Categorized | Mark Timmons

Hyperventilation, Anyone?

Hyperventilation, Anyone?

It seems to me that many Dodger fans are hyperventilating after seeing their beloved Dodgers start 2-4.  It doesn’t make me happy either, but lets’ not forget that it’s not how you start – it’s how you finish, and the Dodgers stumbled at the finish line last year.  They had a stretch where they went 2-7 before finally clinching from the Rockies. I am going to suggest that the .069 ERA George Sherrill had as a Dodger last year will not be duplicated, but neither will he have  22.50 ERA.  Jeff Weaver was reliable last year, but he had a few hic-ups – all pitchers do.  What can we learn from the first six games?  One thing – Don’t Jump to Conclusions! It’s a long season which is officially 1/27th over for the Dodgers.

Charlie Manual stuck with Brad Lidge last year, even with a 7.21 ERA and 11 blown saves because he believed in him.  Like Yogi used to say, “90% of the game is half mental.” Guys have mechanical issues and guys have mental issues.  The mechanical issues, as hard as they are to work out, are easier than the mental aspects of the game.  Right now, just about everything that can go wrong, is going wrong.  Matt Kemp is not playing the way he should, even though his stats look good.  Our bullpen looks to be a shambles.  Our hitting with RISP is poor.  All of this can change overnight.

Jeff Weaver is part of this team until he blows several games.  George Sherrill is a co-closer, like it or not, and Joe Torre will use him as such (at least until he proves he can’t do it).  Russ Ortiz and Ramon Ortiz are getting a chance to show that they belong (or not), before Belisario and Kuo are re-called.  The team is 2-4 not because of poor managing, but because of poor execution – both hitting and pitching.  The manager will get fired before the players, but right now, the Dodgers are not executing the way they should.  Matt Kemp should be able to get a runner home from 3B with just one out.  George Sherrill has to be able to hold a two-run lead.  Jeff Weaver should not have imploded like yesterday.   Yada, Yada, Yada! .  All of our hitters are to blame in one way or another.  Our starters have to pitch deeper into games, like Hiroki Kuroda.  Some of it is simply bad luck, but luck is often where preparation meets opportunity.

Next man up! Whoever is put out there has to deliver… and I believe they will.  The home opener seems to be what the Dodgers are focused upon.  Maybe the season starts now…

The Dodgers pitching was the best in baseball the past two years.  Has everyone forgotten how to pitch?  I doubt it.  Our offense will be very good, but what is happening is more mental than mechanical.  It’s a mindset.  A mindset I wonder whether our current batting instructors are able to impart.  I’m not saying they can’t.  I’m just saying I’m from Missouri – you have to Show Me!

Jon Weisman has a great blog on RISP or not…

About Mark Timmons

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

16 Responses to “Hyperventilation, Anyone?”

  1. Scoop says:

    I have a theory about players and teams – you can’t really make any judgments about players until they have 100 at bats on the year. Pitchers sometimes don’t get settled in until May or even June. Using Sabathia as an example, his three year splits have him with an ERA over 5 in April.

    And teams are like stocks – they are up and down all year long. This is a team that has some changes that were made, has an owner up to his gluteals in lawyers and is a team that needs to find it’s identity. I think it will do just that in time, but it may take several weeks to figure this out. I know better than to judge anything or anybody by the first five minutes of introduction. First impressions are only that, first impressions. Things have a way of growing on you, and I look forward to see how this team grows on me.

  2. Ken says:

    Sir Jon W’s analysi is faulty. He arrives at his conclusion based upon the 6 game RISP average of .260, which includes the one game obvious outlier of 7-12 (.583). The daily RISPs are:
    .158 L
    .133 L (Blown save)
    .583 W
    .267 W
    .250 L (Blown save)
    .200 L (Blown save)

    There is not a direct correlation between RISP and Wins because there are too many other variables. However, RISP is a major cause of the Dodgers not being able to overcome the lousy pitching performances and therefore losing. In other games the RISP and the Bullpen are the combined reasons that the Dodgers Lost. When the RISP is high the pitchers obviously feel less pressure and their performance is slightly improved.

    I wrote a post last week about the Dodgers choking because RISP is ONE of their problems. That post was intended to be humorous. Some of you saw the intended humor and others did not. However, dismissing the RISP problem altogether is plain wrong.

