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Dodgers Week 15: Coasting to the break

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San Diego Padres v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

The Dodgers were rejuvenated once they returned home, but not even the friendly confines of Dodger Stadium could prevent a slide heading into the break.

A pair of walk-off wins against the Diamondbacks and a series-opening garden variety victory over the Padres gave the Dodgers momentum, but then three straight losses to San Diego gave the Dodgers a poor taste heading into the All-Star break.

But even with their first three-game losing streak at home, their first of the year, the club’s play at Dodger Stadium has fueled their march to the top of the standings. The three losses weren’t enough to wrestle the best record in baseball from the Dodgers, the only MLB team with 60 wins.

LA is 37-12 at home, three games better than any other team (the Astros, at 33-14, are second-best), and off to one of their best home starts in franchise history. Their current winning percentage at home (.755) trails only the mighty 1953 Brooklyn squad, who was an unreal 60-17 (.779) at Ebbets Field, and if we extend before the modern era, they also trail the 1899 Brooklyn Superbas, who were 61-16 (.792) at Washington Park. Through 49 home games, this year’s team trails only those two Brooklyn teams and the 2017 Dodgers.

Best 49-game home starts, Dodgers

Year City 49-game start Final home record
Year City 49-game start Final home record
1899 Brooklyn 39-10 (.796) 61-16 (.792)
1953 Brooklyn 38-11 (.776) 60-17 (.779)
2017 Los Angeles 38-11 (.776) 57-24 (.704)
1942 Brooklyn 37-12 (.755) 57-22 (.722)
2019 Los Angeles 37-12 (.755) TBD
1946 Brooklyn 36-13 (.735) 56-22 (.718)
1955 Brooklyn 36-13 (.735) 56-21 (.727)

The 2017 season was so bizarre in many respects, but one of my favorite nuggets about that team was that they hold the records for both home wins in Los Angeles (57) and the longest home losing streak (9) since moving to LA.

In 2009 the Dodgers opened the season with a record 13 straight home wins but even that hot start got them just to 33-16 through 49 home games and a 50-31 mark at Dodger Stadium.

The 2019 Dodgers are on pace for 61 home wins, which seems much more like the record of an elite NBA team rather than an MLB squad. But their success at Dodger Stadium isn’t new. It’s been a running theme now in its fifth season.

Since the start of the 2015 season the Dodgers have won roughly two-thirds of their games at Dodger Stadium (.660 winning percentage), and their 247 home wins during that span are 13 more than the next-best team (Cubs).

Now after these four days off during the All-Star break the Dodgers have a challenge, with 38 road games remaining on the schedule and just 32 at home. But they have used their home dominance to create a cushion, 5½ games clear of the second-best record in the National League (the 54-37 Braves) and an insurmountable 13½-game lead in the NL West.

Batter of the week

Cody Bellinger provided the thunder earlier in the week, hitting three home runs in two games to make him the first Dodger ever with 30 home runs before the All-Star break. Bellinger also hit a walk-off shot on Wednesday against Arizona, giving the Dodgers a franchise-best five consecutive walk-off wins at Dodger Stadium.

Pitcher of the week

Sure, Hyun-jin Ryu did the unthinkable with three whole walks in his start on Thursday, but he also tossed six scoreless innings against San Diego. Ryu heads into the break with a 1.73 and 99 strikeouts against only 10 walks, and 10 wins. His ERA at Dodger Stadium is 0.85, and even if you penalize Ryu and count his four home unearned runs against him, the home ERA would be 1.41. The horror.

Honorable mention goes to J.T. Chargois, who struck out seven of the eight batters he faced in relief.

Week 15 results

3-3 record
21 runs scored (3.50 per game)
20 runs allowed (3.33 per game)
.522 pythagorean record

Season to date

60-32 record
480 runs scored (5.22 per game)
351 runs allowed (3.82 per game)
.639 pythagorean record (59-33)

Miscellany

UnBBelievable: Down a run with two outs in the ninth inning on Tuesday against Arizona, Chris Taylor fell behind 0-2 against D-backs closer Greg Holland, one strike from defeat. Then the next five batters walked, four against Holland. Twenty of 26 pitches were out of the strike zone, including the final walk from T.J. McFarland to Cody Bellinger. It was not only the fourth of five consecutive Dodgers’ walk-off victories at Dodger Stadium, but it was the first time in the live ball era that a team ended a game with five straight walks.

