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We Lost The Battle, But Won The War…

We Lost The Battle, But Won The War…

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

Martin and Sandoval - Ben Margot - Associated Press

Martin and Sandoval - Ben Margot - Associated Press

 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.

DODGER NOTES

  • 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)

http://tinyurl.com/qufuyn
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)

http://tinyurl.com/oledlx
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)

http://tinyurl.com/omfkxc
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)

http://tinyurl.com/ppx6od
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)

http://tinyurl.com/qrfw9g
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)

http://tinyurl.com/qv72ed
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.

About Mark Timmons

When you see the invisible, you can do the impossible!

26 Responses to “We Lost The Battle, But Won The War…”

  1. DRomo says:

    I love that Russ went off yesterday. I will admit I didn’t see the game I just saw highlights because I was at work(I apologize my priorities are WAY screwed up) . Was that pitch a mistake or was it in response to Martin being low bridged by the Giants runner? Either way I like it. Martin has been more vocal about having each others back. It looked to me that Martin was trying to not let Chubby Panda intimidate young McD. Russ has shown he is a leader. As for McDonald…the kid is from Long Beach! You think a kid form the L.B.C. is afraid of a fat man with a bat? I don’t think so.

    Mark is right about no one noticing Martin was at 3B to end the game yesterday. I couldn’t help but think that with all the trades of our young 3B talent, maybe the Dodgers are projecting Martin as the 3B of the future? Maybe they figure when the Foundation is done in a couple years Russ slides into that spot?

  2. lawdog says:

    I suppose you couldn’t have asked for a better result when you pitch a game by “committee”. Committee of of one middle reliever and a pot full of set up guys.

    But when you’re pitching against the probable Cy Young award winner, you know Torre didn’t expect to come this close. He was tossing this game into the loss heap and burned up a bunch of relievers in the process. I know we have a day off so they probably won’t throw their arms off when he uses them again tomorrow, but I question the intelligence in the approach altogether.

    Reminds me once again of Del Tracy who seemed to think once we’d won the first two games of a 3 game series it was only sporting to roll over and die in the third game. Make sure we didn’t hurt the tender feelings of oour opponents by sweeping them, particularly if we’re playing at their house!

    I predicted yesterday that if Weaver actually started we wouldn’t see Haeger pitch and would lose the game. It hurts to be right sometimes.

    I don’t know why Torre wouldn’t hand the ball to the kid with the baffling dancer that no one can hit to start the game. I know he doesn’t like to play rookies, but when you scraping the bottom of the barrel what have you got to lose?

    But even if you go with Weaver, when you get to the 9th and through some obvious intervention by the Big Dodger in the Sky, you’re not losing 8-2 and instead the score is knotted at 2 runs a piece, why not go with the kid with the best dancer Charlie Hough has ever seen? If the game went 18 innings, Haeger could have gone all those extra innings in his sleep and he would have had the Giant hitters taking two or three swipes at the knuckleball from the time it left his hand to the time Martin lunged at it and caught it for a strike.

    Instead he went with an overworked, mediocre short reliever who predictably gave up a a walk off home run.

    It was bad enough what Torre did to Elbert–announce he’s starting Sunday, then through him into Friday’s game where he puts out a fire with a strikeout and then, going the extra inning, gives up a home run to shortest area in the part (the 309 ft. right field garden fence.) He then sits Elbert down, scratches his Sunday start, then sends him back to AAA and doesn’t call him back when he has another opening two days later. C’mon Joe! Do you have any kind of plan at all or are you just making this up as you go along? Please let us see Haeger pitch before you send his ass back to the farm! Please?

    Abreu should be on the squad as well. What the hell is Torre thinking? Is Torre thinking at all?

  3. T says:

    Why was Mota in instead of Broxton? I shook my head when Uribe came up to bat. I knew Mota would groove a fastball to a guy who has pop. It would’ve been nice to beat Lincecum. I hate that guy

  4. Ken says:

    Law Dog

    You do not understand what I have been implying all year. So here is my opinion with no holds bared.

    Torre is the king of introducing the Stockholm Syndrome into baseball. This is how it works – Unlike Little who welcomed every new player with the opportunity to play the first day that they arrived, and thus making them part of the team, Torre manipulates the new player into wondering when they will play, hoping that they will play, begging to play, and then doing whatever he asks them to do, so that Big Ego is in total control of their destiny. The whatever includes “pitching everyday if that is what it takes to be brought back onto the team” (paraphrased) – Belisario. Torre does not care about who needs to pitch on a predictable schedule, who can not pitch with 4 days rest, who can not pitch three days in a row, who should be on the DL for 15 days, who is on pace to pitch 80 innings for the year, who had a tired arm in Winter ball, who had Tommy John surgery a couple of years ago, who has pitched more innings before the All Star break than they pitched the entire prior year, etc, He just does not care about anything but his precious winning percentage.

