Originally Posted by thekidgriffey24
Dodgers really need to calm down. It's only July and we've been playing without Belt and Pagan. Not to mention the Dodgers haven't won a series against the Giants all season. You guys have like what two wins against the Giants in 3 series.
We are enjoying the decline in bragging and posting from the Giant contingent in the last 24 days...
Glad we were able to catch up considering our offense is inconsistent, we haven't had a SS all year, we have no true CF'er. Hey here we are.
Can the Giants still win? Definitely.
The good thing is that the chest pounding will cease, I'm sure it caused some bruising in April and May.
Summary of how it really happened:Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
THE DODGERS STARTED PLAYING LIKE A TEAM WITH TALENT
Think about some of the reasons the Dodgers were stuck in neutral for so many weeks, and what happened to turn it around, won’t you?
Dee Gordon unslumped himself. I owe the man his own post, but after unsurprisingly being unable to keep up his stellar April (143 wRC+) into May (80), he was basically his April self again in June (145). This is a young player dealing with success for basically the first time, being adjusted to, and adjusting back. This is not chemistry.
Clayton Kershaw had an unbelievable month, and is not Paul Maholm. The Dodgers won all six of Kershaw’s June starts. He had a 61/4 K/BB. He threw what is arguably the greatest game any of us have ever seen. Maholm made seven starts in place of Kershaw and Hyun-jin Ryu. You may be surprised to learn there was some dropoff there. This is also not chemistry.
Matt Kemp sorted himself out. Kemp’s May was dominated by his move to left field, a benching, and a horrendous slump. In June, he hit .320/.380/.526, which is pretty damn close to “the old Matt Kemp.” This might be chemistry, somehow, in a minor way, but good luck proving it.
The bullpen got better. Probably not unrelated to a healthy rotation that goes deep into games rather than suffering short starts from Maholm and Red Patterson and Stephen Fife, the bullpen’s June was the best month of the season, seeing a FIP that was 3.41 in April and an ugly 4.23 in May drop to 2.87. The bullpen staffing has been largely unchanged for most of the year. This is also not chemistry.
A.J. Ellis got healthy. While Ellis was rehabbing knee surgery and then a sprained ankle, backups Drew Butera, Tim Federowicz, and Miguel Olivo were routinely terrible, combining to be an enormous drag on the lineup. Ellis, since returning on June 13: .300/.451/.325 This is less “chemistry” than it is “a healthy starter returning to action.”
It’s not like it’s all been perfect, of course. Hanley Ramirez barely plays anymore. Justin Turner got hurt twice. Clint Robinson, Carlos Triunfel, Jamie Romak, and Miguel Rojas have all seen the big leagues. Dan Haren has been awful for most of the last two months, and is my best guess for “guy maybe about to be replaced by Patterson.” Andre Ethier has been less good than he’s been bad. That’s why 11-6 over the last 17 is a pretty good record, and not something absurd like 15-2.
But, okay, fine. Let’s say you did believe the Dodger improvement was about chemistry. The Dodgers haven’t played the Giants at all this month, so how would any of that explain that:
THE GIANTS STOPPED BEING THE BEST TEAM IN BASEBALL
Let’s not be unfair, here. The Giants are a very good team. They’re better than any of us thought they would be, and they’ve largely done it without the benefit of first baseman Brandon Belt, who has been on the disabled list for weeks. They should not be underestimated going forward.
Of course, they were never, ever going to win 105 games. They were going to come back to the pack. Obviously. How was this not obvious? Did you really think that…
Tim Hudson was going to be the best pitcher in baseball all year? That Hudson is even pitching at all this year after Eric Young destroyed his leg last season is close to a miracle. That he’s pitching well is even better. But let’s be realistic, shall we? Through his first 11 starts, he had a BABIP of .240 and an ERA of 1.75. Over his last four starts, it’s .410 and 5.67. The truth is somewhere in between. That’s still a good pitcher. It’s just not an elite one. This is not chemistry either. This is a return to reality.
The bullpen was going be the luckiest unit in baseball all year? In April, the Giants bullpen had a 3.36 FIP and a 2.07 ERA. It doesn’t exactly take a rocket science degree to see that wasn’t going to last. In May, they had the same 3.36 FIP and a 3.02 ERA. Uppance was coming… and in June, that 3.30 FIP turned into a 4.12 ERA. Now, Sergio Romo has lost his job as closer. Luck always evens itself out given enough time. This is not chemistry.
Michael Morse was going to hit like Freddie Freeman all year? Morse is 32, with a 122 wRC+, and had declined precipitously from 2011 to 2012, and again from 2012 to 2013. His wRC+ by month this year: 164, 160, 83. Again, the truth is somewhere in the middle. He was clearly never going to keep up those first two months. This isn’t chemistry. This is reality.
Brandon Hicks was actually going to be a major leaguer? Hicks was a minor league lifer with fewer than 100 MLB plate appearances before the season, but he was pressed into service at second when Marco Scutaro was hurt. In April, he somehow hit .213/.342/.508 with five homers. Since the end of April, he’s hitting .148/.261/.252 and is now riding the bench. This is not chemistry. This is a minor leaguer hitting like a minor leaguer.