Even more unBBelievable: Hyun-jin Ryu walked a whopping three Padres on Thursday, the first time all season he walked more than one. Counting the postseason, Ryu hadn’t walked three batters in a game since Apr. 21, 2018, 32 starts ago. Even more shocking was that two of those walks — Wil Myers in the second inning, Manny Machado in the sixth — took just four pitches, Ryu’s first regular season walks on four pitches since facing Jake Lamb on Apr. 2, 2018, 31 starts ago. Ryu did walk Ryan Bruan on four pitches in Game 6 of the 2018 NLCS, which was 17 starts back. Ryu has had just ten 3-0 counts in 347 batters faced in 2019.

Crowded plane to Cleveland: In addition to the initial four Dodgers named to the All-Star roster, last week saw Max Muncy named an All-Star for the first time — replacing Anthony Rendon — and had Joc Pederson named to the Home Run Derby, an event in which he finished second as a rookie in 2015. Factor in NL manager Dave Roberts, coach Dino Ebel who will pitch to Pederson on Monday, and seven other coaches, that’s a whopping 15 Dodgers uniformed personnel headed to the midsummer classic.

A rarity: Clayton Kershaw struck out a season-high nine in his seven innings on Friday, but left in a tie game that was eventually won by San Diego. It snapped a string of 16 straight Dodgers wins over the Padres in Clayton Kershaw starts, with his previous last loss to San Diego on June 21, 2013. Kershaw in his career has a 2.00 ERA in 37 career starts against the Padres, and the Dodgers are 28-9 in those starts.

Like father, like son: Padres rookie shortstop sensation Fernando Tatis Jr. didn’t score from third base on an infield fly over the weekend, but he did score four runs, including two homers on Sunday. That marks the second time a Fernando Tatis has hit two home runs in a game at Dodger Stadium. The elder Tatis had the more famous game, hitting a pair of grand slams in the same inning and off the same pitcher, Chan Ho Park on Apr. 23, 1999.

Transactions

Monday: Josh Sborz was activated from the injured list on his first day eligible, and promptly optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Wednesday: The Dodgers added reliever depth in acquiring Casey Sadler from the Rays in exchange for 2017 draftee Nathan Witt, 23-year-old right-hander who was with Class-A Great Lakes. Sadler with his wife and infant daughter live in a camper during the minor league season so the family can be together often, and in April when he was called up to the Rays, Sadler and his wife made the 15-hour drive to Tampa Bay. The Dodgers optioned Sadler, who turns 29 this week, to Triple-A Oklahoma City.

To make room on the 40-man roster, the Dodgers transferred Rich Hill to the 60-day injured list. We already knew Hill and his strained left flexor tendon would be out for a long while, but this move means that the left-hander can’t return to the active major league roster before Aug. 19 at the earliest. Dave Roberts intimated last week that it was unlikely Hill would be activated before rosters expand in September.

Thursday: Will Smith, who was optioned to Triple-A on June 26 but didn’t play for Oklahoma City since, was instead placed on the major league injured list with a right oblique strain, retroactive to June 25. That will accrue major league service time for Smith, rather than him toiling in the minors.

