Categorized | Mark Timmons

Case Closed!

For the record, I like Kenley Jansen – I especially like his demeanor on the mound.  I like that he glares at the hitter and is ready to throw the ball as soon as he gets it back from the catcher.  The Dodgers had a previous closer, also a rather large man, who sometimes looked like he was afraid to throw the ball and just dilly-dallied on the mound between pitches.  I didn’t like him as much.  I think Kenley Jansen has a closers mentality.  I think he’s fearless and indomitable.  I’d go to war with him any time.  I also think he’s going to break Dodger fans’ hearts on a regular basis until he masters another pitch.  Last night, Kenley threw three sliders after throwing a steady diet of cut fastballs to the first two hitters, including Aybar, who homered for the first time this year off Jansen. His slider is not great, but hopefully it is a work in progress.

Many fans point to the Dodgers lack of offense as the problem, and while it would be nice to have more offense, the fact of the matter is that if the Dodgers’ bullpen had always done their job this year the Dodgers could have about 10 more wins.  The bullpen has blown 8 save opportunities and has lost 9 games this year.   While still having the best record in baseball, the Dodgers record would be even better if they had a “lights’ out closer.”  Of course, that’s a challenge for most teams.  We can talk about getting another bat, and that would be nice, but a solid closer would be nicer.  Kenley will be a solid closer someday – he just needs another pitch. At the present time, he’s the best closer on the team, unless you think Belisario should get a shot, but I would not be averse to trading for a closer.  Suggestions anyone?

Tony Jackson points out that his two losses against the Angels weren’t in save situations:

It is fairly common for closers, especially younger ones or less experienced ones, to struggle when the landscape isn’t exactly what it usually is. But it also is common for managers to ask their closers to do what Jansen was asked to do twice this week, because when you’re playing at home and you’re tied going into the ninth, there is absolutely no chance you’re going to encounter a save situation on that night.

It may be an aspect of the role Jansen still has to grow into. Even if he is loathe to admit that there is one iota of difference between the situations he faced on Monday and Wednesday and the one he faced on Tuesday.

Nate “Hard Luck” Eovaldi has a pretty good idea of how to pitch.  His issue is control – and it’s not that bad – he doesn’t miss by a lot.  He should get a lot better, but he knows how to mix up his pitches.  He looks like he could be the NUMBER TWO behind Clayton as soon as next season.

Dodger Notes:

  • Jerry Hairston played some impressive defense at 2B last night.
  • Mark Ellis could be back by the end of this month.  If he’s OK, that’s another solid piece of offense.  Add Matt Kemp back and the offense should be much improved.
  • Matt Cain certainly pitched an awesome Perfect Game last night for the Giants.  Props to him.  To me, Chad Billingsley is a similar pitcher (in style of pitching).  Matt Cain is a master, C-Bill is a work in progress.
  • If you haven’t read about the IDIOT (he’s an idiot first and a racist second) who tweeted a racial epithet to Jerome Williams, you can read about it HERE.  The racist has a lethal dose of no brains.  Too bad, because Jerome Williams is a really good guy.  In case you forgoit he was with the Dodgers in the minor leagues in 2008.  He has had an up-and-down career, but it’s good to see him doing well again.
  • Aaron Miles has retired – he had to play the game full-out all the time to just be average and it sems that he had lost the passion to do that.  I get that.  Miles was an all-around good guy.  He will likely get a coaching job somewhere, someday.
  • Allen Webster lost his 7th game last night (he’s 1-7), but pitched 6 strong innings, struck out 8 and walked 1 while allowing 8 hits.  It’s his best outing of the year.

About Mark Timmons

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

34 Responses to “Case Closed!”

  1. DRomo says:

    I am not into moral victories, BUT losing 2 of 3 to the Angels with our roster as it is currently constructed wasn’t the end of the world. All 3 games were good ones. We need to get healthy though! No doubt about it. Kemps bat a lack of a 3B’s bat, and even M. Ellis in the lineup are sorely missed.

    I am seriously concerned with the Giants! They are gaining on us fast!! If we don’t start winning series we are going to look up and find ourselves in 2nd place! This team needs a spark. A kick in the offensive pants. A move….a trade? The enegry level is starting to dip I think. Lets hope for something. The White Sox are no joke. Lets see what we can do to be UP for them?

  2. Roger Dodger says:

    How much longer can the Dodgers hold on to first place?

