Earth time – 5/18/2010, 9:00 AM EDT – After winning 8 straight games, and going 13-3 in their last 16 games, the Dodgers are long gone from the “outhouse” (currently occupied by the vastly overrated D’Backs – I told you in Spring Training that they would be horrid), and just 2.0 games from the Penthouse. With a 21-17 record, they are on pace for 89 wins (if you extrapolate their winning percentage). I have heard some Dodgers followers (they are not fans) who are actually mad about what is happening because I guess they can’t bash McCourt anymore. That’s just plain sad! Maybe they can trash the farm system, as some of the Dodgers top prospects are under-performing (that’s a joke). I can always tell when the Dodgers win, because very few people post. I guess they just love the negativity…
At any rate, the Dodger’s pitching, which so many of you complained about, and said that the Dodgers could not win as a result of not getting more pitching and an ACE, is suddenly their strength. Kershaw, Billingsley, Kuroda and Ely are pitching as well as any other quartet in baseball and the Dodgers team ERA dropped to 4.35 last night. Kershaw, Bills and Kuroda – that’s no surprise to me. John Ely? What a huge surprise! This Matthew McConaughey look-alike throws strikes, is very adept at changing speeds, and is savvy beyond his years. I think he’ll be a very nice “middle-of-the-rotation” guy for years. He’s no “flash in the pan” because he doesn’t walk people. He didn’t have great control last night and he still didn’t walk anyone.
The bullpen which was bleeding early in the season is now slamming doors. Those of you who “knew” this was what it would be like this year, didn’t know anything! Admit it and enjoy the ride. Lawdog who has been one of the most vocal dissidents, freely admitted it yesterday: “I don’t mind giving Mark a tip of the hat for being more accurate in his assessment of our talent than me.” Thanks, Lawdog. You are ‘da man! It’s a long season and anything can happen, but this team has a chance to be very, very good, and contrary to what many have said, it looks like the Dodgers might have improved their pitching during the off-season.
It’s no coincidence that in their eight game winning streak, the Dodgers have only committed one error. Blake DeWitt is showing improved range at 2B and Jamey Carroll and Casey Blake have been playing like the sure-handed savvy vets that they are. Quietly, James Loney has stepped up his play at 1B and is becoming a defensive force. Matt Kemp is back to his Gold Glove play in CF and Reed Johnson brings outstanding Defense every time he plays.
RANTS & RAVES
- Russ Martin has a 12 game hitting streak and is still hitting .265 – 1 hit a game in most cases…
- They say that Xavier Paul projects as a 4th OF because he doesn’t have the requisite power needed by a corner outfielder. If I remember correctly, Baseball America said the same thing about Andre Ethier. There is talk the Dodgers will go after Carl Crawford next year. I’d try Paul first.
- Andre Ethier – Dodger MVP? NL MVP?
- Hopefully Kuroda will make it Nine in a row tonight.