Game results

Stats

Week 15 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
Bellinger 23 3 5 1 0 3 4 0 0 2 5 1 0 0 26 0.217 0.308 0.652 0.960 0.133 Bellinger
Taylor 20 2 6 0 1 0 2 1 0 3 7 0 0 1 24 0.300 0.375 0.400 0.775 0.429 Taylor
Hernandez 19 2 5 1 0 1 2 0 0 0 4 0 0 0 19 0.263 0.263 0.474 0.737 0.286 Hernandez
Beaty 15 2 4 1 0 0 2 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 16 0.267 0.313 0.333 0.646 0.286 Beaty
Muncy 22 4 3 0 0 2 3 0 0 1 8 1 0 0 24 0.136 0.208 0.409 0.617 0.083 Muncy
Pederson 16 0 3 1 0 0 2 0 0 2 4 1 0 0 19 0.188 0.316 0.250 0.566 0.250 Pederson
Verdugo 23 2 5 2 0 0 2 0 0 1 2 0 0 1 25 0.217 0.240 0.304 0.544 0.227 Verdugo
Barnes 13 2 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 13 0.231 0.231 0.308 0.538 0.273 Barnes
Turner 17 1 3 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 5 0 0 0 17 0.176 0.176 0.353 0.529 0.182 Turner
Starters 168 18 37 7 1 7 18 1 0 10 38 3 0 2 183 0.220 0.273 0.399 0.672 0.240 Starters
Rios 6 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 2 0 0 0 8 0.167 0.375 0.333 0.708 0.250 Rios
Martin 6 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 1 1 0 0 10 0.167 0.500 0.167 0.667 0.200 Martin
Garlick 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 7 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 Garlick
Bench 19 3 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 5 6 1 0 0 25 0.105 0.320 0.158 0.478 0.154 Bench
Pitchers 10 0 3 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 5 0 1 0 11 0.300 0.300 0.300 0.600 0.600 Pitchers
Offense 197 21 42 8 1 7 20 1 0 15 49 4 1 2 219 0.213 0.280 0.371 0.650 0.245 Offense

Week 15 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
Ryu 1 1 1 0 6.0 3 0 0 0 3 0 5 0 0.00 1.000 3.03 Ryu
Kershaw 1 1 0 0 7.0 5 2 1 0 1 0 9 1 1.29 0.857 1.49 Kershaw
Maeda 1 1 0 1 7.7 4 3 3 2 1 0 6 1 3.52 0.652 5.81 Maeda
Buehler 1 1 0 0 7.0 9 3 3 1 0 0 9 0 3.86 1.286 2.49 Buehler
Stripling 2 2 0 1 9.0 13 8 8 3 2 0 10 0 8.00 1.667 5.98 Stripling
Starters 6 6 1 2 0 36.7 34 16 15 6 7 0 39 2 3.68 1.118 3.94 Starters
Kelly 3 1 0 3.3 0 0 0 0 1 0 5 1 0.00 0.300 2.00 Kelly
Floro 3 0 0 3.0 1 0 0 0 1 1 4 0 0.00 0.667 0.53 Floro
Chargois 2 0 0 2.7 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 0 0.00 0.000 -2.05 Chargois
Urias 1 0 0 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0.00 0.000 -0.80 Urias
Rosscup 2 0 0 0.7 2 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.00 3.000 0.20 Rosscup
Garcia 2 1 1 3.0 1 1 1 1 0 0 3 0 3.00 0.333 5.53 Garcia
Baez 3 0 0 2.7 2 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 3.38 0.750 7.33 Baez
Jansen 2 0 0 2.0 1 1 1 1 0 0 2 0 4.50 0.500 7.70 Jansen
Bullpen 18 0 2 1 0 18.3 7 4 3 3 2 1 25 1 1.47 0.491 2.93 Bullpen
Totals 24 6 3 3 0 55.0 41 20 18 9 9 1 64 3 2.95 0.909 3.60 Totals

Previous weeks in review: Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8 | Week 9 | Week 10 | Week 11 | Week 12 | Week 13 | Week 14

The week ahead

The All-Star break is here, with four days off for the bulk of the team, save Dave Roberts, Cody Bellinger and the three starting pitchers. Factoring in Tuesday’s game in Cleveland followed by a weekend series at Fenway Park — the Dodgers’ first regular season trip to Boston since 2010 — this week is the Jack Brohamer gauntlet. This marks the second season in a row in interleague play the Dodgers have faced their World Series opponent from the previous year.

Week 16 schedule

Mon, Jul 8 Tue, Jul 9 Wed, Jul 10 Thu, Jul 11 Fri, Jul 12 Sat, Jul 13 Sun, Jul 14
Mon, Jul 8 Tue, Jul 9 Wed, Jul 10 Thu, Jul 11 Fri, Jul 12 Sat, Jul 13 Sun, Jul 14
HR Derby All-Star Game Break Break at Red Sox at Red Sox at Red Sox
5 p.m. 5 p.m. 4:10 p.m. 4:15 p.m. 4:05 p.m.
Pederson v. Ryu v. TBD v. TBD v. TBD v.
Bregman, et al Verlander Rodriguez (L) Sale (L) Price (L)
ESPN Fox SNLA Fox ESPN