Categorized | Mark Timmons

Give Credit To The Bomb Squad

Give Credit To The Bomb Squad
J-Pierre

Juan Pierre - 3rd Place in Dodger MVP Race?

Now that we have clinched a playoff spot and are within two games of  clinching the NL West Championship, I think it is time to shift the emphasis from our starters, namely Russell Martin, James Loney, Orlando Hudson, Rafael Furcal, Casey Blake, Manny Ramirez, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier, and recognize the Stuntmen.  Actually, this year they go by the moniker “Bomb Squad.”

It’s appropriate to start with Brad Ausmus, who has appeared in 35 games and sports a .301 Batting average, which is the highest of his career for the defensive specialist.  However, the veteran presence and clubhouse camaraderie fostered by Brad (who, by the way is a REAL smart guy) is hard to quantify.  Ned got his money’s worth on Ausmus play, but his clubhouse presence is priceless.  Ditto on Doug Mientkiewicz, Mark Loretta (who swooned mid-season, but seems to be heating-up again), and Juan Castro, who has hit a solid .288, filled in defensively for Raffy and has been an all-round stabilizing influence on this team. Blake DeWitt has to get a hand for bouncing up and down like a yo-yo between AAA and the big club.  He certainly didn’t have the offensive year we expected, but he played 3B, SS and 2B and never complained.  His stock hasn’t dropped in my eyes.  Blake DeWitt is a ballplayer.  Others made some contribution, such as Xavier Paul, AJ Ellis, and Jim Thome who delivered in the clutch last night.  Let’s not forget the late season heroic of Ronnie Belliard, who has hit as many HR in a few weeks for the Dodgers as he did all year for the Nats.

Last, but not least – I saved the best for last is Juan Pierre, who is some respects has been one of the most valuable Dodgers.  Behind Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier, Juan Pierre has to be somewhere around 3rd in Dodger MVP votingfor what he did while Manny was suspended and how he has played all year.  He just shows up (early), shuts up (no complaints) and steps up (in 360 AB’s he has hit .311 with a .371 OB%, stole 27 bases and scored 56 runs).   Juan Pierre is the Captain of the Bomb Squad!

RANTS & RAVES:

  • Randy Wolf got another “no-decision” last night.  It was a game he deserved to win… AGAIN!  So far this year, he has 11 games where he has produced quality starts and given up two runs or less, and has not got the win.  Right now, he has pitched 209 innings, is 11-6, allowed 173 hits, has 158 K’s to go with a 3.22 ERA.  If he had gotten wins in all those games, he would be 22-6 with a 3.22 ERA and people would probably be talking about the possibility of a Cy Young.  It’s certainly arguable that he’s been our ACE.
  • Speaking of playoffs, don’t forget that Ryan Howard hits .200 against LH and Raul Ibanez, who was amzaing the first half of the season, now looks like he’s 40 years-old.  Jimmy Rollins has been a lot worse than Raffy  (.289 OB%) and the Phils have arsonists in the pen.  Wolf and Kershaw will be very important if/when we play the Phils.
  • It’s possible that  we will only carry 10 or 11 pitchers on the playoff roster.  Who sits and who plays?
  • Matt Kemp quote:  “I haven’t done anything on the bases stupid this year other than maybe once or twice,” he says with a grin. “I’m learning.”  You gotta’ love him!
  • Clayton Kershaw tunes up for the playoff today.  I doubt he’ll go more than 70-80 pitches.

About Mark Timmons

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

26 Responses to “Give Credit To The Bomb Squad”

  1. DRomo says:

    It is nice that we will definately be in the playoffs and probably win the division. BUT home filed is our main focus! Especially when/if we face St.Louis and Philly.

    When you have the year we have had, JUST MAKING THE PLAYOFFS is nothing. I will not celebrate until we win the division!

  2. Badger says:

    Well said Mark. This has been a team effort. I would also give kudos to the bullpen for putting in so many quality innings all year long.

    Juan Pierre is who he is. On the right team, he plays everyday, steals 50 bases and scores 100 runs. Somebody out there must need a guy like that. He deserves more playing time than he has received here.

