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GameTime – Billingsley vs. Maholm

GameTime – Billingsley vs. Maholm

Flash: As a result of last night’s error, Blake DeWitt has been benched and forced to walk around the clubhouse as pictured here.

"OK, I made an error, I'm sorry, Joe. Now, can I take the wig off?"

Dodgers Lineup:

  1. Furcal, SS
  2. Johnson, Re, LF
  3. Kemp, CF
  4. Loney, 1B
  5. Belliard, 3B
  6. Anderson, G, RF
  7. Carroll, J, 2B
  8. Ausmus, C
  9. Billingsley, P

About Mark Timmons

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

39 Responses to “GameTime – Billingsley vs. Maholm”

  1. Scoop says:

    Why bench DeWitt? Not a good move in my opinion.

    And, isn’t it a bit early to give guys days off?

    3 lineup changes in 3 games. Joe is at it again.

  2. lawdog says:

    We may have a problem. Our team plays with no passion, ( unlike what we’ve seen in recent years ) The first two games anyway–they look like they’re just going through the motions and more times than not fail to get a key hit or make a big defensive play. I know it’s not even May, but I was nervous as hell going into the season and nothing I’ve seen so far changes any of that.

    I think we’re beginning to see the real impact of the McCheapskate divorce.

  3. Roger Dodger says:

    Mark, do not read Lawdog’s last sentence. It will make you angry.

    Lawdog, I think I have only seen this present group of Dodger play with passion maybe 4 or 5 times in the past 3 years. Manny brought some passion with him when he came over, and then that game after his 50 days out — but so far, Manny does not have the timing and rhythm in his swing yet.

  4. Ken says:

    Bills starting to fall off toward first base. Where are the coaches?

  5. Mark_Timmons says:

    Roger,

    His last sentence doesn’t make me angry. It just shows how out of touch with reality he is.

    To be passionate, do you have to smash your helmet like Ethier did last night?

    College basketball teams like Butler and Duke are passionate in the NCAA Finals, but they play 35-40 games a year (one or two a week), while MLB players who get to the World Series may play 175 to 180 games (6-7 games a week).

    Just because someone doesn’t behave the way you would, or think they should, does not mean they are not passionate.

    Kemp, Furcal, Ethier, Loney and Manny are passionate, but they all display it differently.

    Is Chad Johnson (Ocho Cinco) more passionate that Walter Payton was, because Walter never showed emotion?

  6. Mark Timmons says:

    Ken, the last inning he was finishing up in the right place. He corrected it…

    Still too many pitches.

    He’s needs an easy inning.

  7. Roger Dodger says:

    Mark, you are confusing passion with displayed emotion. I do not mean breaking water coolers, or kicking dirt on the ump.

    Baseball passion can be when a player sees an important part of a game or situation, like two runners on base, two outs, and they have a 2 and 2 count — and their passion takes over and they control the situation. Manny use to be that way. But there are times that Kemp and Loney looked over draught with the situation and no passion. Swinging at bat pitches, taking called strikes.

    They are getting closer to playing in those kind of situations, but do not most of the time. Last year Ethier thrived on those and I think was a leader in the major on game winning hits. That is a form of passion.

  8. Mark Timmons says:

    Roger,

    I think that is called “being in the zone”

  9. Roger Dodger says:

    Yes, that IS right. And younger players like Kemp and the others have the great tools to play this game — but have not learned how to “be in the zone” when they have those situations.

    And when that happens next to one of them — we will all know it. Like a tie game, or even behind, and the key hit that wins — smiles all over the place.

    Even Bill Russell will be smiling.

  10. lawdog says:

    Last season, particularly when Manny was out and we had Pierre in the everydayt lineup you could count on the team coming back when they got down. They never gave up and played hard. In the first two games this year the whole team looks like they’ve just been awakened at 4:00 am and haven’t had their collecrtive cup of coffee.

    It’s just 2 games and we look a little better today. But most of the players seem to be sleep walking out thre against the lowly Bucs.

    Anybody else notice that Bills doesn’t throw as hard as he once did? Most of the time hie keeps his fastball around or under 90 mph and he can’t get people out like he once did when he routinely threw between 95-89 mph. 91=86 is a distinct fall off. In the 5th today he managed to get the ball up to the plate around 93 mph and struck out the last two guys.

    Just an observation. But the last half of last year I noticed he routinely threw 91-87 and was terrible. When he throws in the low to mid 90s he’s an ace.

  11. Mark Timmons says:

    Bills had about 10-15 pitches in the 93-94 MPH range, but his fastballs varied from 86 to 94. I like that. He just needs better control.

  12. Ken says:

    One of the coaches must have motivated the team today. Bills > 100 pitches, and great BARISP!! This could be the start of something big.

  13. A Shot of Haeger says:

    Hopefully we can keep this up tomorrow against the inconsistent Chris Volstad… Josh Johnson is always tough….

    72 hours until the chosen one starts!!!

