- We have all watched the hitters on this bipolar team for 3 years, and it seems that they are all smoking hot or all ice cold. Some of it was predictable. When Andre Ethier was hitting .393 we all knew he couldn’t keep that up. That his batting average has dropped a .100 points is no shock. What will be a shock is if he doesn’t go on a tear and get it back up to the .310+ range. I think his time off with family will help him re-focus and heal. I will be shocked if he doesn’t start his late-inning heroics again.
- Why this team runs hot and cold has to have some root in the coaching. The Dodgers have 2 batting coaches and I see Torre talking to guys about hitting as well. Could it be that they are irrelevant… or worse? That has to be considered. In my opinion, everything is on the table, up to and including the firing of Mattingly and Pentland! Bring in a fresh face. I know it’s late in the season, but in what way could it hurt? Could they hit any worse? It might serve as a “wake-up call.”
- It’s probably too late in the year for Matt Kemp to recover his focus and screw his head on straight. Matt Kemp should be carrying this team, but he is dragging it down. The whispers around the ballpark are that he has a crappy attitude, and it is obvious to everyone that he has lost focus on the field. He could regain it with a big SLAP IN THE FACE (like sit him for the next series and announce why), but it will probably take the whole off-season to do it, IF he can do it. Matt Kemp is a classic case that proves the difference between a superstar and a journeyman lies almost solely between the ears! Matt is at a crossroads in his career. Robinson Cano was at a similar crossroads in 2008, when he hit .246 the first half of the season with 6 HR – he has rebounded nicely! Is Kemp closer to being Robinson Cano or Raul Mondesi? That is the question.
- Russ Martin and Casey Blake both hitting 20 to 30 points below their career averages does nothing but garner support that Pentland and Mattingly must go! I already have serious questions about Mattingly’s mangerial ability anyway!
- I am certain that Ned had to take Theriot and give up DeWitt in order to get Lilly, and that may or may not have been a good move – time will tell. This I do know – Blake DeWitt doesn’t have the arm and the power for 3B, so forget that nonsense. He was never going to be the Dodgers (or for that matter, anyone’s) third baseman. I think Blake DeWitt will be a fine 2B and I still believe he will hit 15-20 HR, especially at Wrigley.
- Now, that I have pretty much trashed the team, I will say that we all know they are capable of getting “white hot.” I can see a big run left in this team, say where they win 22 out of 25 games! They have done it before. Belisario will be back soon. Reed Johnson will be back and Manny will return in a couple of weeks, and hopefully Garrett Anderson will retire. I still think that they have one last BIG RUN left in them. With Lilly filling the #5 spot, and the rotation very solid, the bullpen better with Dotel and the return of Belisario, I do not think the Dodgers are dead. The next series will determine their fate. They just need to bring their brooms!
- Kershaw and Billingsley and Kuroda and Padilla are among the best quartets of starters in baseball right now. Kershaw and Billingsley have certainly been stellar lately. The Matt Kemp of 2009 may have caught the double in the gap last night…
- I have also resolved to only say good things about Jon Broxton: So here goes: When he is gone – GOOD!
BTW – Lilly is an A Free Agent – The rest of the new trades are all B’s.