Categorized | Mark Timmons

Winning Streak

The Los Angeles Dodgers took their series with the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday with a 3-1 victory. This leaves the Dodgers at 4-3 on their 7 game road trip to start the season. The Dodgers head home today to introduce Chavez Ravine to the 2009 season against the hated Giants of San Francisco who are coming off a 3 game sweep by the San Diego Padres. Game time is at 1:10 PST with the gates opening at 10:30am to accommodate the large home opening crowd.

loney-batThe Dodgers on Sunday rode the strong pitching of Randy Wolf who gave us seven strong working a low 90s fastball with some low 70s off speed to go with it. Wolf put forth our best game by a starting pitcher thus far with what seemed to mostly be finesse and the experience that only a veteran can bring to a game where their stuff is not quite there yet.

Loney hitting cleanup spot because, well, he is the best hitter we have right now. Manny is our best walker/OBP guy so why not protect that with our hottest hitter? Good job Joe, looks like you have been listening! Loney had a timely hit to score Ramirez, finishing the day 2 for 4 when the rest of the team could only muster up 4 total hits. We has 6 hits all day on Sunday and one came from Pierre and another from Kemp, who replaced Pierre late in the game had an RBI knock to keep his hitting streak alive!

Pierre Auditions in The Strangest Play of 2009

Pierre looked good, singling in his first at bat to push Ethier to third base, and then stealing second despite Randy Wolf fouling off pitches. But then one of the strangest plays ever occurred. Wolf lined to the pitcher Haren, who turned to throw to second to double up Pierre to end the inning. But Felipe Lopez does not step on the bag and instead runs to Pierre to tag him out. At the same time Ethier is hustling home and tags home BEFORE Pierre is tagged out on the base paths. But wait, Ethier never tagged up so why did we get the run? There is a rule that says if the team leaves the field of play defensively they lose the right to argue a call. And Melvin was caught sleeping, while our bench coach Bob Schaefer took notice of the umpires huddling, recalling a “4th out” rule which he had discussed with the club during spring training. He told Torre to protest and we won, stealing the run from Haren!

Out bullpen did a great job with Broxton putting down the 9th inning with a steady diet of very high 90s fastballs. The game was a close one the whole way through and our victory can be given to our steady pitching on Sunday. Our hitting was more timely, especially with Loney now batting 4th, but we also stranded a lot of runners again.

Russel Martin – Professional Rally Killer

dodgersMartin strikes out with Manny on third and Loney on second in the first. He then steps up in the top of the third with 2 runners on again, following Loneys RBI single, and promptly hits into a tailor made double play ball to end the rally. Maybe we should be praying for him to strike out? That’s 4 runners stranded in three innings by Martin in the 5 spot of the order. Torre listen to LADodgerTalk.com and bat Martin 8th already! Let him focus on calling a good game and his bat will naturally come around at some point, probably when he learns to not put so much pressure on himself.

Russel we all get it, you are a gamer and a warrior and we love your for it, now settle down and just play baseball. Ken has some tips on your swing, something about flying open, take notice. Either work on your swing or just bunt every time up because if you hit into another double play I will lose it!

Opening Day at Dodger Stadium

Vin Scully with appropriately throw out the first pitch today at Chavez Ravine (thank you MLB.tv for allowing me to select our home audio broadcast on every game this season!). I think that it is fitting for this series to be played against our rivals, the Giants.

Chad Billingsley will face Randy Johnson who has NEVER lost at Dodger Stadium in his life, going 7-0 with a 2.04 ERA in 11 starts. Hey, we beat Peavy on the road this season already, we can beat The Unit at home! Johnson remains just 5 wins away from becoming just the 24th pitcher to reach 300 wins. But Bills is no slouch with 2.08 ERA against the Gigantes last season.

Matt Kemp is .600 against Johnson but with only 5 ABs. Most of our lineup has not seen much of Johnson with the exception of Manny who is .310 with 4 HRs and 10 RBI in 29 ABs, and Loretta who has seen The Unit 26 times with a .231 average.

About Miguel Salcido

Professional online marketing consultant, husband, father, completely obsessed Dodgers fan, writer, speaker, and all around sports fan. I represented LADodgerTalk.com in the press box at Dodger Stadium last season. My favorite player is Orel Hershiser. I am currently grooming my 2 and 4 year old boys as avid Dodgers fans. Follow me on Twitter, http://twitter.com/ladodgertalk. Oh, and I hate the Giants.