    If Kershaw gets 6 completed today, I will be happy. And I would like to see him do it on 75 pitches. My prediction? 5 IP on 80 pitches.

    MLB, in my opinion, needs to revisit the “W” rules. Sherrill didn’t pitch that well, gets one out and gets the W? Wolf gets 19 outs and gets nothing. Something is just wrong about that.

    I would like to clinch so Wolf can get a week off. Each inning he throws is one inning closer to the end of his year. HE is our ace – 200+ innings 3.24 ERA 1.09 WHIP and .227 BAA. Great numbers for a guy who hasn’t come close to 200 innings in 6 years.

  3. Blue Haze says:

    Thome can be woken up 2 minutes before his at bat and get a hit. I mentioned before Colletti didn’t go get Thome to just dump him come playoff time (referring to the discussion in here last week).

    Really all the parts of the team have actually come together as a “team”. When that happens then special things happen, as we have all witnessed this season. Now, the real game begins, can the Dodgers bottle up their “teamness” and uncork it in short sprints over the next few weeks? In other words, is there still something left that still has room to peak in the next few weeks?
    Personally I don’t think we have seen the best Dodgers yet, and it is going to take the “best Dodgers yet” to win the WS. Will they ever show it? They still struggle, off and on, with their offense — if that continues they don’t have a chance of winning it all. They click offensively, then they will walk right through all comers.

  4. ken says:

    Starters will be limited to 70-80 pitches for the rest of the regulare season in order to be able to realign the rotation based upon who the Dodgers will play in the playoffs since the starters may have to go on 3 days rest in the first series.

    I have seen Belly eating more food on the field since becoming a Dodger, always a bag in the pocket, than any other Dodger player the whole year on the field or in the dugout combined.

    Yes a nice bench this year.

    Kershaw – the young oxymoron. He throws the most pitches per at bat in the MLB and has the lowest Ball in Play Percentage in the MLB. When he learns how to control his pitches he will be very good.

  5. Bill Russell says:

    Wow, I came to the beach this weekend to relax and have fun. I just watched the life guards pull a scuba diver out of the ocean and pump her chest for 20 minutes. Don’t think shes going to make it. What a dose of reality.
    I didn’t get a chance to watch the Dodgers yesterday for the first time all season, I thought I was having a bad day.

    I hope Randy Wolf returns to the Dodgers next year, he’s a gamer and would be greatly missed in the rotation. I know we need to get home field advantage so we need to keep plugging away and winning games. Philly has cooled down and I hear St Louis has got some key players limping around. We just need to stay healthy and keep everyone game ready. I hope we can work in the reserves and still win. Go Blue

  6. SpokaneBob says:

    Much to my surprise the Dodger announcer said that because of tie breaker rules the magic number is one. So we could clinch today.

    Badger, I understand you concern about Wolf, but Torre doesn’t want to disrupt his 5 day rotation because “he is a feel pitcher” and extra time off might cause problems. The way things are set up now he would get an extra day because of a off day on Thursday and if he starts on Friday, it would set him up to throw our opening game in the post season.

    Bill, I agree on resigning Wolf for next year. Not only is he a steady starter, but he is also a good hitter and fields his position well.

  7. SpokaneBob says:

    Juan Pierre is a great 4th outfielder. He may deserve to play more, but don’t we deserve to have the best team possible. Are we not a better team with him on the bench instead of Repko or Hoffman? Juan makes plenty of money and he is one of our most valuable players. If we keep him he has the chance to be in the post season for the remainder of his contract. I wonder if he would rather play everyday foe a non-contending team.

  8. lawdog says:

    It’s not fair to Pierre to keep him. He’s probably too expensive for Fred to keep anyway.

  9. Badger says:

    Unless he rips it up in the play-offs, Manny has one year left here then we will need a LFer again. Will Pierre sit around another year making $9 mil as a back-up? Seems nuts to me, but, if Fred and Frankie are willing to pay that kind of money for a couple hundred at bats, who am I to say FREE JUAN! and “trade him for a starting pitcher”.

