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Los Angeles Dodgers

Why The Dodgers Should Consider Bringing Back Chase Utley

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The Los Angeles Dodgers currently do not have an everyday second baseman on their roster. Because of this, it would make sense for the team to re-sign Chase Utley.

Utley, 38, is still a free agent. The six-time All-Star started 118 games at second base for the Dodgers last season and batted .252 with 14 home runs and 52 RBIs. He has not been able to garner much interest from teams this offseason.

This lack of interest has a lot to do with Utley’s age. Teams are not exactly going to jump at the opportunity to sign a 38-year-old second baseman, even if he still does have something left. Judging by what he did last year, Utley can still be a productive player.

Even though the Dodgers had Howie Kendrick on their roster during the 2016 season, it was Utley who saw most of the playing time at second base. Kendrick ended up playing mostly left field and third base for the team. Back in November, the Dodgers traded Kendrick to the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for first baseman/outfielder Darin Ruf and utility player Darnell Sweeney.

If the Dodgers still had Kendrick, it would not make much sense to bring Utley back. However, the team made the decision to trade him, leaving them without a true second baseman on their roster. Earlier in the week, the Dodgers were making a big push to try and acquire slugging second baseman Brian Dozier from the Minnesota Twins. However, trade talks between the two teams have reportedly halted. The Dodgers are running out of time to obtain a new second baseman, as spring training is only a few months away.

At this point, re-signing Utley would be the logical thing to do. He is a guy who is already familiar with the Dodgers. They know that he can still be an everyday second baseman. Utley is a good veteran player that can still get the job done. Also, the Dodgers could use another left-handed power bat in their lineup. Although Utley is not quite the same hitter that he once was with the Phillies, he still has a good amount of power.

It will be interesting to see what Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi and President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman decide to do about their team’s hole at second base. The way things look right now, they are not going to be able to get Dozier. The Dodgers may just have to settle for Utley.

 

Aspring sports broadcaster/writer. Freshman Television-Radio major at Ithaca College. Die-hard Mets, Giants, Nets, and Devils fan.

Arizona Diamondbacks

D’Backs Slugger JD Martinez Goes Deep Four Times Against Dodgers

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Last night was a historic one in LA to say the least, as Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder JD Martinez went deep four times in his team’s 13-0 crushing of the Dodgers.

Arizona’s win marked their 11th in a row. Only the Cleveland Indians (12, active) have a longer winning streak in baseball this season.

Martinez’s 4 for 5, 6 RBI performance marked the 18th four-home run game in Major League history, 16th in the modern era (since 1900), and second this year (Scooter Gennett, June 6).

This is the second time that MLB has seen multiple four-home run games in a season. Mike Cameron and Shawn Green accomplished the rare feat in 2002.

Each home run for Martinez came in consecutive at-bats off a different pitcher. He took starter Rich Hill deep for a two-run shot in the fourth, hit solo dingers in the seventh and eighth off Pedro Baez and Josh Fields, respectively, and finished the feat with a two-run blast off Wilmer Font in the ninth.

Take a look at all four:

Two solo dingers sandwiched between two two-run dingers. Not too shabby!

Here are some notable facts about Martinez’s monster game, per ESPN Stats & Info:

The D’Backs are also now the only franchise in MLB with a perfect game, 20-strikeout game, and four-home run game. The first two are courtesy of a man named Randy Johnson—you may have heard of him.

Martinez, 30, was acquired by the D’Backs from the Detroit Tigers on July 18. In 40 games with Arizona, he’s hitting .257/.337/.688 with 18 homers and 40 RBIs. Overall on the year, he carries a .285/.367/.645 slash line with 34 homers and 79 RBIs.

With a record of 80-58, Arizona leads their division rival Colorado Rockies by 6.5 games for the top spot in the NL Wild Card race.

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Los Angeles Dodgers

Rich Hill Loses No-Hit Bid In The 10th Inning On A Walk-Off Home Run

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Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Rich Hill lost a no-hitter in the most painful way possible on Wednesday night in Pittsburgh. The first hit he allowed was a walk-off home run in the tenth inning.

Hill was on the mound for the Dodgers as they faced the Pittsburgh Pirates in what was the third game of their four-game series. Pirates starter Trevor Williams went toe-to-toe with Hill for the first eight innings. Going into the ninth inning, neither pitcher had given up a run. The major difference between the two was that Hill had yet to allow a baserunner.

The perfect game almost ended in the bottom of the eighth inning when Pirates first baseman Josh Bell hit a hard line drive toward right field. Before it had the chance to land in the outfield for a base hit however, Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley made an unbelievable full-extension catch.

Unfortunately, the Dodgers were unable to give Hill any run support. Despite having a perfect game heading into the ninth inning, he did not have a lead to protect. Hill had 10 strikeouts through eight innings of work. The first batter of the bottom of the ninth inning was Jordy Mercer, and he hit a ground ball toward third base that was bobbled by Logan Forsythe. This untimely error ended Hill’s chances of achieving one of the rarest feats in baseball.

Luckily, Hill retired the next three batters and got out of the ninth inning without allowing a hit. The Dodgers could not get anything going in the top of the tenth inning, so the game remained scoreless. With Hill’s no-hitter still intact, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts did not hesitate to send him back out to the mound. Josh Harrison led off the bottom of the tenth inning. With one swing, he was able to give the Pirates their first hit of the game, as well as their first run. Harrison hit a ball to deep left field that just ended up making it over fence. Dodgers left fielder Curtis Granderson attempted to make a leaping grab and rob Harrison, but he came up short.

Hill lost his no-hitter in one of the most painful ways possible. He had a no-hitter going through the first nine innings, but had to keep pitching because his team could not give him any run support. As per ESPN Stats & Info, Hill is the first MLB pitcher in the last 100 seasons to go at least nine innings and allow one or fewer hits, not give up a walk, and still get a loss.

It is a shame that Hill took a loss after pitching as well as he did. This loss probably will not affect the Dodgers that much in the long run, as they are 89-36 on the season and have a 21-game lead over the Arizona Diamondbacks for first place in the NL West. Hill is the one who will be most impacted by the result of the game, as he will most likely never come this close to a no-hitter ever again. For Hill, this game will always be considered the one that could have been.

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Los Angeles Dodgers

Dodgers Land Yu Darvish From Rangers

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The Los Angeles Dodgers have landed Texas Rangers starting pitcher Yu Darvish, a move that will bolster the Dodgers rotation and provide Darvish a much-needed change of scenery.

It was not immediately known what the Rangers would receive in return for Darvish.

In addition to Darvish, the Dodgers added depth to their bullpen by working out deals for Tony Cingrani and Tony Watson from Cincinnati and Pittsburgh.

The Darvish deal was first reported by Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal and later confirmed by ESPN.

Darvish is 6-9 with a 4.01 ERA his season, his worst in five years in the majors.

 

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