I wanted a sweep, but I’ll take 2 out of 3, especially since Lincecum was pitching yesterday. But, dag-nab-it, we could have won. Our bullpen guys were nearly as good as the past Cy
Young Award winner… until Mota! One other thing – Russ Martin will fight! So will James McDonald. I like James McDonald a whole lot more after the Big Panda (carrying a bat) walked towards Jimmy. The Panda outweighs Jimmy by 2-1, but Old McDonald just kept coming and said “Take your base, punk!” Turns out the guy wasn’t even plunked! I love how Martin went off – Notice to MLB – Don’t mess with Russ! Nobody has mentioned it much, but Russ ended the game at 3B, his first time playing that position this year!
Joe Torre praised Martin and expressed confidence in him to Ken Gurnick of Dodgers.com:
Day game after night game and catcher Russell Martin was back in the lineup Wednesday as the Dodgers went for the series sweep against the Giants.
Martin’s offensive drop this season — he entered the game batting .267 with three homers and 33 RBIs — has been the fodder of much fan chatter. But manager Joe Torre’s pregame discussion with the media supported his catcher.
“Maybe hitting up in the lineup [second during this series] helps him,” suggested Torre. “He knows he’ll get strikes to hit. He’s been more level, not too long in his swing. He still feels he should be doing more. He’s a good hitter. He has all the attributes of being a .300 hitter. But when you’ve hit home runs, it puts you in the situation that when you don’t, you think you should hit them.”
Martin hit 10 homers with a .282 average in 121 games his rookie season of 2006, jumped to 19 homers and .292 in 2007 when he won the Silver Slugger for catchers, then slipped to 13 and .280 last year. He’s on a pace for only four homers this year.
“He’s the type of hitter who should hit home runs almost by mistake,” said Torre. “He should hit a line drive and it just keeps going. But he should knock in runs and hit .300. The long ball is not necessary. He just hasn’t had a consistent approach this year. I go back to one swing in the playoffs last year, it was so natural, against the Cubs, a line drive to left-center. The swing was short and quick and the ball jumped off the bat.”
Martin is only 1-for-9 in the two games with the Giants, but he’s batting .315 in the past 15 games and .311 over the last 32, ranking second on the club on the season with a .371 on-base percentage. He came into Wednesday’s game 0-for-7 lifetime against Giants starter Tim Lincecum with four strikeouts.
Defensively, Torre said the catcher has been much improved from what he saw last year from Martin, who won the Gold Glove the previous year. More days off could be a reason. His catcher’s ERA is 3.53 and he’s thrown out 23 percent of potential basestealers compared to 19.5 percent last year.
“His consistency behind the plate is really different,” Torre said. “Like night and day. And he’s been a little beat up. He has a little knee stuff, a little elbow stuff. He’s had issues. But you saw the quick release the other night, with the pitch in the dirt and he got rid of the ball well [to throw out Fred Lewis trying to advance to second base]. He’s athletic. He does his pregame work [preparing with the starting pitcher]. That’s commendable for me.
- The boys can use a day off to rest until Kershaw and Haren have a Duel in the Desert on Friday! It’s time Clayton establishes he can beat any one’s ace!
- Check out the Phillies – Pedro is back, doing his best Jason Schmidt impersonation (Jamie Moyer is not happy he had to go to the pen – can you spell “dissension”). On another note, David Howard is hitting .236 with no HR and 22 K’s since July 28th and Cole Hamels, who has struggled all season is getting worse (8.71 ERA in past 2 starts). Add in a heaping helping of Brad Lidge blowing saves and his 4.01 ERA and the Phils don’t look so hot right now.
- The only 2 pitchers I am interested in are on the D-Backs roster – Garland and Davis – doubtful we could get either one and in fact, it is rumored that the Brewers have claimed Doug Davis.
Minor League Recap – 8/12/09 – From Jared at http://thinkbluela.blogspot.com/
Albuquerque won 8-6
Tony Abreu – 2 for 5, 2B, R, E (.341 BA)
Blake DeWitt – 2 for 4, 2B, 3 RBI, R (.256 BA)
Chattanooga won 5-2
Lucas May – 2 for 5, 2B, R, K (.292 BA)
Andrew Lambo – 1 for 3, HR (11), 4 RBI, R, 2 K’s (.263 BA)
Javy Guerra – 0.1 IP, 0 Hits, 0 R, 0 BB, K (4.15 ERA)
Inland Empire lost 6-1
Preston Mattingly – 0 for 4, 2 K’s (.235 BA)
Trayvon Robinson – 1 for 4, HR (14), RBI, R, 3 K’s (.305 BA)
Scott Van Slyke – 0 for 3, K (.289 BA)
Great Lakes lost 1-0
Dee Gordon – 0 for 4, 2 K’s (.296 BA)
Jaime Pedroza – 2 for 4, 2B, K (.256 BA)
Mario Songco – 0 for 3, BB, K (.161 BA)
Kyle Russell – 0 for 3, BB, 2 K’s (.272 BA)
Aaron Miller – 5 IP, 3 Hits, ER, BB, 4 K’s (1.38 ERA)
Geison Aguasviva – 4 IP, 2 Hits, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K’s (1.51 ERA)
Ogden lost 3-2
BCG – 2 for 4, K, CS (.335 BA)
Blake Smith – 0 for 4, 2 K’s (.205 BA)
Nick Akins – 2 for 4, 2B, RBI, R (.250 BA)
Daigoro Rondon – 1 IP, Hit, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K’s (4.02 ERA)
AZL won 5-1
Jonatahan Garcia – 1 for 4, R, K (.282 BA)
Austin King – 2 for 4, 2B, HR (1), 2 RBI, R (.196 BA)
Jan Vazquez – 0 for 4, K (.170 BA)
Carl Webster – 5 IP, 2 Hits, R (0 ER), BB, 8 K’s (2.05 ERA)
Beyker Fructuoso – 3 IP, Hit, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K’s (7.23 ERA)
Player of the Day – Carl Webster, RHP
An unheralded 18th round pick out of a NC high school, Webster was solid in his debut but struggled mightily with control (17 walks in 18.1 IP). This year, he has walked only 13 in 44 innings while striking out 52. Carl’s making a case for a late season promotion, but he’ll be just 20 next season which is a fine age to start full season ball.