    Kershaw with 77 pitches, so I was close on that. Only 4 innings though, so not much has changed. I don’t see him going more than 5 in any post-season game. He can’t get 5 against the Pierats, he isn’t likely to get 7 against the Cards or Phils. I still go with Wolf, Kuroda and Garland. At least with those guys, you have a shot at 7 innings being completed before you go to the pen.

    Bummer day at the beach Bill. Sorry to hear about that.

  10. ken says:

    This year’s team reminds me too much of those Laker teams that only made it deep into the playoffs or to the championship game to lose.

    The Dodgers need one more star. Will they have to buy one or will someone step up next year.

  11. lawdog says:

    Ouch! Terrible loss today for the Dogs. I had a bad feeling about Broxton going into the bottom of the ninth. I hate it when he blows a save like that. How can you have killer stuff like his and just not get anybody out once in a while like this?

  12. lawdog says:

    Always happens against the worst teams. It’s a good thing we might back into the division title if st. looie can hold off the rocks. Do we want to back in?

    Hell, just win baby!~ I don’t care if we back in our win it going away tomorrow. Just get it over and win it!

  13. Miguel says:

    Yes, I am still alive. Family and work had me by the you know what. Had to pull triple time to pay the bills and put off rabble rousing with my favorite Dodgers fans.

    Badger, in regards to Pierre, I don’t think that anyone in the Dodgers organization would love anything more than to be able to move Pierre. Or even to “let him out” of his contract. But no teams are willing to pay $9million for a player that does what he does. They want power/youth for that type of dough these days. And if the Dodgers have to pay him why not keep him in case we lose an outfielder like happened this year.

    I’ve read alot, in this thread alone, about why don’t the Dodgers “Free Pierre?” It’s not that they don’t want to, its that no one else wants him at the price the Dodgers have him at.

    Terrible game today. Ethier blew that one by missing a slow rolling ball to right center. The game could have gone to extras and we could of won had he not committed that error. I got home just in time to watch that last at bat. Highly disappointing.

    On a happy note, I got my tix to game one of the playoffs! And tix to “Star Wars” night at Chavez Ravine this Saturday… all you can eat and free Yoda t-shirts! I’ll be saving the rest of my money for tix to the NLCS and WS. Go Blue!

  14. GoNzO says:

    If I was McCourt I’d go into that lockerroom and and go Steinbrenner on the club. I just can’t fathom how the players let up. Ethier’s error surprised me, but the guys though it was in the bag and let up.

    Call me a critic or a bad fan but broxton to me, is not closer material and I’ve said it all year. He will cost us a game in the playoffs. If I were playing, it would be playoff time everytime I’d step on the field. And that is what is missing.

  15. Kay in L.A. says:

    We’ll just call ya Gonzo:-)

    I am mystified as to why Ethier was trying to steal, then Kemp picked off: two outs that should not have happened. Are they getting signs or thinking this base-running up themselves?

    Win one day, lose the next: sales of Mylanta are up. Bring on the pain-killers.

    Romo, I want the Pebbles to win today; would rather the Dogs clinch with their own win than someone else’s loss.

  16. Kay in L.A. says:

    Oh, Bob, I was also surprised that magic number was 1 as of game start. I thought it was 2 when all (relevant) games were completed last night.

  17. power is over rated…i would take pierre any day..you know what you get from him..but you never know from a power hit..if he had a better arm..every one would be saying something different..

  18. Miguel says:

    Kay in L.A., the magic number is 1 because if they tied, the tie breaker goes to head to head matchup during the season. And the Dodgers are like 12-3 against them this season. So a tie means the Dodgers still win the division.

  19. Badger says:

    horsegolf is absolutely right.

    And Pierre gets to and releases his throws very quickly. His defense is not that bad. People who don’t know any better make jokes about his arm strength, but his RF, Fldg. % and ZR are at the top in MLB. He just doesn’t have enough time out there to show up in the rankings.