  14. Scoop says:

    Walter Payton played with intense passion. You don’t need to act angry at the world to have passion. Slamming bats and smashing water coolers isn’t passion.

    Lineup change seemed to work today. I wonder if Joe changes it again tomorrow.

    Bills still with way too many pitches. 107 to get through 5.1 innings? But, he got the win and that is what counts.

    OK, off the schneid. 2 out of 3 in Florida and we go home from this trip at .500. That would be a good thing.

    • steevo17 says:

      What? Was that a little ray of sunshine I detected from you? Yup read it again…didn’t know you had it in you. LOL

      • Scoop says:

        There is a lot you don’t know about me steevo. I have been very consistent with my predictions and have been around here for a long, long time. You might want to do some research into the subject before you jump to your conclusions.

        LOL? Yeah, ok. That tells me a lot about you. How about we try a AFZ in here, ok kid?

        Moving on………

  15. Mark Timmons says:

    My point is, when you looked at Walter Peyton you could not tell if he was passionate by the expression on his face or deameanor. He scored a TD, he just handled the ball to the ref.

    … and I think smashing bats and helmets is passion (people get shot in the heat of passion), but it’s not the ONLY passion.

  16. lawdog says:

    If Bills threw 15 pitches 94-93 then the MLB speed gun is 5 mph slow! I watched carefully because he was routinely 86-91 last year. This season, in this game, I only saw him hit 92 or 93 on the gun 4 times. Do you have access to the Dogs gun Mark? How closely were you watching? He hit 91 often, but so did Wolf who is considered to be below average when it comes to the fast ball.

    Bills threw most of his fastballs 87-89 mph today and despite going 5 shut out innings, he struggled.

  17. Roger Dodger says:

    Lawdog, on MLB.com — Gameday charts, they post the speed, breaks etc. But I am not sure just what kind of gun they have now . . .

    . . . J. Valverde is pitching and they have his speed at: 96, 95, 94, 96 maybe he is that fast, maybe the guns are now just up a bit. I choose not to decide.

  18. Mark Timmons says:

    Lawdog,

    I just watch it on Gameday. Here’s the link to today’s game:

    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2010_04_08_lanmlb_pitmlb_1&mode=gameday

    The link looks dead to me right now, but I have it on during the game. I didn’t count it, but Bills was probably 93-94 MPH 10-15 times today.

  19. lawdog says:

    Without the discussion degenerating into a discussion of guns , which ones are fast and which are slow (the Dogs gun is reported to be 3 mph fast–why they haven’t fixed it is beyond me), would anyone argue that Bills’ fastball looked rto be in the 9–86 range most of the second half of last year? Or would anyone dispute the fact that in the years before he consistently hit the gun 91-96 with his heater?

    What I saw through most of the game was a heater that looked a lot like the one reported to be 91-86 during the second half last year. He managed to crank it up to 82 and 83 a couple of time and struck batters out as a result. Even if he doesn’t strike them out with the fastball, his off speed stuff is that much more effective when his fastball isn’t below average.

    Bills needs to throw a little harder more consistently when he brings the fastball. Maybe he’s relying on his cutter too much and that’s resulting in the decreased velocity on the 4 seamer. His stuff doesn’t explode like it used to–but he’s too young to have lost the speed to age.

  20. lawdog says:

    That’s crank it up to 92 and 93 a couple of times. And his velocity on the heater was 91-86 the second half of last year.

  21. Ken says:

    Maybe the Dodgers do have a good bench this year. If so, then they need to play often in order to stay ready.

  22. Scoop says:

    “Maybe the Dodgers do have a good bench this year.”

    Yeah, maybe. But they ain’t this good. I would count on them doing what they have been doing every year. And, doesn’t it seem that most of the time hitters that come to L.A. just don’t repeat what they have done in other ballparks? L.A. is a notorius pitcher’s park, then add Petco in S.D. and the pitching staff of the Gints, and I can’t imagine any of those guys having career years off our bench.

    But, who knows. Maybe all of them hit .300 and Joe will be forced to bench Manny, DeWitt and Blake. If Reed does continue to hit .750, we can see if anyone in the A.L. wants to take Manny off our hands.

  23. steevo17 says:

    I think Bills is learning that velocity is NOT the end all to pitching…would you rather see him throw 95 consistently with minimum control or 90 with good location. True that 4 BB in 5 1/3 IP is NOT good, but this is the another step to Bills learning to be a pitcher, not a thrower. Lets give him a couple of more starts and lets see how his velocity + control are progressing, then make a judgement.

    Kershaw still has to learn this if he is to be the ace we all expect him to be. Low 90s (92-93), maybe even hitting the mid 90s (95-96) once in a while, with good control, add in changes of speed and a breaking ball (curve and/or slider) is the way to get hitters out at any level.

    Velocity is way down the list of important things to notice, especially early in the season. Many pitchers are still working out kinks or figuring out details at this point. My guess is our starting pitching will improve as the season progresses.

