The bottom of the fifth inning last night was a defining moment for Clayton Kershaw and showed why he really belongs in the majors. After being solid for the first four innings, Clayton suddenly lost his command in the 5th and in a blink of an eye, the bases were loaded with no outs. Leading 1-0, that seems to be a situation where you just have to “settle” for giving up a run. Clayton didn’t settle – he just started a double play, and then got the final out to close the inning. Clayton is young, but he’s got “it”. Whatever “it” is. Clayton’s ERA is now at 3.76, which puts him clearly right in the middle of all NL starters with a better ERA than Dempster, Peavy, D-Lowe (4.04), Hamels, Oswalt and Zito. I think yesterday really showed that the Dodgers have made the right choice in keeping him at the major league level. There are just certain things you can’t learn at the AAA level and that includes control, unless you are going to be there for a long time. Clayton will struggle with his control, like Billingsley does, but his stuff more than compensates. On another note – it has been suggested that Ausmus be Kershaw’s personal catcher and I totally agree with that. I think he pitches better to Ausmus for some reason.
Rants & Raves:
- During last night’s game, Joe Morgan was comparing Koufax and Kershaw and it was nice to see some old Koufax footage, but the old geezer needs to realize how high that mound was back then and what role that played in Koufax’s curve and fastball. I don’t have scientific evidence, but I think the height of the mound back then was a huge advantage for pitchers with big curveballs and hot fastballs. Koufax was a great pitcher, but it would be interesting to see if he could dominate now, like he did then. I think MLB has evened the playing field.
- Matt Kemp is hitting .318 with a .382 OB% – how long des he keep hitting at the bottom of the order. This is a good problem to have.
- I think Hudson’s wrist is hurting him.
- Russ Martin has an OB% nearly 120 points higher than his BA.
- If I gave out the Dodger MVP Award today it would be cut in thirds between Blake, Pierre and Kemp. Blake and Kemp have been excellent both offensively and defensively. I think we don’t realize how many balls Kemp runs down. Our defense is making our pitching shine. However, Juan Pierre has been clutch and has mitigated the loss of Manny immensely.
- James Loney comes up big when we need him, so many times. I really love this guy! What a glove and bat!
- Broxton? Hummmmm…. Something still wrong?
- This will be my last post for a few days….
TOM O’SHEA’S MINOR LEAGUE REPORT 06-21-09
THE ALBUQUERQUE ISOTOPES AAA
Just another reminder–Manny will be playing for the Isotopes beginning next week in order to “tune up” for his return to the big club from his 50 day suspension. He will NOT be playing for Inland Empire at A Advanced as first expected.
The Isotopes beat Omaha for the second straight day 5-4.
Our good friend JASON SCHMIDT, (4.70), probably the richest player in AAA history, took another stab at pitching effectively today, and though he wasn’t horrible, he still shows he’s not ready for prime time. He’ll probably be back to 100% the day after he cashes his last check from the Dogs. SCHMIDT went 5 innings giving up 2 earned runs on 4 hits and 4 walks. He had only 2 Ks.
VARGAS (2.25), pitched 2 ineffective innings giving up 2 earned runs on 4 hits. OHMAN (0.00), SCHLICTING (0.00), THREETS (1.89), and BONILLA (W, 3-5, 4.29), all pitched shut out ball for the ‘Topes.
BROWN (.308), hit his 13th home run of the year.
DeWITT (.259), hit his 14th two bagger. CLOSSER (.300), catching for the promoted ELLIS, hit his 2nd two bagger.
REPKO (.259) continued his hot hitting going 3-6. MAZA (.267) went 3-4 with a walk, BROWN (.308) went 2-3 and CLOSSER 2-4.
Overall, the Isotopes pounded out 14 hits.
THE CHATTANOOGA LOOKOUTS AA
The Lookouts ended the first half of their season on a positive note beating Mississippi 5-4.
BATISTA (W, 3-0, 3.05) pitched mediocre ball allowing 3 earned runs on 5 hits and 3 over 5.2 innings. KOSS (H,2, 2.20) actually couldn’t hit the backstop from 10 paces in the one inning he pitched giving up an earned run and walking 3 batters. RODRIGUEZ (H,4,3.23), and GARATE (S, 3, 2..96) proved to be effective and each shut out Mississippi in the inning they worked.
4 Lookout players swatted doubles: LAMBO (.268), his 21st, TOMLIN (.291), his 8th, BECKER (.400), his 2nd and GUITIERREZ (.167), his 1st.
SELLERS (.294), went 4-5, and TOMLIN (.291) went 2-3 with a walk.
The Lookouts managed 10 hits overall during the course of the game.
THE INLAND EMPIRE 66ERS A ADVANCED
The 66ers kicked some serious backside this afternoon crushing High Desert 6-0.
It looks like another former all-star major league pitcher who has pitched well for the big club when healthy this year has over come his aches and pains and appears ready to return to Los Angeles if today’s game is any indicator. Lefty MILTON (W, 1-0, 0.00), earned the win looking near perfect in 5.1 innings. He shut out the hapless High Desert Nine on 4 hits and 1 walk while striking out 3. JOHNSON (S,1, 4.25) went the last 3.2 innings giving up no runs and only 3 hits, 2 walks while striking out 6!
Wow! We seem to have good pitching at every level, eh?
Two 66ers players went yard: VAN SLYKE (.297), hitting his 11th and ORTIZ (.250), his 2nd.
ROBINSON (.301), roped is 21st double and MATTINGLY (.286), smoked his 10th two bagger of the year as well.
Three 66ers had 2 hit games: MATTINGLY, 2-3 with a walk, BAEZ (.293), 2-4, and ORTIZ (.250), 2-4.
The 66ers managed 9 hits altogether.
THE GREAT LAKES LOONS A
The Loons lost Sunday afternoon to Lansing 9-8.
MILLER (L, 3-3, 4.74), and BOOTHE (4.99), both stunk up the field with their terrible pitching Sunday. SMIT (5.20), pitched two innings of shut out ball in relief. But it was ST. CLAIR (3.60) who was the only shining star getting 3 straight outs on 3 strike outs.
The Loonies might not have been able to pitch today, but they did it the cover off the ball. All told, the Loons hit 7 doubles: 2 by RUSSELL (.281) his 21st and 22nd, 2 by HATCH (.277), his 18th and 19th, PEDROZA (.285) hit his 19th, WALLACH (.235) hit his 12th and GALLAGHER (.262) hit his 9th.
Five Loons had 2 hit games: GORDON (.308), PEDROZA, HATCH, RUSSELL, and BUSS (.279).
The Loons smacked 13 hits but didn’t get enough clutch pitching to win.