Results tagged ‘ Joe Blanton ’

Video: Who was the most underrated Dodger in 2016?

By Jon Weisman

Late in October on Twitter, I asked folks whom they would pick for the most underrated Dodger of 2016.

It was a doubly subjective exercise, integrating not only your own perception of Dodger players but your belief in how others feel as well.

From the dozen or so nominees, I picked out the four with the most mentions and put them in a decidedly unscientific poll, narrowly won by Joe Blanton.

Blanton was a fine choice, but my own vote went to Joc Pederson. In the video above (edited and produced for Dodger Insider by Julian Gooden) I explain why. Enjoy …

Cubs’ comeback a model for Dodgers in NLCS

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

“Well, we’re working the at-bats,” said the manager. “Obviously we’re looking for more results. We did attempt to shake it up a little bit, and obviously didn’t play very well. But, listen, I’ve got a lot of faith in our guys. It’s a difficult moment to be in … you have to fight through some pretty stringent adversity. But that’s how this thing works sometimes. Again, from my perspective, there is nothing differently to do, except to really come out tomorrow with the right mental attitude, and that’s our best weapon, I think.”

That was Cubs manager Joe Maddon after Chicago lost Games 2 and 3 of the National League Championship Series, and it’s no different in substance from what Dave Roberts said after the Dodgers’ Game 5 loss.

While the Cubs had breathing room that the Dodgers now lack when Maddon made that statement, it was the steadying approach — the choice of poise over panic — that said it all. Given a chance to rebound, the guys who weren’t producing did just that.

As the Dodgers head to Chicago to save a dream, it’s worth keeping this in mind. This is the team that rallied from eight games back in the NL West, the team that rallied from a 2-1 deficit in the National League Division Series, the team that, up to now, has won every must-win game it has faced.

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After NLCS Game 5 defeat, it’s Kershaw and Hill again and pray for reign

hill-kershaw-3jo_8572

By Jon Weisman

The earth spins, seven days of suns rise and set, and here we are once more.

Two wins needed for land. Two games to do it, with two prime captains in Clayton Kershaw and Rich Hill.

That’s the map of the world for the Dodgers, who find themselves back in the strait between exhilaration and elimination after losing Game 5 of the National League Championship Series tonight to the Cubs, 8-4.

Barely a week ago, Kershaw and Hill (with a large dose of Kenley Jansen and others) rescued the Dodgers’ title raft in the National League Division Series against Washington. Following two more victories in NLCS Games 2 and 3 against the Cubs, the Dodgers will look to circumvent their Game 4-5 losses and complete a happy repeat.

To continue scavenging sea and sky for good omens, know that those two wins followed an 8-4 Game 1 loss that played out similarly to Game 5, even to the final score. Tonight, the Dodgers fell behind early, tied the game — then watched that tie broken thanks to a home run off the previously stalwart Joe Blanton. There was even another late five-run eighth inning to ride out, and an even later short-lived comeback attempt.

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Dodgers face their biggest pitching decision of season

Photo by Jon SooHoo/©Los Angeles Dodgers,LLC 2016

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Cary Osborne

There were roughly 10 minutes between the end of the Dodgers’ 8-3 loss to the Nationals in Game 3 of the National League Division Series and Dave Roberts’ arrival in the interview room at Dodger Stadium.

The second question he was asked was about his Game 4 starter. He didn’t name one.

Rightfully so.

Whomever he goes with — the ace Clayton Kershaw on three days’ rest, or the rookie Julio Urías — will have a domino effect on the entire pitching staff.

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Roberts went for early knockout with Jansen

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Cary Osborne

With all the second-guessing and debates already in this postseason about back-end bullpen usage (re: Zach Britton, Jeurys Familia and Andrew Miller), Dave Roberts didn’t shy away from risk.

In the eighth inning, the Dodger manager moved aggressively, asking Kenley Jansen to get five outs and protect the Dodgers’ 4-3 lead — only the third time in his career Jansen had been asked to get five outs and the first time in his 11 postseason appearances. And it worked.

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Dodger bullpen runs deep heading into NLDS

Kenley Jansen and Joe Blanton (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Kenley Jansen and Joe Blanton (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Dodgers
Chase Utley, 2B
Corey Seager, SS
Justin Turner, 3B
Adrián González, 1B
Josh Reddick, RF
Joc Pederson, CF
Yasmani Grandal, C
Andrew Toles, LF
Clayton Kershaw, P
Nationals
Trea Turner, CF
Bryce Harper, RF
Jayson Werth, LF
Daniel Murphy, 2B
Anthony Rendon, 3B
Ryan Zimmerman, 1B
Danny Espinosa, SS
Pedro Severino, C
Max Scherzer P

By Jon Weisman

Any Dodger game that starts with Clayton Kershaw on the mound ideally ends with Clayton Kershaw on the mound.

