Categorized | Mark Timmons

It’s Simple – Win or Go Home!

When I looked at the Dodgers’ roster before the season started, I thought that it was likely Carl Crawford, Mark Ellis and Juan Uribe would be injured or waived before the season was over.  Crawford was injury-prone and aging, Mark Ellis was really old and injured last year and Juan Uribe was just plain crap.

Well, here we are in October and all three players are still playing and all three are critical to this team’s success.   Crawford has hit .308 with 4 HR and 6 RBI in the playoffs and has scored 8 runs.  I’m impressed!  Mark Ellis (#2 Hitter) is hitting .278 and has scored 5 runs while playing flawless defense and Juan Uribe has hit .250 with 2 HR and 7 RBI while playing Gold-Glove Defense.

Add in AJ Ellis (future Dodger manager) who is OPS’ing .1.013 while hitting at the bottom of the order has been clutch (but I have always had confidence in him with the game on the line).  However, Yasiel Puig is still leading the team in batting average at .361 while Hanley Ramirez is OPS’ing .471.  But we can’t forget Adrian Gonzalez who is OPS’ing 1.052 while hitting .343 with 3 HR and 7 RBI to go with 7 runs scored.  So far, A-Gon is the MVP of the playoffs… or maybe co-MVP with Puig and Ramirez.

Game 6 and the Dodgers are behind 2-3, so it is simply “win or go home.”  Simple is good.  There is no room for mis-understanding.  “Just win” is all there is.

Clayton Kershaw has the opportunity to pitch the game of his life on Friday.  I had the opportunity to be there in St. Louis, but my son has a Football game on Friday night and I have never missed one of his games.  Clayton came in second to my son.  Sorry Clayton, but I never gave it a second thought.  My son is the only choice.  I’ll be watching on my I-phone.

Rants and Raves:

  • Don Mattingly extended?  Not a good idea in my opinion. Maybe if his IQ was a little higher…
  • For the record, I don’t think the fastball in the ribs of Hanley Ramirez was accidental.  Of course, Kelly wasn’t trying to break his rib, but if I were manager I would have drilled Beltran with a reliever just to make a statement.  That’s one reason why I am not a Mattingly supporter.  A couple of years ago, a guy shot the clerk at a gun shop in Indianapolis and the cleck pulled his gun and killed him.  The owner of the gun store (Don’s Guns) said ” If you shoot us, we’ll shoot you back.”  That is my policy in baseball, just to make sure the other team knows the consequences of hitting a Dodger.
  • Scott Van Slyke?  Don Mattingly doesn’t evidently know he is on the roster, which is one of the gripes I have with Donnie.  The Cards play rookies, Donnie doesn’t like to and neither does Ned.
  • Matt Kemp will be shopped this winter.  I guarantee it.
  • Don’t worry about Jansen – he will be lights out next game.
  • I would sit Hanley and Andre in game 6.  Both are hurting and hurting the team.  It’s time to make a bold move.  Here is my lineup for Game 6.  Feel free to disagree.
  1. Young  SS
  2. Ellis  2B
  3. Crawford  LF
  4. Gonzalez  1B
  5. Puig  CF
  6. Uribe  3B
  7. Van Slyke  RF
  8. Ellis  C
  9. Kershaw  P



About Mark Timmons

When you see the invisible, you can do the impossible!

27 Responses to “It’s Simple – Win or Go Home!”

  1. Pete M. says:

    You think at times Puig is a ‘E’ coupon ride in RF!?! Have you seen him in CF???
    Don’t get me wrong I like SVS and think he s/b p.h.’g…
    AGon’s explosions, Puig’s celebrations and Hanley’s ICU… Thats all good… Better than the AZ team demeanor, but I always preferred pointing to or just quietly saying SCOREBOARD!!!
    I for one am happy Donnie is coming back, but I would prefer his bench coach be Wallach.

  2. Watford Dodger says:

    With you on most of that Mark and had exactly the same feeling about Hanley & SVS while watching the game last night. However not sure I would be brave enough to do it. The line up without those two in it looks so punch less and without a natural CF it means the double play king (Schumaker) would play. Can’t have that. Maybe just Punto for Hanley as I’m worried about Hanley being able to throw properly. Maybe keep him on the bench and see if we have to throw him on if things are looking bad. However please Donnie put SVS in to PH ahead of all the other weak hitters. Don’t think Young has played enough SS to risk him.
    You are correct about Hanley being hit on purpose and about no retaliation coming and I said the same last night – should have pinned one of their’s immediately.
    We are still in it and they won’t be looking forward to these next two games.
    Molina looked spent last night. We have some guys – Crawford, Agon, AJ & Puig in good form & Kershaw on the mound against their young flame thrower – let’s see how he gets on now the heat is on him. Won’t have had this pressure before.
    By the way – hope we resign Brian Wilson. Love him.

  3. Watford Dodger says:

    Sorry meant to say Hanley & Ethier at the top of that.

