Categorized | Mark Timmons

An Ace and the Chip

An Ace and the Chip

An Ace:  While no one on the Dodgers will say it publicly, Clayton Kershaw is morphing into that Ace the Dodger fans covet, probably sooner that most expected.  As Tony Jackson of ESPN/LosAngeles points out, he is 6-1 with a 1.83 ERA in his last 8 starts and is pitching much deeper into games.  He has allowed only 4 HR in 85 innings pitched – just one in the past six weeks.  He did get off to a poor start this year and walked a lot of batters early in the season, but last night he showed how much better his command has become.  Clayton threw 110 pitches last night, 79 of which were strikes.  When you are actually at a game, you can see what the other hitters think about the guy on the mound – when the Reds hitters walked to the plate, they looked like a death-row inmate going to the execution chamber, and when they walked back to the dugout, they were muttering under their breath.   The thing is, I have seen Clayton with a much better curve-ball than last night, but he has learned to work with what he has and he trusts whatever stuff he has.    I still would like to see the Dodgers get another Ace, but the fact is, they already have one.

The Chip: This has to be the thing on Manny’s shoulder.  He played last night with a vigor and a zeal I haven’t seen from him in quite a spell.  Forget the laser shot to right center field that got out of Great American ballpark in about 3 nanoseconds – he can still do that.  What impressed me is that he played a double off the wall into a single, and then threw the runner out at the plate when he tried to score from 2B on a slow single.  Manny caught the ball and threw in one quick motion, unleashing a laser-like throw which probably never got more than 20 feet off the ground.  I mean, I have watched Manny throw those “moon balls” back to the infield so many times that I had no clue he had a throw like that in him.  Maybe it was the last one, but it was a good one.

Rants & Raves

  • Ronald Belisario’s stuff is not nearly as devastating as last season.  Kuo?  His ball “pops” and moves like crazy.
  • Raffy is playing like a much younger man.
  • Travis Schlichting was recalled last night and probably could see action this afternoon if needed.
  • Print the tickets:  Claudio Vargas was re-signed by the Dodgers to a minor league deal.
  • Andre Ethier gets all the ink, but James Loney is tied with him for the team RBI lead.
  • The Reds are first in the NL in hitting, but the Dodgers are 2nd and they don’t play in a bandbox.
  • The Dodgers are now 8th in the NL in pitching, and have moved from 15th to 12th in fielding.
  • Even with DeWitt’s error last night, he is playing much better defense at 2B and looks very comfortable there.  If he’d just show some power…
  • Don’t look now, but Kyle Russell is making adjustments.  See Jarod’s Minor League Report
  • First Place!  Some of you don’t know what to do – there’s nobody to bash today!

About Mark Timmons

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

11 Responses to “An Ace and the Chip”

  1. Badger says:

    Kershaw throws strikes, and this is what can happen.

    Brooklyn, I found your comparison of Koufax and Elbert – entertaining.

    Kyle Russell with a good game at AA. Perhaps he actually figured something out. I hope so. Or maybe he closed his eyes and connected. It’s one game. String a few of those together, and I will be believer. I don’t care about the K’s if he is driving in runs. I would take a Mark Reynolds in a heartbeat. I know a lot of people don’t like 200+ K’s, but if it comes with 44 dingers and 100+ RBI’s, he is in my lineup every day. I hear Russell hits them 500′. I want to see that happen at Chavez several times a year. No one has hit one out of that park in a long time.

    Good start to a rough road trip.

    Who you got tonight?

    I got the Lakers.

  2. Badger says:

    And doesn’t this team take on a different personality when Manny is thumping? It’s like everybody is better when he is on.

  3. Bill Russell says:

    Big night for the Purple and Gold tonight. Can you say 2 peat? Or is repeat more better english? Badger, if my memory is correct (and I think it is) you were calling out Boston before the series began. Why are you flipping? Is it the LaRoche in you?
    I hope the fans can act responsible tonight during the victory celeration in LA. I don’t want to hear the words “Burn Baby Burn” tomorrow on the morning news.

    Oh yea, Kershaw is becoming the Ace of the staff, we have no one else to put there however he’s earning his stripes and is putting up some great numbers. Now if we only had another top notch pitcher to go with him we may be able to share LA with the Lakers.

    B Russ OUT

  4. Kevin says:

    A couple corrections Mark. The single Manny threw the guy out at the plate on was not a slow single, and he wasn’t out we got a call there!!

  5. lawdog says:

    At least Manny made a good enough throw to give the ump a chance to blow the call.

    Manny is either the straw that stirs the Dodgers drink or the straw that caused the gusher in the gulf. We live or die by that guy.

  6. Badger says:

    I was calling out Boston? What does that mean? I have been a Laker fan since the 60′s. If I was calling out Boston, I was calling them out for wearing ugly green uniforms and being bullies.

    I agree ldog, if Manny is on, this team looks like a contender. If he is slumping, the whole team seems to slump with him.

    I sure hope Kershaw makes it to the finish line. He is a big strong kid, but he is young. I still would be cautious with his pitch count. Guess I don’t subscribe to Nolan Ryan’s theories. I should, as I am old school, but old school thinking retired Koufax when he was 30. Of course, 300 innings is a thing of the past, so, maybe I shouldn’t worry so much.

  7. Harold says:

    I really don’t care who wins the basketball game tonight. The Lakers easily win the ugly uniform contest but also most likely have the repeat. When Kobie is in a zone he owns the court.

    Is the Ely experiment over? Seemed too good to be true.

    How long does the Garrett Anderson experiment go on?

    Good for James(Mark Grace) Loney. He just goes out and plays and gets the job done. We will take a guy with 200 K’s, 44 HRs and 100 RBI but many seem unhappy with James Loney approaching 100 RBI each year with 13 homers. Isn’t an RBI, an RBI, whether on a double or a homer?


  8. Badger says:

    “Isn’t an RBI, an RBI, whether on a double or a homer?”


    But, it isn’t as sexy. Sexy sells seats.

    Hey, you don’t like Forum Gold? I do. Beats the heck out of Kermit the Frog green.

  9. Bill Russell says:

    Jump up on the wagon Badger, We always have room here.

    See the Dodger Management reads this site. I asked for a top notch pitcher this morning and the Dodgers went out and signed Claudio Vargas. One less thing to worry about now as Forrest Gump would say. I can’t wait for 6:00. Purple and Gold are great colors Harold. COme on Harold hop on up here with Badger and I and enjoy the evening. GO Lakers

  10. Badger says:

    So, you are on the Laker bandwagon Bill? That’s interesting. You see, since I have been a Laker fan for over 45 years, I don’t need to get on your bandwagon. Bandwagons are for people who do and believe things merely because many other people do and believe the same things. The effect is often called herd instinct, and the general rule is this conduct is for people who lack self confidence and follow trends and fads. That ain’t me, but, enjoy your ride.

    Lakers favored by 7.

    Ely now below .500. 7 earned in 4.2 with 3 dingers. Ouch.

    And Manny needed another day off. Great.

  11. Harold says:

    I don’t really follow the NBA very much. I love US College basketball where they really play the game, especially on defense and travelling is called.

    I have followed the Pistons a bit but they are pathetic now. Purple and Gold are great Easter colors but somehow don’t do it for in a uniform. I don’t get on band wagons. I always want the Dodgers to win, Red Wings to win, Patriots to win, and I suppose the Pistons. If my teams don’t win, I don’t get on board with another team. Well, that’s not quite true. No matter who plays the Yankees, I want them to kick Yankee butt. Not too much luck on that though.



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