But with seven relievers who have performed strongly down the stretch, the Dodgers can be as aggressive with their playoff bullpen as they have been in years.

Of the six relievers the Dodgers would use to preserve a lead, none had a September ERA higher than 2.00, and only Joe Blanton had a September WHIP above 1.03.

Kenley Jansen, of course, is the primary candidate for the ninth inning, and if necessary could be drawn into the eighth inning. This year, Jansen entered six games in the eighth and saved five of them.

In the set-up roles, the Dodgers can mix and match righties Joe Blanton, Pedro Báez and Josh Fields with lefties Grant Dayton and Luis Avilán, with Ross Stripling held back for extra innings.

That means even if Kershaw only goes six innings, the Dodgers could go batter-to-batter against a Washington starting lineup that goes R-L-R-L-R at the top.

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Beyond Sunday, Urías has been good for a while

Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

By Cary Osborne

Even with the sky was supposedly falling on the Dodgers again, 20-year-old Julio Urías was never rattled. He never showed any emotion. And he never gave in to the hot Cincinnati Reds on Sunday.

Urías, with the Dodgers obviously needing a strong start after back-to-back short outings from Bud Norris and Brett Anderson, came through with likely the best game of his young career.

The left-hander went six innings, allowed six hits and struck out six while allowing no walks and no runs in the Dodgers’ 4-0 win in Cincinnati, breaking their three-game losing streak.

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Joe Blanton returns, Luis Avilan optioned

ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS VS LOS ANGELES DODGERS

Pirates at Dodgers, 7:10 p.m.
Chase Utley, 2B
Corey Seager, SS
Justin Turner, 3B
Josh Reddick, RF
Adrián González, 1B
Yasmani Grandal, C
Joc Pederson, CF
Howie Kendrick, LF
Ross Stripling, P

By Jon Weisman

Right-hander Joe Blanton has been reinstated from bereavement leave to the active roster by the Dodgers, who have optioned left-hander Luis Avilan.

Blanton (2.64 ERA, 0.88 WHIP) leads the Dodgers with 54 games and 58 relief innings, but he has been away from the team since Monday.

Avilan has a 5.91 ERA and 1.41 WHIP after allowing three runs while facing four batters in the Dodgers’ 8-5 victory Sunday over Boston. He didn’t pitch in the recently completed Phillies series.

The Dodger bullpen now goes back to having two lefties in J.P. Howell and Grant Dayton. Julio Urías, who turned 20 today, is potentially a third lefty if he isn’t needed in the starting rotation this weekend. Adam Liberatore is eligible to come off the disabled list Sunday.

With Joe Blanton on bereavement leave, Josh Ravin recalled

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Phillies at Dodgers, 7:10 p.m.
Chase Utley, 2B
Corey Seager, SS
Justin Turner, 3B
Josh Reddick, RF
Adrián González, 1B
Yasmani Grandal, C
Joc Pederson, CF
Rob Segedin, LF
Julio Urías, P

By Jon Weisman

Josh Ravin has been called up from Triple-A Oklahoma City by the Dodgers, taking the place of Joe Blanton, who has been placed on the bereavement list.

The 28-year-old Ravin began the season on the disabled list after breaking his left forearm in a Leap Day car accident. Before he was ready to be activated, MLB suspended him 80 games after a positive test for a performance-enhancing substance. He was reinstated from the restricted list August 3.

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Kenta Maeda could provide bullpen a save

Screen Shot 2016-07-23 at 2.20.10 PM

Dodgers at Cardinals, 4:15 p.m.
Chase Utley, 2B
Corey Seager, SS
Justin Turner, 3B
Adrián González, 1B
Howie Kendrick, LF
Yasmani Grandal, C
Andrew Toles, RF
Joc Pederson, CF
Kenta Maeda, P

By Cary Osborne

On July 23, the Dodgers could use a July 10 Kenta Maeda.

Maeda went seven innings on July 10 against the San Diego Padres — one of just two times this month when a Dodger starter has completed seven innings (the other being Scott Kazmir’s seven innings on Tuesday).

Today’s callup of Ross Stripling gives a gassed bullpen a much needed long man. Since the All-Star Break, the Dodgers are third in baseball in relief innings — 31 2/3. The last two games, the Dodgers made 15 trips to the bullpen — using seven relievers in Washington on Thursday and eight in last night’s 16-inning 4-3 loss in St. Louis, including starter Bud Norris for 1 1/3 innings.

Here’s the recent timesheet punched by Dodger relievers:

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