  4. MJRod55 says:

    I like your line up Mark… it’s a risk/reward line up for sure. But with Clayton on the mound, if Young doesnt produce in his first couple of at bats I would but Punto in for defense up the middle. Here’s hoping Mattingly doesn’t use Schumacher Friday.

  5. Roger Dodger says:

    Young used to be a really nice SS, but some years ago before he was moved to 2nd base then 3rd base then 1st base (I believe)

    I would start Gordon and wait for lightening in a pea to start growing . . .

    Cardinal fans probably give game 6 to Kershaw but they know in their hearts that Wainwright will get the 7th game.

  6. Quasimodo says:

    This extra day off is likely all HanRam needs to bring his ‘A’ game tomorrow. Its probably the same thing goes with Ethier. These Dodgers seem to like moving from the outhouse to the penthouse and do so smelling like a rose. These Dodgers are feared the most of the four remaining teams. Calling Schumaker a double play king is unfair as that crown had been passed all around the team. Kemp being shopped? I surely have doubts about that one. I think Rogers 4 man outfield plan is here to stay. Is it time to puff our chests and pump our fists? Maybe, maybe not. Either way I’ll pound the champagne. CHEERS, friends!

  7. Bobbie17 says:

    This is Kershaw’s second chance at legend status. To become one, he has to win these games, somehow. A lot depends on his team, I know, but for a pitcher, it is all about playoff wins and losses. Should be a great matchup and game. Go Blue.

  8. Bobby says:

    I have zero desire to see Michael Young bat more than ZERO times a game!

    i guarantee Dee or Punto could provide more value, both offensively and defensively, than Young, who has been the most anti clutch guy this playoffs for us.

    Hopefully we borrowed Dr. Gary Vitti from the Lakers and Hanley and Andre will be much healthier tomorrow.

  9. the truth hurts says:

    If Hanley says he can play, Hanley plays….

    Young? I would rather jump off a bridge before the first pitch.

    As we learned earlier, Kershaw pitching does not mean much when we can’t score runs and I would take a 60% Hanley a million times before a 100% Young. Same with Ethier, if he says he can play, he needs to play. Same lineup as Wednesday, please baseball gods.

  10. Gionfriddo says:

    Surprisingly, I have to admit I agree on nearly everything that was posted by Mark.
    Kelly’s pitch in game 1 that broke HanRam’s rib– was it intentional or unintentional? Thats irrelevant in my book. Yes, I know it’s 2013 but I love the unwritten rules of yesteryear. Had Drysdale & Gibson hooked up in game 1 & Gibson had “inadvertently” drilled Tommy Davis what do you think DD would be doing to Lou Brock the following inning? Those old enough to have seen DD know the answer– Brock would have had a welt on his back or ribcage. Sorry, but Beltran needed the same music in game 1….

    Hanley needs to sit– he’s been an unbelievable gamer but he can’t finish his swing. Punto ot Gordon? Not no, but hell no— Young can stilll catch up to good fastballs so he should get the nod. Puig in CF, Van Slyke in RF? Why not, Van Slyke might run into one of Wacha’s fastballs &if he does, Busch won’t hold it… I wouldn’t put Young @ leadoff.
    Crawford, Ellis, Gonzalez, Puig, Uribe, Young, Van Slyke, AJ— get 2 runs & Kershaw will get us to game 7….

  11. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    I don’t believe Hanley was drilled on purpose. Kelly was just trying to pitch him inside, and missed. Could Hanley have been hit on purpose? Of course he could. But I’m not clairvoyant enough to read Kelly’s mind (nor Molina’s or Matheny’s for that matter). And there is no evidence I know of to indicate that the Cardinals engage in that type of stuff.

    If he’s able to play, I play Hanley, and the same for Ethier. Hanley because his bat is critical to the Dodgers if he’s ready to play, and Ethier because he’s seen Wacha and SVS hasn’t. Besides, with all his power, SVS is not a good hitter, and I suspect that Wacha might overmatch him. However, if either Hanley or Ethier can’t play, then I have no problem with Young and SVS.

    I have no problem with Puig playing center, even if Ethier is in the lineup.

    “The Cards play rookies, Donnie doesn’t like to and neither does Ned.” No, the Card play TALENTED rookies, just like Donnie does with Puig, Ryu, and Withrow, and may well have if Jose Dominguez hadn’t been injured. You may think SVS is a talented rookie who will someday start for the Dodgers. I don’t. He is what he is, a 4th outfielder at best (maybe a starter for a sub .500 team, and the emphasis should be on MAYBE).

    I guess that Kemp could be shopped. But which team will take that contract off of the Dodgers hands? And for what? I think Ethier is a more likely candidate to be shopped, again depending on the return and how much of the contract the Dodgers are willing to eat, or how much the other team is willing to pay. If the Dodgers shop Kemp it’s because they think he’s damaged goods, or potentially damaged goods. If so, what team out there is willing to pay anything for damaged goods?

    I do think the Dodgers would be willing to shop Kemp if they could replace him with Giancarlo Stanton (not necessarily in the same deal). But there’s no guarantee that Stanton will be shopped, and no guarantee that the Dodgers could offer the best package if he is. Besides, I think trying to speculate about the offseason is a bit problematical at this early stage before we know exactly what’s going to available in free agency and on the trade market.