16 Responses to “Winning Streak”

  1. Badger says:

    Miguel, yeah, I know all of that. I understand the rule about leaving the field. I guess what I was trying to say was the Dbacks got hosed because the call wasn't made on the spot.

    BTW, who made the call? They huddled up to get it right, then how do they KNOW that the Ethier crossed before the tag? The only guy who would KNOW that is the home plate ump. And if he KNEW that, why didn't he CALL that? First rule of umpiring – get the 90. Second rule of umpiring – if you don't see an out, you cannot call an out. I think this one falls in that category. Did the home plate SEE the run cross first? If he did, then why huddle up and wait 10 minutes to talk about it? You saw it, you call it. See what I am getting at?

  2. JC says:

    Martin should be dropped to 7th or 8th in the lineup and play every other day. Winning is what this game is about, production is how you win.

    If a player don’t produce, they should not be surprised if their posterior meets the bench come game time. The Dodgers now have a viable Major League catcher in Brad Ausmus and he needs to be used more.

    When Martin starts listening to what the coaches tell him to do at the plate instead of trying to pull everything, then he can be returned to full starter status.

  3. Ken says:

    Either is taking too many pitches. He needs to hit to left field more often and prove that he deserves some inside pitches. Maybe he should go back to being pissed off at work and leave the new lovingly patient guy at home for the benefit of his wife and new child.

  4. lawdog says:

    Ethier would hit 100 points higher in the #2 slot in front of Manny.

    Anybody else notice Stultz was throwing 89-93 or even 94 to go with his array of good off seed stuff? Last year when he was up he topped out at 87, even when he pitched that shut out. I wonder how he gained that additional velocity? He’ll make the club as the #5 if he can keep trowing like he did te ther day.

  5. Badger says:

    Ethier did go to left yesterday. And he was working that direction in batting practice. They were not pitching him away. He has the power to pull the inside pitch over the fence, so why not make pitchers pay for that? I am not worried about him.

    Martin did finally go the other way, so maybe he is ready to snap out of it. And if we drop him that means Blake moves up. I have much more confidence in Martin. I would rather leave Blake at the bottom of this order.

    I was at the park and I have never seen any play like the one that got us our first run. I even umped professionally (college, semi-pro, high schohol and American Legion) and I have never seen anything like that. As a former ump, the question I have is, who made that call? Which ump saw it? Did the home plate ump signal the runner safe? Did he signal the run scores? Everyone in the park, including all the players, coaches managers and fans thought the same thing. One of those umps made the call and if it was made in time – the catcher would have known what happened and made an appeal play. I haven’t read the papers yet for an explanation, but that is the first thing I thought of and what we were talking about in the stands.

  6. Ken says:

    Why not put Travis Schlichting on the 60 day with a bad back? He is not on any minor league team roster yet.

  7. Miguel Salcido says:

    lawdog, I agree about Ethier hitting in front of Manny but then Hudson needs to go in the 9 spot with the pitcher in the 8 spot, ala LaRussa. Then again Hudson has been better than I though he would be so far offensively so I guess I am undecided on that. But I do believe that Ethier in front of Manny would result in big numbers for Ethier.

    Badger, in that play I think that no call was made as far as the run scoring. But the crew huddled up immediately after the play and were speaking amongst themselves when Schaefer, our bench coach, jumped up and noticed what went on and had Torre immediately run out on to the field to protest to the umps that the run should have scored. They agreed since Pierre was tagged out instead of forced at the bag and Ethier touched home before Pierre was tagged. But AZ lost their right to protest since their entire team hustled to the dugout and was officially off the field, which is the rule.

  8. Miguel Salcido says:

    Badger, the home plate ump did see the run cross but had to confirm with the ump in the field on whether or not Lopez tagged 2nd on his way to rundown Pierre. That is what the home plate ump was not clear on. So once the ump in the field confirmed that the bag was not in fact touched then the home plate ump was able to make his call. I believe that is the moment the Torre jumped out there to make his case, good timing actually.

    How about Hudson going deep last inning to give us a 1-0 lead that we promptly gave back next inning. Score 1-1, The Unit and Bills battling it out! God I love listening to Scully!

  9. Roger says:

    O-Dog could hit for the cycle.

    Has any Dodgers ever hit for the cycle in their first game in Dodgers Stadium???