  3. Badger says:

    If for some reason Jansen cannot throw a change up, then all he has to do is move his thumb under his index finger and throw the same pitch. That is the pitch Hershiser mastered (he taught it to me – on a video) and if Jansen just threw it now and then, that cutter would be a lot harder to hit. Move the thumb under the middle finger – cutter. Move the thumb under the index finger – a two seamer that breaks the other way. Easy peasy. I taught it to my kid when he was 14 and if a 14 year old can throw it, a Major League close should be able to.

    “I think Kenley Jansen has a closers mentality. I think he’s fearless and indomitable. I’d go to war with him anytime.”

    No you wouldn’t. Neither would I. I wouldn’t go to war with anyone, especially some spoiled baseball player. I been to war, with Marines, and I wouldn’t even go with them again. That is an overused cliche. Having said that, I know why you like this guy. I like him too. But if all he can throw is two pitches, both similar, both within about 3 mph of each other, then the league will catch up with him in a real hurry. As long as Jansen keeps throwing 10 cutters in a row, there will be no lights out closer on this team.

    Allen Webster has a long way to go. He has a WHIP around 1.5, and ERA over 5, in a league against whom he should be doing much better. This is his 5th year in the minors. I still like his potential as a middle/end of rotation starter. Time to cowboy up kid. I think Zach Lee is still the only B+ prospect in our organization. We have no A’s.

    Roger, I figured the Dodgers might be able to hold on to first until July the 1th. I think I might have to walk that one back.

    Anybody want to talk about Matt Cain?

  4. Bobby says:

    I really hope Ned doesn’t go searching for starting pitching because he feels insecure about Eovaldi. This guy has been great in his starts. yes, he has some control issues at times, but so do all young pitchers (Bills still has em!)

    I’d only trade him for a big time pitcher/hitter, not some Ryan Dempster type.

    I agree with Romo: losing 2 of 3 to a really talented Angels team, with both losses being 1 run losses and coming in the 9th, isn’t the end of the world. It was a tough series, and you can’t win em all. You can just hope to be in em all.

  5. Bill Russell says:

    The real question is Has Jim Rome stopped beating his wife?

  6. DRomo says:

    HAHAHAHA!!!

  7. Kevin says:

    Last night just provided one more reason to hate Juan Uribe. That AB in the 9th was terrible. The first 2 pitches were right over the plate and he is swinging for the fences when all we neeed was a fly ball. Know the situation!!!

  8. jerry says:

    i agree with Kevin..uribe has always swang for the fence. for a guy who try to hit home run..and cant even get a fly ball..that would of tied the game.

  9. DRomo says:

    Uribe needs to be moved to the bench. My opinion is he is a pinch hitter with some pop who may get lucky here and there and run into one. Thats it. I actually like Hairston at 3B and Herrera at 2B for the time being.

    I agree in the situation last night 1st and 3rd no one out or even 2nd and 3rd 1 out we have to score at least 1!! Uribe has to get something into the outfield thats it! He is ….or should be capable of that. That was a total failure and you could see the frustration all over Donnie’s face!

    I am telling you this team needs a move and fast! The problem is there isn’t much out there on the trade market. It seems liek Youklis is a bust, or isn’t impressing anyone. David Wright isn’t going anywhere, We may be S.O.L. for a big name. Carlos Lee has a bum hammy (so he would be a perfect fit here…) I like LaHair in Chicago but he isn’t a game changer. He certainly has more pop than Loney though! It is slim pickins folks!!

  10. Bill Russell says:

    Why isn’t DeJesus getting more playing time? When he’s used as a pinch hitter he’s getting good at bats and I thought he played good defense. With the guys Romo mentioned from above and DeJesus, I think Uribe can be included in a trade for some single prospect that has no promise. Just saying. Hey Jerry, we all agreed with you about Uribe…… I also agree with Brooklyn that Abreu should have hit for Uribe. I guess Donnie was trying to instill some confidence in Juan U. but it backfired.

  11. Badger says:

    I don’t need another reason to not like Uribe Kevin. I got a couple years worth of reasons to want that guy gone.

    Still 6 weeks to the trade deadline. That’s a long time. Much can happen in 6 weeks. We could go on another over-our-head tear and put distance between us and the gints, or we both could be 5 games back of the dbacks. You just never know……. as much as we want to pick up those two players that put us in contention, the fact of the matter is – we might be sellers in 6 weeks.

    So, we wait and we watch. With our lineup, I would have never believed we would have the best record in baseball at this point in the season.

    ‘stros up 6-3 in the 9th. Hopefully they hang on and we go into the week-end with a 4 game lead and no matter what happens against the White Sox, we start next week in first place.

