Categorized | Mark Timmons

May 28, 2009 – Tony Jackson’s Blog

May 28, 2009 – Tony Jackson’s Blog

Finding the negative in a three-game sweep – A Dodgers PR intern from a few years back — and she knows who she is — bestowed upon me the title of Captain of the Negativity Squad. I believe that arose right around the time the Dodgers were going 1-14 coming out of the 2006 All-Star break, all while I was certain their season was circling the drain even as she insisted they would turn things around. Well, wouldn’t you know, right after they went 1-14, they went 17-1, and they ended up in the playoffs that year. But even after they just swept the Rockies and ran the runaway best record in the majors to 33-15, I, the aforementioned COTNS, have happened upon a major cause for concern:

dodgersDodgers pitchers walked 24 batters in this three-game series. And while it’s worth noting that only four of those batters came around to score, if this keeps up, it’s going to come back to bite the boys at some point. There were four occasions during the series in which a Dodgers pitcher walked back-to-back hitters. Eric Stults actually walked three in a row on Monday, and both Clayton Kershaw and Jonathan Broxton walked three in a span of four batters today. There were five occasions during the series in which a Dodgers reliever walked either the first or second batter he faced upon entering the game.

On the positive side, O-Dog ran his career-best hitting streak to 17 games, going 1 for 4 with an infield single. James Loney continued his career habit of sizzling at Coors, going 2 for 5 with a double and driving in three runs. And Juan Pierre went 3 for 5, including a double, and drove in a pair.

29 Responses to “May 28, 2009 – Tony Jackson’s Blog”

  1. Ken says:

    Tony

    I agree

    One of the younger pitching staff in the NL lacks consistency and Ned's older solutions are terrible – Mota and Ohman.

    They are inconsistent and can not pitch deep into the game.

    Only 2 starters can go 6 innings. No Coach is happy unless the pitcher goes 6 in. 6.5 is very good and 7 is great. Unfortunately 6 of the dodger starters can only go a short 5 or 5.5 in. that is very frustrating for the Coach and any one watching the game.

  2. 32and53fan says:

    I don't think I am ready to give up on Mota and Ohman just yet. Broxton was pretty wild today and no one is calling for him to be released. So much of baseball is luck when a ball is put in play. I have wondered why a manager is so quick to pull a pitcher just because a ball happens to fall in for a hit. Its not like they walked two in a row and obviously having trouble locating their pitch. I bet if Torre left Ohman in today, the result would have been the same.

  3. jerry says:

    these young pitcher just cant throw strikes…and that is what they get paid to do..in my opinion kershaw is not has good as every one think he is..i would ratter see a base hit then a walk..every one says he is learn…i thought that is what high school and the minor do..is to teach..when is is 3and 0..he then throws a strike.., . 0 and 2 they throw a waste pitch.. just go after the hitters..

  4. KidCuba says:

    Wow, can't tell you how happy I am to be reading your stuff again TJ. Great to have you back, only wish I knew about this site sooner.

  5. Mark_Timmons says:

    I think Kershaw is better at 21 than Koufax was.

    • Ken says:

      When Koufax was 21 the #5 starter on the Dodgers was Don Newcomb, so do you really think that Koufax had a chance to prove himself especially when Alston tried his best to keep him in the bullpen? Even Jackie Robinson called out Alston for the way that he treated Koufax.

      Kershaw is just an average pitcher
      Age 20 ERA+ = 100
      Age 21 ERA+ = 100

  6. Eric says:

    Broxton is an absolute worthless piece of garbage. There was absolutely NO excuse for the choke job he pulled yesterday. Facing the bottom of the lineup and pitching like a complete loser that way?

    Id love to see this loser come in with a 4 run lead in the 9th inning of game 7 of the WS. He would just absolutely hand the oposing team the championship trophy. If he even had the guts to take the damn mound, the gutless jerk

  7. Yesterday's game–and most of the series– was not pretty by anyone's standards. And even the most optimistic, positive person on Earth would have had a hard time watching that grueling bottom half of the ninth yesterday afternoon!
    There is a big difference between being negative and being realistic. You are definitely the latter, Tony.

  8. Roger Dodger says:

    On the game in Chicago, with Wolf to pitch, as I recall, he throws a lot of fly ball outs?? If I am wrong, let me know.

    If so, the Cubs park is not the best place in the world for him to pitch in. Oh, the Cubs are picked to win by the odds makers.

  9. Badger says:

    Come on Eric. I think you may need to read the numbers just a bit more carefully. Broxton is a stud. He has an ERA of 1.5 and 0.75 WHIP.

    When we lost Lowe, I was going on about how we were going to miss his numbers and got little support. In the 4 years he was here, he made 135 starts and pitched 850 innings. Who on this staff can do that? I don't see anybody. 7 inning starters don't exist around here.

    Why this staff has trouble hitting spots? I have no idea, but, it is troublesome.

    The Pods bullpen has an ERA around 1. Who are those guys?

    The Nuggets are a chippy bunch. Reminds me of the Pistons from a few years ago.

    Loney sure can knock them in without knocking them out. How can a guy be so lucky?