  12. DRomo says:

    Lets deal with facts.

    1.The lineup will be the same Friday night. Period.

    2. Van Slyke has come up big time and time again when asked to hit. He has even beaten the Cards in a huge “we need a HR” spot before. Why Donnie won’t use him? I don’t know.

    3. Matt Kemp was coming off a major surgery and was not ready this spring. He tried to gut it out and couldn’t do it. Matt will be back and I would bet any amount of money he will be better than ever. Assuming he isn’t what he was and is healthy and only 80% of what he was would you take him or Ethier as your CF next season? I say stick with Matt.

  13. Badger says:

    Hanley was totally ineffective. If he has not improved, I take Young.

    AJ and Mark are playing well. Can they keep it going for two more games? Crawford, AGon and Puig must come through. If they do, we can win this series. If the Cards shut them down – they likely win. Sure would be nice to see SVS, Punto and Skippy go ape, but I don’t see that happening.

    Me and my two baseball buddy visitors did a study on home plate umps. They were 85% with the strike zone – according to pitch track. Frankly I don’t find that acceptable. But obviously they do.

  14. Quasimodo says:

    Agree Badger, 15% bad is very-very bad where it was used against the key batters. And mix in the fact that making noise about those bad calls can seriously result in great harm by ejection, momentum, outcome and grudges that umpires too often display in the next chance to exercise. If MLBN would do a countdown show on bad umpire calls it would be part 1, then part 2 and so on, and so on, and so on. And its pitch calls that need to be addressed above all else. The pitch grid is quicker than the ump calls. MLB needs to bring this up to speed and there’s really no valid argument against available tech.

  15. Quasimodo says:

    Brooklyn, I have to admit that I’m clueless what that news means. Please shed some light of its importance because I don’t get it.

  16. Badger says:

    We don’t need Castellanos. We have Seager, who is tearing up the AFL at a .214 clip.

    Kid got a ways to go.

  17. Badger says:

    And this DFA further illustrates how useless success at our AAA club is. Castellanos OPS’d over .900 there.

  18. Brooklyn Dodger says:


    The “important news” was written tongue in cheek. In other words, don’t take it seriously.

    Actually Badger, I think success (for hitters, at least) is less than useless. Las Vegas was bad enough, ALBQ is worse. And it’s why you rarely see our top pitching prospects pitch there. The only exceptions I believe are the ones that throw very hard, since breaking balls simply don’t work very well in that place.

  19. Brooklyn Dodger says:


    Take it easy on the kid. It is only 14 ABs. If he had one more hit it would be .286. Then again, after 2.2 and 2.0 innings respectively, Yimi Garcia and Pedro Baez each have an ERA of 0.00. In fact, in 22 ABs, 19 year old Twins prospect Byron Buxton, who was named by Baseball America as the Minor League Player of the Year (.334/.424/.520 with 49 extra base hits, 55 stolen bases, 18 triples and 109 runs) is I believe the consensus best prospect in the game, is hitting only .227.

    Of course, the Dodgers could have taken Michael Wacha instead of Seager. Wacha was taken 19th overall in the draft, with the Dodgers taking Seager 18th overall just in front of him. Of course, we probably have to give that one some time to play out.

    • Badger says:

      I still say the kid has a long way to go. I am not saying he won’t make it.

      Not like us to pass on an arm like Wacha.

  20. HawkeyeDodger says:

    I would have liked to have seen Van Slyke PH when Skip was used in Game 4. It made little sense to me to use Skip that early in the game considering Ethier was a candidate to not finish the game. I would also like to see the Dodgers get a comfortable lead tomorrow then bring in Marmol to drill Beltre, Holliday, or Molina in the ribs. Of course Marmol might miss. I don’t see Kemp going anywhere unless the Dodgers know he was juicing in the past.

  21. Badger says:

    Good points Hawkeye.

    Of the three, I would prefer drilling all of them. But if I HAD to choose…. I would pick all of them.

    Red Sox just won. I don’t like the Sox. If they end up playing the Cards I hope they both lose.

  22. Bill Russell says:

    Today is the day we push this to game 7. Then anything can happen. I saw that Greinke wants the ball for game 7.

  23. Quasimodo says:

    Good morning, friends. Its the big stage again tonight and I’d bet record setting viewers will be tuned in watching. Here’s to that record being broken with a game 7 tomorrow! CHEERS! GO DODGERS!!!!

  24. Watford Dodger says:

    Morning guys. I’m really nervous today. Wasn’t on Wed afternoon when we could have also gone out – but I am today. Maybe because my hopes have been raised. Hope Hanley is honest with Donnie because since the rib he understandably hasn’t looked like getting a hit. We all want him in the team but there is little point if he’s not gonna give us anything either offensively or defensively. Punto is a gamer – put him in. Use Hanley off the bench & the forgotten SVS. Let’s go down fighting not watching strikes over the middle of the plate.

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