  12. Kevin says:

    Uribe needs to be a utility player. He would be perfect in that role. He can play multiple positions pretty well, and would be a nice right handed bat off the bench with some pop.

    There’s no way that guy should be getting 4 AB’s a game.

  13. Joe says:

    I also had a sinking feeling when Urbie was at bat in the 9th last night. The only thing he provides right now is defense and an occasional hit. Gwynn also had a bad AB, he has been good this year in that type of situation but not last night. You can’t take a called 3rd strike there and it wasn’t like it was egregious call, it was down the middle at the knees. A pitch that close he needed to be swinging and get the ball in play.

  14. Kevin says:

    Badger there is NO WAY we are going to be sellers this year. Have some faith….the Giants schedule is about to get tougher and our pitching will keep us in most games. We might not be in first place come the trade deadline but we will be right in the thick of it.

  15. Badger says:

    Oh, I think you are right Kevin. I am just saying baseball has a life of it’s own and you just never know. Somebody out there is going to go on a streak, either winning or losing, and it changes the landscape.

    And the truth is, even when they SHOULD be sellers, the Dodgers never are. So, I expect something will happen that will convince management that giving up our only B+ prospect will be worth bringing in some over-the-hill type veteran that will come to L.A. and likely have his bat go to sleep. Don’t know who that might be, as with 6 weeks left to the trade deadline, there are many teams out there that don’t yet know what they will be doing. It will come clear later, but, seriously, not for a while yet.

  16. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Anything can happen any day, but really, chances are that most deals won’t happen until at or near the trade deadline. Whenever it happens, I expect the Dodgers to be active.

    When thinking about young pitchers in the Dodgers organization let’s keep in mind that RDLR will likely be back next year, and like lots of pitchers who have had TJ surgery, I expect him to be healthy and ready to contribute. Both he and Eovaldi could be major contributors next year, be it in the rotation or the bullpen. I know some people expect to see RDLR this year. I’d prefer that he start to pitch in games during instructional league, and not with the stress of a pennant race.

    Jansen will likely come up with another pitch or two, but it may be something that he has to work on over the winter or during ST next year. He’s still a work in progress, and we just have to be patient. Also, as I noted yesterday, Jansen and the rest of the bullpen would greatly benefit from a more productive offense. Unless the Dodgers start cut down on the number of tight games, their bullpen will continue to be stressed, and will, on occasion, break down. Jansen was pitching last night for the third game in a row. He did much the same last week. If that continues the bullpen could implode.

    I don’t agree that Uribe would be a good utility player. He is best utilized as a player for the opposing team. As usual, he was swinging for the fences and stepping in the bucket last night, when all he had to do was make contact and hit a fly ball. Not all that easy to do, but certainly something that Abreu, a contact hitter, is better suited to do.

    Something will happen. Just don’t know when, and who it will involve.

  17. Bill Russell says:

    Although that was the thinking under the former ownership (McFat). (Give up prospects to save money that we don’t have), I’m hoping that it’s not the way of the future. No B+ prospects for a geezer. Dempster would be nice only if he’s on the cheap. Other wise the glove rocker can stay in the windy city. Nate pitched his heart out last night. He’s got to stay in the rotation even after Lilly returns. Or maybe moved to our new closer. Just thinking out loud.

    How can FOX Sports have the Dodgers ranked as the best team in Baseball? Don’t get me wrong I’d love to think this is true but I’m pretty sure it’s not. We just lost our last two home stands and Matt Kemp is still on the DL.

  18. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    By the way, although his role this year could be limited, I was impressed with Tolleson’s last outing. Prior to that he was pumping 94-96 mph straight fastballs down the heart of the plate. However, in his last outing I saw what appeared to be a nasty slider, and a fastball with some more movement. Over time, I expect that Tolleson could become an important piece in the pen.

  19. ken says:

    Hairston should start 5 games a week.

    When Ellis comes back he should platoon against LHP until the end of July. Get healthy.

    Too bad Cain tied one of Sandy’s record. Still good to see a starting pitcher go 9 innings.

    Last 30 days the starting pitchers have averaged the following innings:
    Kershaw 7.1
    Eovaldi 6.1
    Harang 5.9
    Bills 5.8
    Capuano 5.7
    Lilly 5.1

    Thus the Bullpen has been pitching more innings and Donnie has been using everyone. Most of the relievers have been great, with only Wright 4.97 and Tolleson 9.00, over 4.00. And Lilly is the only starter above 4.00 with a 6.97 ERA mostly while injured.
    The Pitching is Great!! Give Them Some Chocolate Cake.