  10. Roger Dodger says:

    For most teams TODAY, those in the hunt for the post-season —— the first half of the season, say till the end of July and into August ————- is to see what you have and make adjustments.

    First with minor league players up and down. Injured players re-habing, etc.

    Then — with trades or FAs out there with some gas left in the tank. Like Pedro.

    I will state now, that the Dodger pitching staff come Sept 1 will not be what it is now. Maybe another starter added, and several in the pen.

    Joe and Ned will fix the problem by then. What can they do now? Make 6 trades? NO. They will work with what they have and maybe some up and down to the minors like they have been doing. Thus, we are in the teaching – learning part of the season.

  11. Blue Haze says:

    Newsflash: Dodgers have the best record in baseball by at least three games, so before some of you want to DFA Broxton consider that he didn't pitch for several days, I believe, and definitely had some ring rust. Typically a hard throwing pitcher needs a little work to 1) not overthrow the ball, having it float out of the strikezone, 2) Broxton came in with a big lead and possible wasn't ready mentally to bear down and do his job, 3) baseball is a team sport, both offense and defense. So the offense provided plenty of offense to help the defense, how many games have you seen the reverse, the offense is barely producing and thus the bullpen comes in and holds the other team down, allowing for a Dodgers win (which has happened numerous times already this season.

    Yes, there are some things that need to improve, but the "I think that the sky may be falling" attitude is really missing the point, which Badger has often made, there may be problems but they are winning, so enjoy the ride.

    It is a long season, there are going to be numerous types of slumps that each player will have to endure, that's why the season is so damn long, it allows players and teams to really hash it out to find the "best teams from the long, regular season".

    Tony, don't get your intestines in a knot, you have been wrong before (as you confessed to) and you may just be wrong again. Yes, the Dodgers have to work on the disciplines of throwing less balls and more strikes, but in reality while walks may put you in difficult situations, what counts is what happens in those situations, so far the Dodgers have taken care of business ("thank you, thank you very much" – spoken in Elvis voice) in a vast majority of those situations. Okay Tony, now go out there and find a few positives to write about, I give you a head start, you could do an article on Juan Pierre and his positive impact on the team, you could do an article on Orlando Hudson and his trials and tribulations following his injury and surgery, hell, you could even do an article on the Dodgers being the BEST TEAM IN BASEBALL, imagine that, we haven't been able to say that in a few decades.

    I know that bitching and moaning is a baseball fan's right and privilege but shi'ite a little balance wouldn't be such a bad thing, now would it? Keep up the good work, but dig a little deeper once in a while and find a silver (I mean a Dodger Blue) lining, Tony.

  12. Roger Dodger says:

    Another point — on prepretation for a game. Last night on the MLB channel, the guys were discussing that so much has been taken away from pre-game drills, some of the throws that occur in a game, are not practiced before the game —– like they use to (in the olden days).

    Since I live in the middle of Texas, and do not see many major league games live these days, I cannot comment on pre-game drills.

    Last night there was a play that a player could not make in one of the games. And the former major league commentators all said, they don't practice that drill any more prior to a game. They all hoped that the pre-game drills would come back.

    As I have said before, today's players do not have as much playing time in their baseball playing lives, as players use to have. Those folks over, say, forty (40) — we use to play baseball till dark as a kid; till mom or dad called us inside. For the last 20 years, more kids have more playing time on computers and video games than they do in baseball. I think that makes a difference.

  13. Blue Haze says:

    Nailed it Roger, so true.

  14. Ken says:

    Torre/Honey still has no idea what the skills and limitation of his pitchers are.

    Broxton can not go 2 days without pitching or he will be terrible on the 3rd day. That means have him pitch when the score is 16-6 or he will not be able to save the next game.

    Belisario can not go more than 2 innings and should pitch every other day.

    Wade should be sent down, he no longer has the late movement on his pitches.

    Ohman never pitched in spring training is still rusty and goes a week without pitching?

    Honey screwed up Mota like he screwed up Lowe for part of a season by forciong him to throw a new pitch that effected his arm slot. Mota may be done but his performance this year is not all his fault.

    When are you going to figure out whether Troncoso is a long reliever or set up man?

    McDonald was one of the best relievers that the Dodgers have had this year and he got sent down to fix his confidence. Well that sure has not worked as he gets bombed in the minors..

  15. Roger Dodger says:

    Good post Ken. On Troncoso, Joe does not have much option with very few solid relief pitchers on the team. He thorws him out there when he needs him. Early, middle, later in the game.

    I have no confidence in Belisario. I have posted this before. He is just like Tony Osuna. Both guys do not know where the ball is going every time they throw. Now Belisario seems to have good movement, but he cannot locate or control his pitches. That is really dangerous with men on base in the late innings. A walk, a wild pitch . . . and in come the runs.

    For this aspect of the Dodgers game — relief pitching — they (we) are still in a Spring Training mode. And, Broxton is still learning. That is OK, because he just might find his groove or mojo this summer. If he does, he can make a big big big difference in the post season.

    • Ken says:

      I agree, Belisario may need to come into the game at the start of an inning.
      If Troncoso is going to be a set up guy then the Dodgers need to bring in some mor Long Relievers.