    Miguel, do you KNOW that to be true, or is it your opinion? Because I just don’t necessarily see it that way. Yes, it is true Fred Collectti had his cabaza firmly inserted when he offered that contract, but there just has to be a team that needs an everyday guy that steals 50+ and scores 100+. Pierre has also said – “I realize the economic situation, I’ll defer if it makes it more attractive.”

    If it’s such a bad contract, why do we keep him around? And don’t tell me “we have to”. We dumped Andruw on somebody. Juan wants out and he deserves to be somewhere he can play everyday. A good GM could make something happen.

    Broxton with another hairball. I just read about it, having walked away from gameday in the 9th when a friend stopped by. I don’t understand how he does stuff like this. I wish I had his fastball. One on the chin, the next one at the knees and there would be a change-up thrown now and then. I am over 60 and I can still throw one. It ain’t surgery, it’s just a change-up.

  20. DRomo says:

    Total team loss today. Kemp looked asleep when he got picked off, for the record he was out the first time. He dove back in slow motion each time!

    Raffy made two terrible plays in the 9th.

    Martin was less than stellar behind the plate.

    Broxton reminded me of how painfull last years playoffs were with the cough up job.

    Maybe these guys are just content to make the playoffs. I hope they were royaly embarrassed walking into a clubhouse covered in plastic only to NOT CELEBRATE!

  21. Mark Timmons says:

    Stories of Miguels demise have been greatly exaggerated.

    Glad to see you back. Miguel. I hope all is well in your world.

    Badger,

    Ned gave Juan Pierre and his agent permission to work out a deal. I think that after they tried and saw there was no maarket at the time, Juan just tried to make the best of a bad situation. I guarantee that if Ned can trade him over the winter, he will, but I would not be surprised if he is on the team next year.

    Modern baseball geeks don’t value guys like Pierre very highly.

  22. these guy are not going into the play off in a winning motion.. they are playing like a last place team…but joe should of had someone up in the pen as a back up…..cant he tell if a pitcher as it or not.when broxton give up two hits in a row ..i new he was not on his game…

  23. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Going into the playoffs on a winning note is overrated. Case in point, the 2006 Dodgers. If memory serves me correct, they won their last seven games of the regular season before getting swept by the Mets. The playoffs are all about who’s playing best at that particular moment. In fact, today’s loss could serve as a wake up call that helps to keep the team focused.

    The biggest loss today was in allowing the Phillies to get a game closer in the loss column with respect to home field advantage, and failing to extend their advantage against the Cardinals in that same loss column. And by the way, I was rooting for the Rockies today, because of the Cardinals.

    Finally, although I would prefer that the Dodgers get home field advantage, I’m not convinced it’s critical that they do, as evidenced by last years NLDS vs. the Cubs.

  24. Bill Russell says:

    I didn’t get to see the game today. Was Broxton wild or was he just getting hit? What a way to lose giving up 3 runs in the ninth. Juan will be traded someway in the off season unless Manny decides he can do better as a free agent. With Kemp and Ethier emerging as power hitters, I wouldn’t mind seeing Manny test the waters in the off season. Maybe Boras can talk him into thinking there’s a 3 year 15 million per year deal with NYY out there. I guess I’m not sorry I missed the game today. Nice to see Miguel got released. Peace

  25. Badger says:

    I didn’t see the game, but Gameday had Broxton throwing more fastballs than anything, no change-ups and two sliders that didn’t slide and were hit for singles. This man needs a two seamer and a change up. I’ll bet he works on it over the off season. I guess he wasn’t helped much by the defense, and maybe someone who saw the game can actually shed more light on what happened.

    Pierre may be overpaid by today’s standards. But, guys like him are very valuable to certain teams. We did play well as a team when he was our starting lfer. As long as power comes from somewhere else, this is a guy who can get on and get around. And there is value in having him on first base for his ability to distract a pitcher. Don’t you think teams that could actually afford weren’t really that interested because they already have their outfields set? Right now, in all of baseball, there are 14 guys who have scored 100 runs and none of them are Dodgers. Kemp is the only one with a shot at it. Maybe I am just too old school, but I really love what this guy brings to a team.

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