    It is bad when people making racial slurs about a player like Williams. Here is my slur about McCheap – He is Niggardly.

    Miles was signed as insurance in case the kids fell on their faces but the kids are holding their heads high. Miles was sliding down the depth chart at breakneck speed. Dodger Player Development is doing a good job with the infielders. Now work on the outfielders please.

    The Dodgers are the best team in baseball because all of the other teams that were playing well in the middle of May have fallen on hard times. It really is strange that the Dodgers simultaneously are the best team in MLB and suck so often. :)

  20. Roger Dodger says:

    Was blocked out of this site . . .

  21. Roger Dodger says:

    Is anyone else having problems posting here? Mine are rejected.

  22. Bill Russell says:

    Roger, I have had several posts not get posted because it says I’m posting too fast. Anyone else get this????????

  23. Badger says:

    The Dodgers are NOT the best team in baseball, especially with Kemp out. They have the best record in baseball and Fox doesn’t know it’s ass from it’s elbows, does no research on anything so whoever is has the best record gets the nod. I would say Texas in the AL is considerably better and Washington (1st in CBS power rankings) in the NL is better. That’s now. Who knows where teams will be a month from now. I also think the Rays, Yankees, Braves, Reds, and Angels will all match the Dodgers record by the end of the year. I would also say the gints, but, I know better than to do that in here.

    I got a too fast post a couple of times, but then I just re-posted and it came right in.

    oh… and what Brooklyn said in his 7:39 post. I agree with all of it.

    Anybody watch the bb game? Anybody think for a game in OKC, Miami got a lot of calls? Anyone else think maybe the NBA wants a 7 game series this year?

  24. El_Che says:

    NBA is rigged everyone knows that. Mark do you kno who the dodgers signed already from the draft??. thanx

  25. DRomo says:

    Che,

    I totally agree, the NBA is a rigged league. It is obvious and unwatchable unless you accept it like watching WWF wrestling.

    Next game you watch keep this in mind. 1 team will go up early. Once the lead gets to about 15-18 points calls start going the other way or the losing team will suddenly get hot. The lead will shrink and suddenly its a game. This happens most obviously in the playoffs. You catch 1 referee cheating and we are all supposed to believe the was only 1?!!?

    Stars get calls. That is wrong! That is like A-Rod, Dereck Jeter or even Kemp getting an extra few inches of fair territory on a ball hit down the line… it’s a set up.

    But is Jim Rome still beating his wife?

    • ken says:

      The NBA is not rigged but the Miss America contest is!

      NBA refs are just too gutless to call a foul in the last minute of a game. Why are people even talking about the NBA.

      Jim Rome never beat his wife. That line is barely funny once.

  26. Badger says:

    Agree.

    It’s always about making money, so, what’s more compelling, and money making, than a series that goes 6-7 games? Another thing that bugs me about the NBA, why is more important to get some of the calls right in the last two minutes of a game? If they have to go to the replay then, why are we to believe, and accept, that the calls made the previous 46 minutes are all accurate and less important? I agree it’s rigged…. but there I am watching it. I admit, I am a sports junkie. I buy tickets to at least two baseball games every year. I am part of the problem. I need therapy.

    Amazingly, the gints have not gained on us in the last 10. The dbacks are still under .500, and we know that won’t last, so, things is still okey dokey in Dodgerville. We will remain in first place for the entire week-end, so, I intend to enjoy it while it lasts.

  27. Bobbie17 says:

    I hate to admit this, but the Dodgers will be as good as James Loney. Without him hitting and being productive, the batting order is thin, even with Kemp back in there.

    To have any postseason chance, JLo HAS to produce. Can he???????????

  28. Kevin says:

    My guess is Loney won’t be a Dodger much longer. He will be dealt by the trade deadline….or at the very least in a strict platoon situation.

  29. DodgerDude says:

    OK – trade him. What are you going to get for him?

    A bag of balls?

  30. Bill Russell says:

    If I had three wishes they would be. 1. Win the Lotto
    2. Get a beach house 3. James Loney to hit like a real 1st baseman. Because Loney saves the infielders A$$’s on a nightly basis. He can pick…………….

  31. quasimodo says:

    holding loney out of some games is only a method for him to view his demons through a different lens. i’d really hate to see him in a different uniform. he’ll soon get that side of coin BACK. the other side is always perfect. ain’t it fun when gordon gets on 1st.? when are going to realize bobby a. should be batting the 2 spot? and jansen is a beast that could easily handle innings 8 AND 9. kennedy better start showing something, its sad to feel that way about any player of the team i love

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