  16. Mark_Timmons says:

    I'm heading to Chi-Town and will be blogging from the Press Box in Wrigley. Due to my hip, Josh Rawitch even got me parking in the "Purple Lot" right by the stadium. Look fot reports all weeked.

  17. Roger Dodger says:

    Mark, enjoy Wrigley. If you get the chance, remember you owe me a Russell Martin autograph ball. When you have a beer with him after the game, have a fresh baseball with you.

    Oh, do you get to lead the crowd in "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" ???

  18. Badger says:

    You are in the Purple lot, and I burp a lot, so, we have that in common.

    It seems to me, from reading the posts in here, that many of us are just not so sure about how this team is going to "finish". Obviously Pierre, Hudson, Blake, Ausmus, Castro, Loretta – are not going to keep hitting at the pace at which they currently are. The pitching staff is competing, but, like Roger said, the names are going to change by August. Like has been mentioned, we are on pace for 110+ wins. NO team is that good, so, here we are trying to figure out what is going to go wrong before anything actually has.

    It is a fun ride, and I am enjoying it.

  19. Roger Dodger says:

    Badger, baring injury or another drug bust — our Martin, Loney, Hudson, Furcal, Blake, and a mixture of Manny, Pierre, Kemp, and Ethier should be the starting line-up.

    Then Ausmus, Castro, Loretta should be a lock.

    It is that 13th person that is up for grabs, must an an outfielder unless they throw Blake out there, which he could do, but really out of position.

    It so far has been Paul, Hoffmann.

    Mientkiewicz is mending, not sure he can come back, but he has the spirit.

    Also, do not know which minor leaguers might excell and have to be brought up.

    The only other player was DeWitt, but he is another infielder and if he comes then Castro or Loretta needs to go.

    So 1 to be firmed up.

  20. Roger Dodger says:

    Looking at the minor stats AAA now, for break throughts:

    Hu is hitting terrible for him, .230
    DeWitt is .294
    Dee Brown, OF, is .301
    Repko is .299
    The Spring Training guy, Mitch Jones leads with 15 HRs, but hitting .267

    No name jumps out a AA that needs to be called up. Lambo is now at .275, and leads that team with 35 strikeouts.

    So right now it is a crap-shoot for that 13th spot. Right now I would go with Paul for power off the bench.

  21. SpokaneBob says:

    Excluding injuries, our defense should continue to be stellar. A little less so when Manny comes back, so thats one leg of the stool.

    We are going to have guys go through slumps, but we have a good line up and so far we have had guys who are hot to balance out the ones who are slumping. This ofense has a lot of speed and you know the old saying about how speed never has a slump, so I think for the most part we will continue to score runs. So thats the second leg.

    That leaves our pitching which so far is good and has the potenial to be better.

    They say you can win with 2 out of three legs and so far we seem to have all three. Combine that with the winning attitude this team seems to have and I believe it is possible for this team to win over 100 games.

    I love going into every game believeing we are going to win.

    It IS a fun ride………and everyone here deserves to be on it.

    The best part is that this ride could last for a few seasons to come.

  22. mark says:

    If you can't enjoy the moment because you are worried about what MIGHT happen. will you ever be happy or are you happy when the bad happens?

    Don't worry – Be Happy!

    … but keep looking for a better deal!

  23. Badger says:

    Hudson is hitting .347, Pierre .404, Blake .307. Ramirez .348, Castro .385, Ausmus .355, Loretta .333, Loney .293 and Kemp .296.

    If those guys stay at those numbers until August it won't matter who is pitching, we will indeed win 110 games. Maybe 120.

    This cannot last. It will not last.

    But as long as it does, it's good to be a Dodger fan.

  24. Tony, good point on all of the walks by our staff. But something that bothers me is that we are also stranding runners at an awesome pace! That is either good or bad. Good because it means we are getting lots of runners on base, bad because we are stranding them.

    One more thing… you can all vote on each other's comments by clicking the thumbs up or thumbs down. Please thumbs down any lame comments and thumbs up good, informative ones that you find. This way we can all see who leaves the best comments here and possibly some prizes may follow (hint hint). :-)

  25. Roger Dodger says:

    Is this board dying or have folks been posting elshwhere???

    Mark, do not wear Dodger stuff to the ballpark. Do not. You are there in official business, not as a fan. Be professional. Noise in the air. Drink either Chicago or foreign beer. Be a big tipper not a ripper.

    Just saw the Cubies HR in the basket in left-center. I said earlier that Wolf is a flyball pitcher and small ballparks should be hard on him. In Dodger Stadium, that was an out.

    For Hudson to get another AB ato keep the streak alive — the Cubs would have to score another run and send it to extra innings. OR, the Dodger have a very big inning in the top of the 9th.

  26. Mark_Timmons says:

    Roger,

    In the pressbox you cannot cheer or wear Dodger gear…

  27. Roger Dodger says:

    See. Just try that at a Europrean socer match. You would not have made it out of the place.

    If fact, some of the teams there sing: "You'll Never Walk Alone . . . " Meaning, you will get so beat up your friends will have to take you around the rest of your life.

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