  10. Badger says:

    “Badger, the home plate ump did see the run cross but had to confirm with the ump in the field on whether or not Lopez tagged 2nd on his way to rundown Pierre.”

    Oh. That is weird too. He did not see if 2nd was tagged, but did see the tag made in the baseline after Ethier crossed home plate. One would have to wonder 1. why would a player run over to tag a runner if he had already touched the base and 2. why did it take 10 minutes to get that thing called.

    Like I have been saying for weeks now, I like Hudson in the two hole. I like our 1-2 punch at the top of the lineup.

  11. Roger says:

    You are all welcome . . .

  12. Miguel Salcido says:

    Thanks Roger, will you be orchestrating the rest of our season?

  13. Badger says:

    Wow.

    Thanks Roger.

  14. Blue Haze says:

    Nice to see Bills fight thru his early control issues with is fastball, he was having trouble spotting it for strikes. Then settles down and starts mowing em down.

    This is one of those games that I have referenced that really makes judging a player simply on stats a big mistake. When a team gets healthy on poor pitching, all the stats get artificially inflated. For instance, the Dodgers score 11 runs today, if they happen to get two runs in each of the next two games, then they would average scoring 5 runs per game, but could actually go 1 out of 3 in the series. Stuff like that and other points that I have made, makes me apprehensive to use stats as my end all be all when evaluating a player and a team. You can apply the same principal of the above example to a players stats. Just food for thought, Badger, I think that clarifies my position on the use of stats.

  15. lawdog says:

    Our Dogs are en fuego! They can’t play any better than they played today. This arm chair quarterback with perfect rear view vision has nary a complaint to make. Not even a little suggestion for this, the opening day of our season to go all the way. Then what do I come back to read on the web?

    Read it and weep!

    ESPN.com: Baseball [Print without images]

    Monday, April 13, 2009
    Manny ponders Cleveland reunion
    ESPN.com news services

    Manny Ramirez is already yearning for the old days — of Cleveland.
    Ramirez, who early last month signed a two-year, $45 million deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers, says a return to the Cleveland Indians before retirement would be ideal.
    “I would like to play for Cleveland one more time, to go back where I started,” Ramirez told USA Today. “I have so many good memories there, why not?
    “I think to go back where you started is everyone’s dream.”
    Ramirez, 37, led the Dodgers to the 2008 NL West title by hitting .396 with 17 homers and 53 RBIs in 53 regular-season games after a trade from the Boston Red Sox.
    In the playoffs, he batted .520 with four homers, 10 RBIs, nine runs and 11 walks in eight games.
    The Dodgers host the San Francisco Giants on Monday afternoon in their home opener.
    According to USA Today, Ramirez talked to Chicago White Sox designated hitter Jim Thome this spring about an eventual return to Cleveland, telling his Indians teammate from 1993 to 2000 that if they were free agents after this season they should consider a reunion.
    “Manny was very sincere when he brought that up to me,” Thome said, according to the newspaper. “Manny was saying how special that would be for us to both go back together. He was very passionate. Baseball’s such a weird thing. You never know what’s going to happen.”
    Ramirez can opt out of his deal with the Dodgers next season, and Thome’s contract with the White Sox expires at the end of this season.
    “Me and Thome back in Cleveland?” Ramirez asked, according to the report. “That would be sweet.
    “I love L.A. I really do. But the way the city responded to me, it reminded me a lot of how it was in Cleveland.”

    Didn’t we have Thome once about 5 years ago? As I recall he was a Dunn kind of gujy back then with 30 hrs and a .215 batting average. I figured he was toast back then. Somebody better go investigate what kind of whacky tabaccy Manny keeps putting in the pipe

  16. Badger says:

    I do understand your position on the use of stats Haze. You can come up with stats to support any position you want to prove. I still believe that at the end of a long year, the team with the best stats wins a lot more than they lose. The teams with poor stats miss the play-offs year after year. The players with the best stats make a lot more money than those with inferior numbers. And the guys we will be talking about bringing in here to help the team will be the guys who had the good stats. We are not going to be clamoring to bring in the .220 hitter when a guy who hits .320 is out there, nor will we want to bring in pitchers with ERA’s over 5 and WHIP’s around 2.

    I think that was just casual conversation ldog. Manny isn’t ready to go back to Cleveland yet, and they aren’t ready to pay him. Maybe as a swan song in 3 or 4 years, but not anytime soon.

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