Conversations with the enemy: Giants-Dodgers Q&A with Scott Andes of Lasorda’s Lair


The Giants and Dodgers square off Tuesday night in their first matchup of the 2015 season. Despite occupying opposite ends of the National League West standings, this series should be a competitive one. They don’t call it a rivalry for nothing!

To get a better idea of the 2015 Dodgers heading into this series, Scott Andes of Lasorda’s Lair and I got together to answer a handful of burning questions for one another. Here is what he had to say (with minor edits for concision):

Note: You can see my answers to his questions by clicking here

Me: What has been the key ingredient to the Dodgers getting off to such a hot start? Realistically, do you see them maintaining a firm grip on first place all season?

Scott: The biggest thing for the Dodgers so far this year has been their incredibly consistent hitting. The offense has been spectacular, and it has been a joy to watch. The brain trust focused on building a more balanced lineup—nobody is an easy out and everyone can hit a home run.

Gone are the hackers: Matt Kemp, Dee Gordon and Hanley Ramirez. While we loved those guys, they struck out too much.

I do see them being competitive throughout the season, at the least. Once Kenley Jansen,and Hyun-jin Ryu come back from their respective injuries….woooooooo doggy, look out National League.

Me: Adrian Gonzalez has been on an absolute tear, leading the team in every major offensive category. If you were Bruce Bochy, how would you approach him?

Scott: I wouldn’t pitch to him. I’m serious. He can pitch to him if he wants to, but it’s his funeral if he does. 

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Me: Zack Greinke has owned the Giants since suiting up in Dodger blue, and he’s been lights out to start the season. Is he even better this year?

Scott: I would say he’s just as good as he’s ever been. His elbow is feeling fine, and he’s technically in a contract year, so that may give him extra incentive. Greinke is certainly one of the best pitchers in MLB. Otherwise, nothing new to report.

Me: Give us a quick rundown of your new additions, particularly that rookie with a cool name everybody’s talking about.

Scott: That cool name guy is Joc Pederson, and man oh man can that kid play center field. The Dodgers were worried about his rising strikeout rates, and he does whiff a lot, but the kid has held his own with the bat so far. He’s incredibly talented, and only 22.

Howie Kendrick, their new second baseman, has been amazing. He is an all-around player that can hit, hit for power, drive in runs and play good defense.

Yasmani Grandal is their new switch-hitting power catcher. He’s been rated as one of the best pitch-framers in MLB.

Alexander Guerrero is the Cuban infielder they signed in 2014, and he’s currently on the bench. But watch out, that guy can straight mash. One of the better pure hitters the Dodgers have on their club right now.

Yimi Garcia and Pedro Baez are the rookies in the bullpen. Keep in mind this is not last year’s Dodger bullpen. Garcia and Baez can throw heat: Garcia has a terrific cutter and slider, and Baez can reach up to 100 mph. The other newcomers are Joel Peralta, Chris Hatcher, and Juan Nicasio. Before yesterday’s game, the bullpen had posted a 0.52 ERA in 17.1 innings pitched with 25 strikeouts.

Brandon McCarthy and Brett Anderson are the newbies in the rotation, and of course Jimmy Rollins came over via trade from Philadelphia to be the club’s starting shortstop.

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