    If you ever wonder why the bullpen is so missued and the apperance of the releivers is so unpredictable just think about the manipulation that is occurring and it will all make sense.

    Law Dog please lead the class action law suit for the players for intentional infliction of emotional distress.

    Just my Opinion, not a statement of fact.

  5. Badger says:

    “He just does not care about anything but his precious winning percentage.”

    That’s what all of us care about.

    I do agree that sometimes Joe makes some weird moves, but I do not buy into any argument that suggests he is deliberately hurting his players. We have a starting staff that just can’t finish. That presents a problem for a manager. Who is best suited to finish up the game and get the last 9-12 outs? Our relievers lead the Majors in IP and tired arms. He has to send the guys out there that he believes will get the outs.

    A complete game now and then might be all this team needs.

  6. SpokaneBob says:

    We are fortunate that we some quality players in the minors. There have been times when it was thin. If we can make it to Sept.1st, the extra arms should go a long way in provideing some rest for our pen. I would also like to see Abreu back up and soon. I think it would be good to have him elgible for the post season roster.

    Great comeback yesterday. Agree that we should have given the ball to the kid.

  7. Bill Russell says:

    If Kuo wouldn’t have walked home a run yesterday, my prediction of a 2-1 victory would have come true. Damn it.

    Anyway, great come back with (Softy no longer) leading the way. I agree with Badger that Torres just trying to win games. He plays the hot hand and moves the batting lineup around a little more then I would like him to but I can live with that. Why should Torres ego or green tea drinking intimadate rookies coming up to the bigs? I guess I’m old fashioned but players should already want to play when they get to the bigs and want to do good when they get the chance. There are lots of players that make it to the bigs only to sit on the pine. Haeger isn’t the first and won’t be the last. Joe Torre probably felt Haeger needed to be ready in case of a longer extra inning game or blow out but because it was a big game for both teams and he didn’t have a catcher prepared to catch knuckleballers, it wouldn’t be the best time to try it out unless it was an emergency. He felt like the better chance of winning was to stuck with his main core of pitchers because they wouldn’t melt under pressure. Little did he know Mota would throw a fastball down broadway with an 0-2 count. Stupid

    What will I do today with no Dodger baseball? I guess I’ll have to get some work done. Peace

  8. SpokaneBob says:

    BTW If the FAT PANDA hadn’t swung at the ball he wouldn’t have gotten hit. Thats why he didn’t get sent to first.

    Martin did great. When Mota hit Fielder he quickly got between Chubs and his pitcher, but maintained his cool. But when PANDA began threatening Mc Donald Russel was all in. He will protect his pitchers…..very cool.

  9. Bill Russell says:

    I forgot exactly what Vinny said yesterday about the Panda when he was pissed about being hit by the pitch but it was funny. Does anyone remember? Something about the Panda being furious.

    Vinny still has the touch about saying special things when something exciting happens. I am going to miss him after next year.

  10. lawdog says:

    I think Ken is right about Torre. It won’t do us any good to have a half dozen fresh arms come up from the farm in September if Joe won’t put them in a game. I thought he had a clue of some sort that I just wasn’t getting until he mishandled Elbert completely a few days ago. Elbert wasn’t the only player to get called up for nothing and then sent back down only to have someone promoted over his head as he waits sitting on his hands, hoping for another chance but having no idea what he did wrong to lose the chance he’d been promised in the first place.

    We need a bat like Abreu’s, and with O-Rod out there’s no good reason why Abreu isn’t playing second base right now instead of geezer Castro-the man who once could field but never could hit his way out of a paper bag. Now that he’s geezing he doesn’t have any real redeeming value when you’ve got an Abreu rotting on the farm. So we’ll continue with an automatic out playing second because Torre is a bull headed ego maniac.

    Now I’m a Haeger fan, but I can tell you right now he won’t even get to warm up in the bullpen before Joe sends him back down–and he shouldn’t have been called up until Elbert got the start he was promised.

    Joe Torre plays with player’s heads and he ruins young arms. And he gets paid bazillions for doing so. He’s got a Bigelow head that’s too bigelow for his own good.

  11. Ken says:

    LawDog Welcome to the dark side!!!

  12. Bill Russell says:

    Now that’s funny right there, I don’t care what anyone says.

  13. Badger says:

    Maybe Torre just wants as big a lead going into September as he can get. I don’t know what his day to day, week to week plan is, but winning as many games as possible is at the top of his must-do list.

