiss army knife Kike Hernandez has played all over the diamond throughout his career, and now can cross pitcher off the list.

Position players usually pitch in blowouts, or in moments of last resort. On Tuesday in Philadelphia the Dodgers were in neither situation, with starter Rich Hill readying in the bullpen four days after pitching six innings in Milwaukee. In the 16th inning, having already used seven relievers and with Caleb Ferguson unavailable, Dave Roberts opted for Hernandez in a tie game rather than Hill. The stated reason for this choice, as Roberts told reporters, was to keep Hill for a save situation, though keeping the Phillies from scoring was the only way to keep the game going in the first place.

The decision unsurprisingly did not pan out, with Hernandez walking a pair then surrendering a walk-off three-run home run to Trevor Plouffe. But at least this moment from the experience will last forever:

Jockeying for position: Clayton Kershaw struck out eight Braves on Friday night in Atlanta, giving him 2,211 strikeouts in his career. He moved past Jake Peavy for 61st on the all-time list, and is now just one whiff behind Hall of Famer and underwear pitchman Jim Palmer for 60th place.

Two-way player: Also on Friday, in addition to Kershaw’s mound exploits he also walked three times and delivered a two-run single in the Dodgers’ 4-1 win over the Braves. Kershaw...

  • was the first pitcher to reach base four times since Mike Leake on July 9, 2010
  • was the first Dodgers pitcher to reach base four times since Doug Rau on June 24, 1975
  • was the first Dodgers pitcher to walk three times at the plate since Don Sutton on Apr. 24, 1976
  • has 5 walks and 34 strikeouts as a pitcher in his last six starts, and in those games has 5 walks and 0 strikeouts as a batter

Left behind: Nick Markakis walked in the sixth inning on Saturday, the first left-handed batter to walk against Alex Wood this season. Lefties against Wood this year are hitting .263/.269/.314 with 29 strikeouts in 121 plate appearances, and now one walk.

End of the line: The Dodgers made very few free agent additions last offseason, but one free agent signed will end up not pitching at all for them in 2018. Tom Koehler has been out since spring training with a shoulder injury, and on Tuesday had surgery to repair his right shoulder capsule. He’s out for the season.

Thank you everyone involved. The work starts now...

A post shared by Tom Koehler (@tkrefresh22) on

Transactions

Monday: Justin Turner suffered a groin strain and was placed on the 10-day disabled list, and outfielder Alex Verdugo was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Wednesday: Walker Buehler was recalled to start the series finale in Philadelphia, and Pedro Baez was activated off the DL one day after seven relievers pitched in the 16-inning game. Dylan Floro was optioned to Triple-A and Zac Rosscup was placed on the disabled list with inflammation in his left middle finger.

Saturday: Yasiel Puig was activated off the DL after missing 15 games, and Verdugo was optioned to Oklahoma City.

Game results

Monday: Dodgers 7, Phillies 6

Tuesday: Phillies 7, Dodgers 4 (16)

Wednesday: Phillies 7, Dodgers 3

Thursday: Dodgers 8, Braves 2

Friday: Dodgers 4, Braves 1

Saturday: Dodgers 5, Braves 1

Sunday: Braves 4, Dodgers 1

The week ahead

The Dodgers return home to run the James Mouton gauntlet, hosting the Brewers for four games and the Astros for a three-game weekend World Series reunion. As always, the rotation for next weekend is a guestimate.

Next week’s schedule

Mon, Jul 30 Tue, Jul 31 Wed, Aug 1 Thu, Aug 2 Fri, Aug 3 Sat, Aug 4 Sun, Aug 5
Mon, Jul 30 Tue, Jul 31 Wed, Aug 1 Thu, Aug 2 Fri, Aug 3 Sat, Aug 4 Sun, Aug 5
vs. Brewers vs. Brewers vs. Brewers vs. Brewers vs. Astros vs. Astros vs. Astros
7:10 p.m. 7:10 p.m. 7:10 p.m. 6:10 p.m. 7:10 p.m. 6:10 p.m. 1:10 p.m.
Maeda Buehler Hill Kershaw Wood Stripling Maeda
v. Peralta v. Miley (L) v. Anderson v. Chacin v. Verlander v. McCullers v. Cole
SNLA SNLA/MLBN SNLA SNLA SNLA SNLA/KTLA SNLA

Previous weeks in review: Mar. 29-Apr. 1 | Apr. 2-8 | Apr. 9-15 | Apr. 16-22 | Apr. 23-29 | Apr. 30-May 6 | May 7-13 | May 14-20 | May 21-27 | May 28-Jun 3 | Jun 4-10 | June 11-17 | June 18-24 | June 25-July 1 | July 2-8 | July 9-15 | July 16-22