    That said, it was great to see the offense, especially the top of the lineup wake up. Our bench really kicked it into high gear today. Anyone else see Belliard as our future cleanup hitter? 4 RBI and a 2-run dinger…sweet. Furcal, with 2 hits today, is sporting a .400 OBP and Loney got his first 3 hits of the season. Nice game overall.

    DODGERS IN 2010!!!

  24. Scoop says:

    “Anyone else see Belliard as our future cleanup hitter?”

    In a word – no.

    But your point about velocity is well made. Some of Bills 90 mph fastballs could be two seamers, which typically are thrown for movement. But 4 BB in 5.1 is not going to cut it. He and Kershaw have the same issue – trust your stuff and throw strikes. These are the Pirates, not the Yankees. This was the perfect team in which start off with and neither of our prize young studs could get 6 IP.

    I look for improvement in both of them next time out. And the Marlins have a better team than the Pirates so the Dogs had better be ready.

  25. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    In all three games I noticed everyone’s velocity was down. I saw Padilla hit 94 once or twice, and mostly sat at 90-92. Kershaw also hit 94 a few times, but was mostly in the low 90′s. Even Broxton hit only a high of 94 today. I was watching the Pittsburgh feed on MLB Extra Innings. I’m guessing that the they’re using a slow gun in Pittsburgh, or perhaps velocity is down because the pitchers aren’t fully stretched out this early in the season.

    I haven’t seen anything to indicate that the Dodgers are passionless. I don’t see any less hustle than I’ve always seen. When teams are in a funk they probably look less passionate than when they’re winning. But looks can be deceiving.

    And players don’t learn how to be in the zone. It simply happens, without explanation or effort. It’s not something that can be turned on and off. I still believe that we are never as good as we are when we’re at our best, nor are we as bad as we are when we’re at out worst. Same goes for the Dodgers.

    It was good to see Furcal come alive with a few hits. If he does that, this team will score. And Kemp will come alive (although .357 ain’t bad) when he begins to hit the ball towards center and right center. I’ll know he’s in the zone when I see him hitting some balls over the center and right center field fences.

    I don’t know if anyone noticed, but I was impressed with Monesterios’ changeup. He’s really got a good one. If he sticks around (or if the Dodgers can engineer a trade to keep him), I think this kid is going to be a good one. Looks like he has the potential to be a really good starter.

    • steevo17 says:

      Ditto.

      I was going to copy and paste your whole post as my post, but then I thought that might be cheating…I don’t want to be labeled by anyone around here.

      But well said BD and right on target in my opinion.

  26. Mark Timmons says:

    Duh…

    Everyone’s velocity is down early in the season. Broxton was 91-94 in AZ. I don’t go by stadium guns. I go by Gameday which is from MLB and they have their own employees who do that. I have no idea about the Dodgers guns. I have had people tell me they were slow…

    I don’t know.

    This I know:

    1. Bills was at 93-94 multiple times.

    2. Bills did not lose velocity last year.

    3. Bills can throw 97-98 as can Kershaw, but usually they don’t!

    4. Padilla can also throw that fast.

    5. Ramon Ortiz used to throw that fast.

    6. I have seen Brox hit 101 in Cincy (not the Dodgers gun).

    7. I go by Gameday as it is consistent.

  27. Mark Timmons says:

    Bills threw a couple of 94 MPH cutters.

  28. Scoop says:

    94 mph cutter. That’s in the Mariano Rivera range. I think his tops out at 95. If Bills can get that pitch on the corner, he can be very effective.

    But, what’s with the 107 pitches? He threw 41 pitches out of the strike zone in 5.1 innings. That’s 3 innings worth of work right there.

  29. Mark Timmons says:

    Billingsley struck out cleanup hitter Ryan Doumit in the fifth inning, and pumped a fist. Passionless?

  30. Richard Lotz says:

    Kemp slammed a cup after he drank his gatorade, Passionless?

    Martin gave the grinding, hip-pumping-motion signal to a chick he made eye contact with in the stands, Passionless?

    Joe Torre has Don Mattingly pull his finger, producing a thunderous fart from Joe, Passionless?

    No my friends, these boys are full of passion, they want to win and they are proud as hell to be Dodgers, these are the Boys of Summer. These are the boys that you want to go to war with, these guys fight to the death. —– Wait, hold on, QUIT being so dramatic (point illustrated above, sarcasm noted) with about the first three games of the season.

    When the kids start winning they will be said to be playing with emotion, when the kids continue losing they will be said to play without passion. I guess scoreboard is the biggest impact on one’s perceived passion or lack there of. You guys are proving to be fans, short for fanatics, thus your passions (and angry vitriol) rise and fall based on scoreboard. Burn and chill, you whack jobs! They have won one, relax, take some deep breaths and think good thoughts.

  31. Kevin says:

    no steevo17 I doubt anyone else here envisions Belliard as our future clean up hitter. I assume you were kidding???

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