    I don’t buy into the idea that teams have to be in a tight race to the end. Teams have to be healthy and rested for the post-season. Wouldn’t it be great to clinch with a week to go and give everyone a rest? Every pitcher that is eligible will be given his shot very soon. If Haeger gets people out, he will be on the field. Same with Elbert, and I won’t be surprised to see a couple of others get their innings between now and October.

    Joe wants to first win the division, and second have his best team available for 3 post season series’.

  14. Bill Russell says:

    Now tomorrows post will show a turtle and a rabbit on it.

  15. DRomo says:

    I agree with you Badger..kinda. You don’t have to be in a race until the end but you should be peaking at the right time. Right now certainly isn’t that time but it is not a time to fall apart either. What I have noticed is the teams that have the best records and coast usually fail in the post season, in any sport. The playoffs can be a crap shoot and the teams that are the hottest go further. Colorado a few years ago were hot & made it to the series. Our Dodgers were hot and sparked by the addition of Manny and the Foundation last year, we made it past the Cubbies who had the best record in the NL! Now is the time to play with the idea of a Haeger or Lindblom, see what Elbert can do as a starter, but come September we need to sprint to the finish and be ready to roll in the playoffs!

  16. matt says:

    who is Carl Webster? Does anyone have a scouting report on him?

  17. Kay in L.A. says:

    Bill Russell, I know, what do we do without a ball game and all those Bigelow ghastly green tea ads? Even a stand-off with some mystery suspect in a red VW at the Federal Bldg is not as entertaining.

  18. lawdog says:

    How can you play your best 28 players if you won’t give a newcomer to the squad a chance unless he’s 67 years old? Torre is cruising to his retirement. He’d like to win, but he won’t give anyone he doesn’t know well a chance to prove himself. That’s a recipe for losing in the stretch.

  19. Darth says:

    “I find your lack of faith disturbing.”

  20. Badger says:

    I have been vocal in my fear of this pitching staff wearing out. I said it early and I said it often. I still don’t see starters on this team that fill me with the confidence of knowing that they can pitch 7 innings every start from now until October and then do the same thing until November. That is why I would like to see this team and this staff well rested and ready for a second season. Now that may be very unrealistic, but it’s how I feel.

    I would give Haeger his shot now. Why not now? If he can get it done, let him do it and give this staff a shot in the arm. If he can’t do it, don’t we want to know sooner rather than later?

    And who knows, it may be Windblown that comes up and gets people out. I’ll take anyone at this point.

  21. Bill Russell says:

    Guy’s if you haven’t checked the standings lately, the Rockies are only 5 games back and charging. Yesterday was a crucial game in my opinion. We want to beat the teams that are chasing us. September’s schedule is very weak and there should be plenty of opportunities for Elbert, Haeger and others to pitch in the majors next month. If you guys can remember back, Elberts last outing didn’t go all that well in relief. I can’t remember exactly what happened but I remember thinking OH KNOW he’s going to start on Sunday. I bet Torre felt the same way and pulled back on his decision to start Elbert. That’s what Managers are paid to do. I understand Lawdog’s disappointment because he’s been hyping Haeger for over a month now. I just don’t understand all the fuss over not playing Haeger yesterday. You have to keep one starter in the pen for long relief just in case the game goes long. Unless we pitch Loney or Loretta. Weaver is normally our long guy however he started the game. And as I said before, I’m sure Martin or Ausmus hasn’t had a great deal of experience catching the knuckleball. A game against the Giants isn’t the right time to experment with catching that pitch unless you are forced into that situation. Everyone needs to take a step back, drink some Bigalows Green Tea and enjoy the season. Where has Mark been and what are his thoughts on this matter???????

  22. Bill Russell says:

    OK, I had to look up Scott Elbert’s last appearance. Against Atlanta he went 2/3′s of an inning gave up 2 hits, 2 earned runs and only struckout 1 batter. That’s what changed Torres mind about the start in Frisco. And just because he hinted about starting him Sunday doesn’t mean he has to keep his word. This is the big leagues boys and girls. Yes Torre has over used the pen but as Badger said, if the starters would go longer he wouldn’t have to use them as often. PEACE

  23. Darth says:

    “The plans you refer to will soon be back in our hands.”

  24. Bill Russell says:

    I haven’t heard anything but I’m betting that Martin and or Ausmus caught a bulpen session today in Camelback. I also bet Mr Haeger was throwing it.

  25. Bill Russell says:

    Back in the day, didn’t Knuckleballs throw both ends of double hitters? I believe I remember that happening.

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