The 2017 Bill James Handbook is on shelves now. It’s 609 pages of facts, figures and other quantitative observations from the most recent baseball season. I’m always amazed at how quickly anyone can publish such massive amounts of data, let alone sort them and analyze them into something digestable.
Between tracking down Kenley Jansen contract details, I attempted to make the BJH even more digestable for Dodger fans. Here are 10 things that either I didn’t know, or didn’t know with nearly the same precision, before reading the book:
First baseman Adrian Gonzalez was the only Dodgers player listed among the confirmed participants in the 2017 World Baseball Classic, released Monday by MLB. Gonzalez has played for Team Mexico every year a WBC has been staged. His brother, Edgar, is the manager.
Mexico is in a pool with Italy, Venezuela and Puerto Rico, and has the advantage of beginning pool play on home soil. The WBC begins March 7 and concludes with the semifinals and championship game at Dodger Stadium, March 20-22.
For the complete tournament bracket, click here.
Elana Morales polishes the giant Tommy Lasorda replica championship ring at Dodger Stadium before the start of Game 4 of the National League Championship Series. (Stephen Carr/Staff photographer)
The Dodgers are facing Chicago Cubs pitcher Jon Lester today for the second time in less than a week. Manager Dave Roberts brought back the same starting nine from Game 1, but shook up the batting order.
Carlos Ruiz is batting cleanup for the first time since May. Adrian Gonzalez is batting sixth for the first time since June 16, 2012 — when he started in right field for the Boston Red Sox.
“It’s the same eight guys, but as far as where to put guys, it’s a little bit of a Lester thing, a little bit of a left-handed thing,” Roberts said. “Four-five-six, there’s going to be some opportunities there. Those three guys, I feel good to drive in a run.”
Here are the complete lineups for both teams:
Home plate umpire Angel Hernandez calls out Adrian Gonzalez (right) at home plate after Willson Contreras (left) tagged him in the second inning of the Dodgers’ 10-2 loss to the Chicago Cubs. (Keith Birmingham/Staff photographer)
The Chicago Cubs, scoreless in Games 2 and 3 of the National League Championship Series, unloaded on the hapless Dodgers in a 10-2 win in Game 4.
The box score is here. The photo gallery is here.
Cubs starter John Lackey, 38, got the better of 20-year-old Julio Urias, writes Mark Whicker. Anthony Rizzo and Addison Russell keyed the Cubs’ attack. The Cubs reminded the Dodgers how quickly things can change, writes columnist Jeff Miller.
Adrian Gonzalez criticized MLB’s replay system after he was called out at home plate in the second inning.
MLB’s director of umpires says accusations of balks — like those lobbied toward Clayton Kershaw and Urias — come with the territory.
Here’s more from Gonzalez after the game:
Adrian Gonzalez hits a home run during the second inning of Game 2 of the National League Championship Series, the only run in the Dodgers’ 1-0 win over the Chicago Cubs. (Associated Press photo)
CHICAGO — Clayton Kershaw kept a remarkable streak alive in the Dodgers’ 1-0 win over the Chicago Cubs in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series on Sunday: The Dodgers haven’t lost a postseason game in which he pitches, and they haven’t won a game in which he doesn’t pitch.
The box score is here.
The photo gallery is here.
Kenley Jansen answered questions about his stamina by recording a six-out save.
In today’s notebook: Andre Ethier might step in against (more) left-handed pitchers in the series, and Adrian Gonzalez didn’t lament the Dodgers not staying at Donald Trump’s hotel in Chicago.