  3. Mark_Timmons says:

    Moss has a way of growing on you too…

    ;)

    • Ramraja says:

      There is an existing souliton to Gene’s concerns, local community colleges can provide the skills gap training customized to local manufacturer’s needs. The disconnect is that some times a manufacturer (especially small Mfg), does not have the tools or experience to do proper skills assessment. The common barrier for those manufacturers who do know what skills need improving, is not will to spend the money and/or time needed for proper employee training. Another common disconnect with manufacturing is the desire to hire multi-disciplined worker at an entry level pay grade.

  4. lawdog says:

    Anyone miss the brief clip of Haeger’s 12k performance yesterday? Here’s the link:

    http://losangeles.dodgers.mlb.com/index.jsp?c_id=la

  5. Jared Massey says:

    I remember the Dodgers winning 11 of their first 13 in 2005. And we all know how well that season went…

  6. A Shot of Haeger says:

    It’s way to early to panic or get uber excited… unless you’re talking about my man, Charlie Haeger… so far so good.

  7. lawdog says:

    Any truth to the rumor that McCourt and Ned were looking to sign Jamie Moyer to a contract extension after trading some top prospects to the Phillies for him, but were unable to get an accurate carbon dating figure on his age? :roll:

  8. Bill Russell says:

    I don’t think we could ask too much more out of our 5th spot. Haeger is all that some of the guys have been talking about and a bit more. Torre did misuse Broxton which may or maynot have cost us a game. We may have lost the Saturday game if Broxton didn’t come in and shut it down. The pen has been lighting fires so far this year. Our pen is the biggest disappointment so far this year for me but help should arrive soon with Bellosorryass.
    I’m keeping my head up and hoping that we turn it around at home over the next few days. I’m going to the game tomorrow if the weather permits it being played and having a few Dodger Dogs and brewski’s in LA DODGER TALKS honor. It’s too early to throw in the towel my fellow Dodger brothers.
    Mark, where do I turn in my receipts for reinbursment for the dogs and brewski’s I’ll be eating and drinking in your honor? GO BLUE

  9. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    My numbers may be a little off, but I believe I remember the Dodgers losing 13 out of 14 before the all-star break in 2006, and then following that up after the break by winning 18 of 19. So we know that very bad can be followed very quickly by very good.

    And baseball is a game of inches, and we all know that the Dodgers, poorly as they’ve played, could easily, with a bounce here or a bounce there, have won 1 or 2 of the games they lost. And how much better does 4-2 or 3-3 look than 2-4?

    So I’m not discouraged. I believe this team will both hit and pitch as the year progresses. The return of Belisario and Kuo would definitely help. I’m also encouraged that Furcal has begun to hit. And, unless his age has caught up with him, I expect Manny to begin hitting.

  10. Mark Timmons says:

    Lawdog,

    You were the guy who was chomping at the bit to sign Moyer last year!

    Billy,

    All of those beers and Dodger Dogs are now tax deductable. If there are any questions from your IRS auditor, have him call BR-549! I have your back. ;)

  11. Mark Timmons says:

    SAY “I BELIEVE!”

  12. Scoop says:

    I BELIEVE!

    OK, now what?

    How did Torre misuse Broxton? Not sure I understand that one. He is the closer. In games that need to be closed, he needs to be in there. Doesn’t matter if it is today, tomorrow and the next day, use him. Jon Rauch already has 5 saves for the Twins, nobody is saying he is being misused. If Broxton is throwing strikes, he only throws about 12 pitches per inning. Heck I could do that everyday and I am 62 years old. Of course, I don’t throw the ball 94 anymore, more like 49, but the point is, closers close.

    We will find out a lot more about this team on this homestand. If they play well now, things should come together. If they don’t, the questions will become more heated. I am not looking at wins and losses yet, I am looking at quality of play.

  13. Mark Timmons says:

    That’s part of MY point, Scoop. It’s easy to blame the manager.

  14. lawdog says:

    I’m not saying Moyer couldn’t still pitch last year Mark. O am saying he’s now older than dirt itself.
    Besides, if you’re going to make a joke about the geezer-types we’ve been signing, why not pick the oldest starter you can find. His abilities last year are irrelevant.

    I can’t believe I’m having to explain a joke. :mad:

    I guess it was a bomb. I thought it was pretty funny.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks


Leave a Reply

Mandatory Daily Dodger Reading