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Dodgers Break Out Of Offensive Malaise

Dodgers Break Out Of Offensive Malaise

It looked for a while that the Dodgers might have squandered a 3-0 lead through 4 innings in Cincinnati last night, so after a 2-1/2 hour rain delay, the Dodgers took batting practice and

Manny Dancing With Russell

tacked on 9 more runs to spank the Reds 12-0.  That score in itself, doesn’t mean much.  What means the most to me is that Rafael Furcal and Manny Ramirez (especially Raffy) looked like they were difference-makers again. Raffy went 5-6 and made some outstanding plays in the field, including two back-to-back plays from as deep in the hole as you can get.  He threw out both runners, which is a feat that I am convinced few, if any, other shortstops could have made.  If you didn’t see it, it’s worth a re-play.

There was a lot of good to take from that game:

  • Ramirez was 3-4 with a HR and 4 RBI and looked a lot like “Manny” while raising his BA to .298
  • James Loney got 4 hits and raised his BA to .304
  • Raffy is now at .309
  • Matt Kemp went 2-4 to bereak out of his personal malaise (watch out, someone is going to pay, soon)
  • Hiroki Kuroda went 5 innings, including 1 inning after the 2-1/2 hour rain delay to get his 6th win and drop his ERA to 3.10.
  • Troncoso looked as good as I have ever seen him, hitting 94 MPH and having the bottom fall out of his fastball.
  • George Sherrill (he’s not Cheryl today) even looked pretty good and topped out at 90.  I’m not saying he’s “cured,” but it’s a step in the right direction.
  • Justin Miller also pitched a scoreless inning and his ERA sits at 3.18.

The Dodgers will allegedly call up a reliever tonight.  It will probably be Link – I think Lindblom needs a few more games as a reliever before being called up.  When Vicente Padilla comes off the DL on Saturday, the pitcher who gets called up tonight, or Miller, or Anderson, or maybe even Blake DeWitt could be gone.

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15 Responses to “Dodgers Break Out Of Offensive Malaise”

  1. Roger Dodger says:

    See, baseball can be a very fun game.

    Loney is being the Loney we have been waiting for.

    I was really hoping that Furcal could get that list hit . . . but a little ground ball.

    Things seem to be moving ahead, but some concern about 3b.

  2. Badger says:

    Wow, where did that come from?

    This would be a very good time for one of those streaks we have been talking about.

  3. Mark Timmons says:

    This is a very streaky team!

  4. Badger says:

    You got that right. When they are good, they are great. When they are bad, they are awful.

    This month is a good month to turn it on and be great.

  5. lawdog says:

    Expect the streak to go south when we have to face American League teams and you won’t be disappointed.

  6. Badger says:

    FREE ELBERT!

    He needs to go somewhere else.

    Who knows where we will be at the deadline. If we can streak toward it, we may be players for Lee. With so many other teams interested, and the glaring fact we have no “A” prospects, the Mariners are going to want our three best. Is Lee worth that? Depends on how we are playing at the end of July.

    This team continues to surprise me. I have no idea what their true identity is. When Manny is pounding the ball, it makes such a huge difference. And Kuroda should be our ace, he is paid ace money.

    We still have a lot of “if’s”. And that rotation scares me.

  7. Mark Timmons says:

    It also scares other teams.

  8. Badger says:

    “It also scares other teams.”

    I doubt it.

    In doing some research on who might get a shot at Lee, I noticed that the Twins are interested and might offer this guy. He is the Twins #4 prospect. Not bad numbers for a guy who is only 22. Notice the CS%:

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=ramos-001wil

  9. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    I may have been a bit hasty regarding Loney. He’s not hitting for the power I expect, but it’s dawned on me that he’s become a doubles machine. His 21 doubles are only four short of his total all of last year. He’s also ahead of his 2008 pace, when he hit 35 doubles.

    Raffy last night looked like he was just trying to make contact, and put the ball in play wherever it was pitched. When he does that he’s a very productive hitter. It’s when he starts swinging for the fences that I get concerned. By the way, Vin Scully keeps on talking about how Raffy is a better hitter from the left side. I recalled just the opposite, that in the past he’s been more productive from the right side. I looked it up, and prior to this year, since he’s been with the Dodgers, he’s been more productive against lefthanded pitching. In other words, he’s been a better hitter from the right side. Also, it would be nice to see Raffy lay down one of his patented push bunts to the left side.

    Matt Kemp hits best when he’s going up the middle and to right center. He has the quickness to pull, but it appears to me that when he does, he tends to put the ball on the ground a lot more often. If he figures it out, you’re right Mark, someone will pay (lots of someone’s). By the way, going back to the discussion the other day about who has the most power, I would put Kemp right up there with Russell, Reynolds, etc. He’s got humongous power, and I don’t believe at 25 – 26 he’s reached his full maturity. Unbelievable potential if he can put it all togehter.

    Manny seems to be going to right field more often lately, and he’s begun to swing at fewer bad pitches. Whether he can sustain it and come all the way back (or at least be a reasonable facsimile of his former self) is anyone’s guess. He’s 38, and more slothful than ever. I need to be convinced it’s sustainable. A big weekend in Boston as the DH maybe could convince an American League team to seek him in a trade.

