CINCINNATI – No team loses more impressive starting pitches than the Los Angeles Dodgers. But no team has performed so consistently. Blue is a part of life.
Manager Dave Roberts said here before the game with Cincinnati on Tuesday: “I was at the Sandy Koufax sculpture ceremony last week and he said he had a lot of game legacy with the Dodgers when you wore that uniform.” Reds. “I believe the bar is very high when Clayton Kershaw is here. Thus, the expectations are higher for us when we take the mound. ”
Kershaw, who missed several weeks with a back injury, returned to continue his march to the Hall of Fame. The goals around him continue to change, but the results remain the same. Although the Dodgers’ start-ups missed a decorated five-man rotation from 2021, they led the main leaders by an average of 2.62 in the run until Wednesday.
At various points last season, the Dodgers hired Max Scherzer, Trevor Bauer, Walker Buehler, David Price and Dustin May. These pitchers made 77 starts for the team that closed the franchise record with 106 wins. They all went out of rotation.
Scherzer signed a contract with the Mets. Bauer was banned from football for two years in April for violating baseball’s domestic violence policy. Buehler underwent elbow surgery this month due to a sprained ankle, and his return is uncertain. The price is average. May Tommy John recovers after surgery.
For the Dodgers, this is just an opportunity for others to shine. Tony Gonsolin and Tyler Anderson combined 17-0 to help keep the team at the top of the Western National League in a virtual draw with San Diego. Both starters could be All-Star for the first time next month.
“I don’t think they ever write anything here,” said Anderson, who left four years with the Dodgers six years later and won an average of 4.62. “Some teams don’t like to try new things if you try something. However, they are not afraid to try new things here – they also know how to eliminate things that do not work. ”
Anderson, who signed a one-year contract for $ 8 million, changed his best pitch. According to Fangraphs, he is currently the slowest among qualified NL pitchers, helping him play his usual fastball at 79.2 miles per hour.
Gonsolin has worked together to score more shots this season and has used his splitter more than any other NL starter. Teams have been reluctant to use pitches since the best of the 1980s for fear of injury. But Roberts believes the splitter should return – and Gonsolin could demonstrate it when he starts the All-Star Game at home next month.
“It would be great,” Gonsolin, who was selected for the Dodgers’ ninth round in 2016, said. “It would be great to have him at Dodger Stadium. It would be great to be a part of that environment, and if that happens, to have this opportunity.”
Andrew Heaney, who returned from a shoulder injury last weekend and refused to change, has a 0.59 ERA with 23 shots and four walks in three starts. Heaney signed a one-year, $ 8.5 million contract after fighting for the Angels and Yankees last season.
“Throw your best pitches more often,” Heaney said. “It makes a lot of sense to me.”
Heaney, like Anderson, had an intermediate level of experience for many teams; In eight seasons, his ERA was 4.72. Yency Almonte, an installation worker with his fourth organization, succeeded by emphasizing sinkers on four seamstresses. Another rescuer, Evan Phillips, had a 7.26 ERA for three teams and received a 2.43 mark after the Dodgers claimed they gave it up last August.
“We still have to compete; It’s not like we’re getting closer to the Dodgers, and they’re throwing a little bit of fairytale dust at us, and all of a sudden we’re like ourselves, “said Phillips. When you are surrounded by all the Stars from left to right, it lifts everyone up. ”
Kershaw, 34, finished last season on the injury list, but returned a year and $ 17 million. He has 15 seasons at the Dodgers long enough to witness their return to their last defeat record (80-82 in 2010) and the return to the pitching advantage that defined Koufax’s dominance in the 1960s.
“The Dodgers are doing a good job of finding out what you’re doing well and making the most of it,” Kershaw said. “There are certain organizations that perform very well. We are one of them. Cleveland is one of them. Tampa Bay is one of them. I think everyone does it a little differently, but it seems that the Dodgers find someone’s power that is not visible on paper, but if you dig a little, you will see that this person has a certain skill.
This is the sixth consecutive season in which the Dodgers had the lowest ERA in the NL at 2.90 as of Wednesday. Heaney said the merger between departments in the team’s extensive training and front office structure has made it easier to make changes.
“There’s an openness to being able to say, ‘Let’s try something different,’ and the kids aren’t worried about it,” Heaney said.
General Manager Brandon Gomes spoke for Tampa Bay in 2014 under Andrew Friedman, who left to head the Dodgers’ baseball operations department. Gomes said the raw data hasn’t changed much since he played, but the teams have found more ways to apply it.
The old idea that players usually follow established patterns – as they say, will play behind baseball cards – is no longer applicable.
“There are different ways to develop players, not just in small leagues,” Gomes said. “The development of big league players is also going on.”
The Dodgers could have added more depth in the second half, with May, Danny Duffy, Tommy Kahnle and Blake Treinen likely returning from various injuries. The Dodgers are spending $ 6.725 million together this season on Duffy and Kahnle, and if none of them return, they could allow gambling. Their bets on Heaney, and Anderson in particular, are already paying off.
Such a portfolio distinguishes the Dodgers. According to Spotrac, the team has a salary of about $ 260 million, for the richest of the Mets.
“Between how well they find guys in a difficult situation and their ability to spend money – at the end of the day, if you spend money, you get good players, and good players win games,” Kershaw said. “I don’t care if every team thinks about how to do it, your good team is like that, it’s about being able to do it. If you do not intend to spend money, you can spend a good year or two. But you have to have good players and good players cost money.
The Dodgers’ big spending is most important for players like Kershaw, Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, Trea Turner and others. However, their success in training players in key specialties can save their seasons.