It’s good that we have a nice lead, because we might stumble a little down the stretch, but did it ever occur to you, that with the extra days of rest in the playoffs, this team is built for just such an occasion? As it stands right now, Clayton Kershaw would probably start game #1 of a playoff series followed by Kuroda and Billingsley. Randy Wolf would probably work out of the pen, where he is exceptionally tough on LH hitters. We would drop the 5th starter and have a pen of Kuo, McDonald, Troncoso, Belisario, Mota, Sherrill and Broxton (Wade, Weaver and Elbert would also be options if anyone was hurt). In the playoffs, it becomes a different game. The pen can be used much more because of the additional rest days. Now, if we can just get to the finish line without having any arms fall off… Speaking of arms falling off, Ken Gurnick of Dodgers.com writes about the possibility of just that, and says that Kuo is not just game-to-game, he’s pitch-to-pitch!
I believe we will also shine offensively in the playoffs. We have some vets who are role players who can step up at the right time, with Manny at the top of that list. However, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier have matured immensely and James Loney is always dangerous in the clutch. Raffy can play the game and is dangerous in a short series, even if his numbers are down for the year. O-Dog just needs to stay on the field and Casey Blake will be Casey Blake, which bring me to Russell Martin. He is having a down year, but is many respects, this Dodger team is rapidly becoming “Russ Martin’s” team. How can it become your team when you are having a down year offensively? Respect from your teammates, that’s how! Dylan Hernandez of The LA Times writes an insightful article about Russell Martin. No comment by me is necessary.
“I know people say his offense isn’t where it’s supposed to be, but his impact on the defensive side has been larger than what it would be on the offensive side even if he had his best year,” says 40-year-old backup catcher Brad Ausmus, who was signed in part to mentor Martin.
Ausmus calls Martin the most athletic catcher he has ever seen and, like Torre and Mattingly, sees him as a potential .300 hitter. He says that his clubhouse wrestling matches with Martin have him convinced that Martin — 5 feet 10, 210 pounds — hasn’t lost his strength.
Rants & Raves
- Adrian Beltre defied the odds and came back 5 weeks after shoulder surgery, but THIS give a whole new meaning to foul ball. Ouch!
- It’s a big series for us this weekend, but also for the Rockies who play the Marlins, who are 3 games behind them in the Wild Card. Root for the Marlins!
- Someone asked about a knuckleballer pitching both games of a doubleheader. The last time it happend was with Wilbur Wood of the White Sox. From 1971 to 1974 Wood threw 85 complete games and threw over 300 innings each season, including a high of 376 2/3 innings in 1972 when he went 24-17. Wood might best be remembered for being perhaps the last pitcher to throw both ends of a double-header, a feat he accomplished twice in 1973. The first began with the completion of a suspended game but the second was a true double-header against the New York Yankees in which he started and lost both games.
- Kershaw & Haren tonight!
Minor League Recap – 8/13/09 by Jared at http://thinkbluela.blogspot.com/
Albuquerque did not play
Chattanooga lost 5-3
Andrew Lambo – 1 for 4, 2B, RBI, K (.263 BA)
Lucas May – 1 for 3, RBI, HBP (.293 BA)
Inland Empire did not play
Great Lakes won 6-4
Dee Gordon – 3 for 4, 2B, 3 RBI, R, SB, CS (.300 BA)
Kyle Russell – 0 for 3, BB, 2 K’s (.270 BA)
Mario Songco – 0 for 4 (.155 BA)
Alfredo Silverio – 1 for 3, R, BB, 2 K’s (.284 BA)
Jerry Sands – 1 for 3, 2B, R, K (.194 BA)
Cole St Clair – 1 IP, 0 Hits, 0 R, BB, 2 K’s (3.18 ERA)
Ogden won 10-1
BCG – 2 for 5, 2B, HR (12), 3 RBI, R, K, HBP (.337 BA)
Nick Akins – 1 for 4, R, 2 BB, K (.250 BA)
Kyle Orr – 2 for 5, 2B, 2 RBI, R, 2 K’s (.239 BA)
JT Wise – 1 for 5, 2B, RBI, K, E (.273 BA)
Javier Solano – 2 IP, Hit, ER, BB, 3 K’s (3.60 ERA)
AZL did not play
Player of the day – Dee Gordon, SS
Today’s effort doubled Dee’s hit total over the past 10 games. He’s been slumping in August, batting just .204, possibly seeing the long grind of a full season test his endurance. He also stole his 63rd base, which places him among the minor league leaders. Gordon’s season has been an undeniable success, and while he still needs to polish certain aspects of his game, the sky’s the limit for Flash Jr.