Stats

Week 18 batting

Player AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO HBP SH SF PA BA OBP SLG OPS BABIP Player
Player AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO HBP SH SF PA BA OBP SLG OPS BABIP Player
Puig 4 2 1 0 0 1 3 0 0 2 2 0 0 1 7 0.250 0.429 1.000 1.429 0.000 Puig
Grandal 24 4 7 0 0 4 6 0 0 3 5 0 0 0 27 0.292 0.370 0.792 1.162 0.200 Grandal
Pederson 27 6 10 4 0 1 3 0 0 1 6 0 0 0 28 0.370 0.393 0.630 1.022 0.450 Pederson
Verdugo 16 4 5 1 0 1 2 0 0 3 1 0 0 0 19 0.313 0.421 0.563 0.984 0.286 Verdugo
Taylor 28 4 9 3 0 1 3 0 0 3 11 0 0 0 31 0.321 0.387 0.536 0.923 0.500 Taylor
Machado 30 2 8 0 1 1 3 1 0 5 11 0 0 0 35 0.267 0.371 0.433 0.805 0.389 Machado
Muncy 24 2 3 0 0 2 4 0 0 3 10 1 0 1 29 0.125 0.241 0.375 0.616 0.077 Muncy
Bellinger 25 3 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 9 1 0 0 29 0.160 0.276 0.160 0.436 0.250 Bellinger
Kemp 20 2 2 0 0 0 2 0 0 5 4 0 0 1 26 0.100 0.269 0.100 0.369 0.118 Kemp
Hernandez 20 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 20 0.100 0.100 0.100 0.200 0.118 Hernandez
Starters 218 30 51 8 1 11 26 1 0 28 62 2 0 3 251 0.234 0.323 0.431 0.754 0.270 Starters
Barnes 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 2 0 0 0 7 0.000 0.429 0.000 0.429 0.000 Barnes
Utley 9 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 10 0.111 0.200 0.111 0.311 0.125 Utley
Forsythe 10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 0 0 0 10 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 Forsythe
Bench 23 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 9 1 0 0 27 0.043 0.185 0.043 0.229 0.071 Bench
Pitchers 11 1 2 0 0 0 3 0 0 3 4 0 3 0 17 0.182 0.357 0.182 0.539 0.286 Pitchers
Offense 252 32 54 8 1 11 29 1 0 34 75 3 3 3 295 0.214 0.312 0.385 0.697 0.254 Offense

Week 19 pitching

Pitcher G GS W L Sv IP H R ER HR BB IBB SO HBP ERA WHIP FIP Pitcher
Pitcher G GS W L Sv IP H R ER HR BB IBB SO HBP ERA WHIP FIP Pitcher
Hill 1 1 1 0 7.0 3 0 0 0 1 0 8 0 0.00 0.571 1.34 Hill
Wood 1 1 1 0 5.7 1 0 0 0 4 1 5 1 0.00 0.882 3.55 Wood
Kershaw 1 1 1 0 7.7 6 1 1 0 0 0 8 1 1.17 0.783 1.50 Kershaw
Maeda 1 1 0 0 7.0 6 4 4 2 0 0 7 0 5.14 0.857 4.91 Maeda
Stripling 2 2 0 1 8.7 14 9 9 4 1 0 11 0 9.35 1.731 7.01 Stripling
Buehler 1 1 0 1 4.7 5 5 5 2 1 1 5 0 9.64 1.286 6.63 Buehler
Starters 7 7 3 2 0 40.7 35 19 19 8 7 2 44 2 4.20 1.033 4.11 Starters
Goeddel 3 0 0 5.0 2 0 0 0 2 0 5 0 0.00 0.800 2.40 Goeddel
Floro 1 0 0 2.3 1 0 0 0 1 0 4 0 0.00 0.857 1.06 Floro
Chargois 3 0 0 1.7 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0.00 0.600 0.80 Chargois
Rosscup 2 0 0 0.3 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0.00 3.000 6.20 Rosscup
Ferguson 2 0 0 4.0 2 1 1 1 0 0 5 0 2.25 0.500 3.95 Ferguson
Jansen 3 0 0 2 4.0 2 1 1 1 1 1 7 0 2.25 0.750 2.95 Jansen
Hudson 4 0 0 4.7 3 2 2 1 0 0 4 0 3.86 0.643 4.27 Hudson
Alexander 3 1 0 2.3 1 1 1 0 1 0 2 0 3.86 0.857 2.77 Alexander
Baez 2 0 0 2.0 2 1 1 0 1 0 2 0 4.50 1.500 2.70 Baez
Hernandez 1 0 1 0.3 1 3 3 1 2 0 0 0 81.00 9.000 60.20 Hernandez
Bullpen 24 0 1 1 2 26.7 15 9 9 4 9 1 32 0 3.04 0.900 3.65 Bullpen
Totals 31 7 4 3 2 67.3 50 28 28 12 16 3 76 2 3.74 0.980 3.93 Totals