It was another quality start for our new Ace, but he looked mortal at times in giving up 2 earned runs. Still, he pitched good enough to win or at least kept us in the game. The defense made some excellent plays and then also let him down. This is a game we should have won, except for the fact that them pen gave it all back. James McDonald has looked very uncomfortable lately and I have to say it is the direct result of how Joe Torre has used him (or not used him). When James had problems early in the season, the Dodgers sent him back to AAA for extra work, but to also bolster his confidence. It took a while, but when he was recalled he was pitching very well, and then Torre just let him sit. It was several days before he pitched and he has been used sparingly. I think because of his inactivity he is (1) not comfortable, (2) thinks Torre has no confidence in him, and (3) is trying too hard to impress as a result.
Again, James’ psyche is toast and he might as well go down again. Joe doesn’t have a a clue how to use James McDonald. Kuo struck out two in his outing of one inning at Inland Empire last night and should get the call-up Sunday. James McDonald needs to go back to AAA and while the Dodgers are at it, send DeWitt back again and recall Elbert who was pitching very well out of the pen. Lindblom has also been pitching out of the pen at AAA and could help us right now. I have advocated getting Sherrill for our pen, but the reality is that Kuo, Elbert and Lindblom could be assets to our pen NOW. Additionally, Belisario and Wade should be back shortly. We may have all the arms we need. Lindblom has been pitching out of the pen lately (maybe the plan is to call him up soon) and in the last year has had stops at Low A, High A, AA, and AAA. I have always felt he would be a great reliever.
It’s not a time to panic, as our bullpen ERA is #1 in baseball, but since our starters are near the bottom in number of innings per game, our pen is highly important. We need more arms… and we probably have them. I think Doc Halladay is ultimately going to cost us too much, so Jared Washburn is probably a good choice. He has been pitching very well of late. He has lowered his ERA to 2.76 and would probably cost us something like McDonald and DeWitt.
Kuroda needs to get it together today.