Stray Observations From the Dodgers and Giants Series

Stray Observations from the Dodgers and Giants Series
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Writers note: For the first 10 years of my baseball writing career at the old site, and once in a while since, I've done a "three-dot" column as a tribute to Allan Malamud, the late great columnist from the late great Los Angeles Herald-Examiner and the still great Los Angeles Times. Today seemed like a good day for a three-dot, which follows.

The Dodgers are 4-4 against San Francisco and 18-5 against every other opponent. The Giants are 4-4 versus the Dodgers and 11-12 vs. everyone else. That might not matter in the grand scheme of things, but on the other hand it might matter a whole lot...in case the teams meet in the expanded-for-2020 playoffs. Can you say "1951, Bobby Thomson and the shot heard around the world"? Yeah, me neither...

If the Dodgers and Giants do meet in October, a couple boys in blue had better learn how to hit a submariner. Kiké Hernandez, Max Muncy, Joc Pederson and Will Smith are a combined 1-18 lifetime vs. San Francisco's 29-year-old right-handed submariner Tyler Rogers. Rogers sports a 6.07 ERA on the year (and a 9.53 vs. Los Angeles), but the Dodgers blew two chances to beat him Tuesday night in extra innings, with more than one hitter looking foolish in the process.

My buds and I got into a fun little conversation about submariners on Twitter last night. Click around the threads from the tweets below and see if can make any sense of it...

Giants outfielder Mike Yastrzemski had a nice rookie season of 2019, hitting .272/.334/.518, with 21 home runs and 55 RBIs in 371 at bats, but he's taken his game to another level in 2020. Yes, it's a small sample size, but the 30-year-old grandson of Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski is looking like an All-Star in 2020 (if only there was a Midsummer Classic this midsummer). He's at .293/.410/.612, with seven homers and 23 RBIs, leads the National League in at bats (139), triples (3) and walks (23) and leads all of baseball with 29 runs. 

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Grandson Mike Yastrzemski 's two-year 138-game career mark is .277/.353/.540, with 28 homers and 78 RBIs. Beginning as a 21-year-old Boston Red Sox rookie in 1961, grandfather Carl Yastrzemski hit .282/.345/.434, with 30 HR and 174 RBIs in 308 games and 1229 at bats in his first two seasons.

Yaz, who won American League batting title in 1963 (hitting .321), 1967 (.326) and 1968 (.301, in his triple crown season), missed out to the Angels' Alex Johnson in 1970 in a race that was taken out to a fourth percentage point to determine a winner. Yastrzemski hit .3286; Johnson hit .3289...

Tuesday night's hero for San Francisco and another late bloomer, 32-year-old Donovan Solano, was a Dodgers minor leaguer in 2018. In eight games for the rookie Arizona Dodgers and 81 games for AAA-Oklahoma City, Solano hit .327/.360/.458 with four home runs and 46 RBIs. Solano is at .337/.369/.471 with six homers and 41 RBIs in 333 at bats in parts of two seasons as a Giant...

I tweeted the following prior to Tuesday's game:

As of this morning, Los Angeles has six relievers with a WHIP below 1.000, four with better than 10 strikeouts per nine innings and five with an ERA below 1.00. Kenley Jansen has allowed one home run. And I still say there is no jinxing in baseball. No jinxing...

If you read my Monday column, "Pitching is the World's Most Precious Resource. Here's How the Dodgers Protect Theirs," you know how I feel about Dave Roberts babying his young starting pitchers who are not actually babies. I'll just add the tweet below as further fodder...

Enjoying the new extra innings rule, are ya? Yeah, me neither. And I don't know a single savvy baseball fan who is. Which, unfortunately means we have Rob Manfred on the brain at the moment. Never a good thing. I'll be grateful if the commish doesn't try a new twist next season, like having a runner start every extra inning from second base, only instead of running the bases the traditional way, he's to run through the infield over the mound to score (if the pitcher gets in the way and two men collide, play is stopped and the runner's team is awarded the victory). Or starting the 10th inning with two runners on second base, one for each side. At the crack-of-the bat sound effect, each man takes off for home plate, in opposite directions, and the team whose man crosses the plate first wins. Plus, you know, a rover. He's gonna add a rover. Baseball needs a rover, but only to be used in even-numbered extra innings.

With Gavin Lux spending his season at the club's USC alternate training site, utility man Kiké Hernandez is playing more regularly than was anticipated. And it's starting to wear thin. He's hitting .226/.261/.405, with three homers and 11 RBIs. The recent throwing issues -- no, we're not in Steve Sax territory yet -- and five errors in 28 games is something to keep an eye on as well. Or, ya know, L.A. can promote Lux. Or trade for this guy...

At present, the Dodgers' best four starters -- the four who'd best serve the team if the playoffs started today, tomorrow or the next day -- are Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin. At present, the Dodgers rotation goes as follows: Kershaw, Buehler, May, Julio Urias and Ross Stripling...

The 2020 Dodgers lead the 2020 Giants in two-first-names players. San Francisco's lone representative this season is Joey Bart, God bless em. Los Angeles has Scott Alexander, Justin Turner, Chris Taylor, Joe Kelly and Dustin May. If you want to include the front office and general staff -- and I'm not sure that's allowed -- the Giants also have Shane Alexander, Alan Lee and Will Clark. L.A.'s front office and general staff includes Mark Walter, Jerry Turner, Ryan Casey and Nicole Bailey. So there...

The Giants have a principal partner named George Drysdale and another named John Scully. And infielder Tom O'Malley spent the first three years of his career in San Francisco, from 1982-1984...

Vin is auctioning off items from his personal collection of memorabilia. More info here...

Every time I see JT run anywhere on a baseball field, I hold my breath...

And remember, glove conquers all.

Howard Cole has been writing about baseball on the internet since Y2K. Follow him on Twitter.