    I’ve also heard that Schlicting could get the call tonight. And I don’t see why DeWitt would be considered for a demotion at this time. Maybe GA, but then again, maybe not. After all, he did have a couple of hits in the Angel series. Torre might think he’s perking up. And I think the Dodgers probably want Lindblom to get settled in his new role before any consideration of bringing him up.

    Regarding Cheryl. I have nothing good to say about him. And a mop job on a rainy night in a 12-0 game convinces me of nothing. The sooner he’s gone, the better. Of course, I reassessed my take on Loney, so one never knows.

    If Elbert can be included in a deal to bring in Lee, that’s fine with me. Otherwise, I still consider him a prospect, especially with the knowledge that lefties often take longer to develop. Also, given that he missed an entire year due to shoulder surgery, it might be that he could be a late bloomer. As difficult as it can be, patience is all that may be required with respect to Elbert.

  10. lawdog says:

    Elbert got called up one day and was sent down the next. I don’t think he even got a chance to warm up in the bullpen. I can’t blame him for being pissed if he’s going to get jerked around like that.

    Elbert has electric stuff. If he ever gets it all under control, he’ll be awesome. Trade him for a cupcake and a glass of warm 3.2% beer and expect to be haunted by him like Edwin Jackson haunts us now.

  11. Badger says:

    Elbert just needs to focus on throwing strikes. Once he does, he will find a job somewhere.

    Kemp just needs to hit the ball where it is pitched. Simple really, but young hitters need to grow into that mind space.

    http://mlb.mlb.com/stats/individual_player_hitting_chart.jsp?c_id=la&playerID=461314&statType=1

    As you can see, his hits are all over the place, with power shown to all fields. But his ground outs…… different story. I wonder how many of the G.O. to the left side are him trying to pull a middle out pitch? As for power, I don’t see him having as much as Reynolds. Maybe some day, certainly not now. When Reynolds was Matt’s age, he had 44. Of course, Reynolds is an all or nothing kind of guy. Works for him, so, I doubt he will change. Matt hits for less power, more average.

    Is Raffy back? Wow, would that change the offensive ability of this club. Manny? It would be nice, but, somehow I don’t know that we can count on his usual Mannyness. Maybe spurts now and then.

  12. Michael says:

    The much maligned James Loney is a line drive hitting RBI machine. Oh yeah he also leads the team in RBI. Just sayin. Special K tonight.

  13. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Kemp has not yet hit for the power he’s capable of. That has nothing to do with strength. Anyone who’s seen his 450+ ft. drives to center field knows that the power is there. Reynolds obviously lifts more balls. Kemp’s cluster of ground ball outs to the left side are an example. Some of those ground balls are hit just as hard as Reynolds’ HRs, only Kemp is hitting the top of the ball. I’ve seen him hit screamers through the left side, sometimes on pitches outside.

    There will come a time when Kemp begins to make more consistent contact, and also begins to get more lift. When he does, his HR numbers will likely spike up.

    By the way, talking about lift, I’m beginning to wonder if Ethier’s pinky isn’t still bothering him, or if he’s altered his grip or swing as a result of it. He’s hit a lot of low line drives since his return, and not single HR. I wonder how many of those might have gotten up into the air and out of the ballpark were it not for the pinky.

    It might well be that Elbert finds his success elsewhere. Sometimes guys like him need a second division team that is willing to provide big league time for a pitcher in the growth stage (Just like Edwin Jackson was given the time in Tampa Bay). The Dodgers could trade him, but I doubt if it will be “for a cupcake and a glass of warm 3.2% beer.” Again, he’s the type of pitcher that could be included in a deal for someone like Lee.

  14. Badger says:

    Whatever is wrong with Elbert it has magnified this year. This year he has a 1.85 WHIP and is averaging over 7 BB/9IP. That ain’t gonna get in any team’s organization. Maybe he is injured – again – or maybe he just can’t cut it. Yeah, he has always had good stuff, but, come on. He has been in the organization since he was 18. It is time to throw strikes or get thrown off the bus.

  15. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Badger,

    Going into the 1961 season Sandy Koufax had been with the Dodgers for six years, and couldn’t find homeplate. He’s an extreme example, but there have been others. And before someone says that comparing Elbert to Koufax is ridiculous, think again. I’m not saying that Elbert will become Koufax, but I am saying that in 1961 a young not very well known pitcher suddenly began to put it all together. You can rest assured, that if there were blogs then, some of the people here would have been advising that the Dodgers get rid of the under-achieving Koufax. At that time, he was just another pitcher.

    Elbert simply hasn’t pitched many innings since turning pro.

    2004 = 50 innings
    2005 = 115 innings
    2006 = 146 innings
    2007 = 14 innings
    2008 = 47 innings
    2009 = 116 innings

    The shoulder surgery he had cost him time, and probably was the reason he spent so much time in the pen instead of accumulating innings as a starter. He’ll turn 25 in August, still young enough to find himself. Add the fact that he’s lefthanded, and there’s still plenty of hope if he remains healthy. He may never find control, and he may also find it suddenly (which is often the way it happens).

    He’s not someone I’d be quick to give up on, but I would include him as part of a deal to acquire an ace. But I wouldn’t trade him for marginal players. He’s only made sporadic appearances when he was with the Dodgers, and sending him to the ALBQ. launching pad this year was probably a bad move. He would have been a lot better off starting at Chattanooga.

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