Kiké Hernandez Scores Lone Run Against Chicago Cubs

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Chicago Cubs
Jun 1, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Kiké Hernandez provided the first run on the second pitch of last night’s game. You could have turned off the TV at that point and called it a day. “Ah, the Dodgers beat the stupid Cubs.” You would say, “The world, it is right.” Instead, you suffered this game with Tio Piazza Parlor.”Mijo, go grab Tio a beer. It kills the pain of watching this team.”

The common complaint against the team has been the pitching. The Dodgers proved in this series that the pitching has kept the team in games. In fact, it is the pitching that keeps them alive in most games. Mike Bolsinger held the Cubs to two hits and struck out six batters over five innings of work. His command was off early on. Bolsinger hit two batters and gave up two walks. Though he only gave up one home run, it was a two-run jack that sealed the Dodgers fate. They were unable to tack another run on the board.

Pitching Keeping The Boys Alive

According to Fangraphs Leaderboards, the Dodgers rotation boasts the second best WAR in the National League. The starters also rank at least in the top four in ERA, FIP, and xFIP.

Team (ranked by xFIP) ERA FIP xFIP
Dodgers 3.41 3.29 3.41
Mets 3.29 3.10 3.46
Phillies 3.88 3.67 3.49
Nationals 3.08 3.54 3.54
Cubs 2.42 3.10 3.54

Sadly, the offense is lagging behind. Through the first few days of June, the Dodgers rank in the bottom five in wRC+. Here are the rankings according to Fangraphs.

Team (ranked by wRC+) AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+
Pirates .288 .362 .445 .349 121
Cardinals .274 .349 .471 .351 121
Cubs .265 .366 .439 .350 118
Giants .268 .344 .415 .328 111
Marlins .283 .342 .431 .333 107
Diamondbacks .271 .336 .452 .338 106
Rockies .285 .342 .483 .353 103
Mets .237 .314 .420 .318 102
Nationals .248 .327 .426 .323 100
Brewers .251 .337 .411 .326 99
Dodgers .245 .320 .387 .309 95
Reds .241 .296 .415 .305 86
Padres .232 .291 .378 .289 82
Phillies .237 .293 .370 .287 76
Braves .236 .304 .325 .278 71

Yikes! Being in the same company as the Reds, Padres, Phillies, and Braves is like sitting in the back of the class with the kids that eat paste.

If there is any silver lining to today’s loss, the Giants also lost. The Dodgers remain a game above .500 and still sit 4.5 games out of first place.

Tomorrow’s notes

Julio Urias will make his second start of the season. This gives Kenta Maeda an additional rest day. Urias’s first start was against the Mets. In that game, the young phenom pitched 2.2 innings but gave up three runs before being pulled. He will face an equally tough Cubs team tomorrow and will need all the run support he can get.

Dodgers vs Cardinals: Game 4 of the NLCS

All signs point to Nolasco getting the start tonight. Whether it’s the lights out Nolasco we saw against the Cubs and Red Sox earlier in the season or the disastrous mess we witnessed against San Francisco and Arizona remains to be seen. 

Going into last night’s game, I was anxious. I was nervous for the Dodgers and for Hyun-Jin Ryu. I was nervous about the offense not showing up. When it was announced that Hanley Ramirez AND Andre Ethier were starting, I was concerned for their safety and long-term health. But something happened. Ryu pitched brilliantly, Ramirez and Ethier are now etched in Dodgers lore. And I’d like to think it’s because of the unsung hero of last night’s game. #ManBear

I don’t want to know what last night’s game would have been like without him. Will we ever know who this masked crusader is? Probably not. Is this the last we see of #ManBear (or #RallyBear, maybe #ManBearPuig?) No. The Dodgers don’t have a need for a mascot. But the mainstays that the postseason tends to bring are weird – rally monkey, anyone? – and if this is one thing that comes around during an extended Dodgers season, I’ll be okay with it. He’s the hero LA needs, but not the hero it deserves.