A Tale of Two Innings

Watching the July 3rd game against the Braves in the Internet. In Sudbury it is bed time so I can only blog the first two innings.
Inning 1: Furcal singles and steals second. Man on second with no outs. Let’s look ahead: we have Pierre (276/309/326), Loney (393/443/696), Kent (264/350/446), and Kemp (397/432/559). What does Pierre do? Try to get on base so a double from that incredible lineup scores two runs? No, he wastes an out on a bunt. What a rediculous play.

Let me back up. Back in the day, I was an Expos fan – until they moved. I lived in LA at the time so I became a Dodgers fan and will remain one as long as they are the Los Angeles Dodgers (or the Anaheim Dodgers of Los Angeles). Back when Steve Rodgers pitched against Fernando Valenzuela, manufacturing a run made sense. Rogers against Velenzuela meant a pitchers duel. 1-0; 2-1; extra innings…

But not now. Now a close, tight low-scoring game is 4-3.

Inning 2: The new way: Kemp doubles. Betemit homers. They got a couple of guys on after that, but Wolf got out, then Pierre, then Loney struck out. At least he struck out swinging – like he wanted some runs.

BTW, don’t give up on Betemit yet. He can platoon with Nomar while he gets his mojo back.

Good night from northern Ontario. Hope they win.

Dodger Scouts Deserve a Big Raise

Loney, Kemp and Martin. Also Ethier, Billingsley and Bettemit. What amazing scouting and player development. So when I read this from Ken Gurnick’s Dodger mailbag, I want to scream:
“LOS ANGELES — Ned Colletti said last week that the more he sees of the young Dodgers, the harder it is to consider trading them for a veteran slugger or pitcher.”

The idea that management ever considered trading one of the kids is proof that sometimes you win despite management, not because of it. There were years of effort put into raising a great crop of kids. We could have Martin, Kemp and Loney batting 3, 4 and 5 for a decade. That is a superstar lineup.

The kids get to learn watching Nomar, Kent and Gonzo.

Baseball Prospectus gave the Dodgers a tough time for relying too much on older veterans: Nomar and Juan Pierre in partcular. They could not understand why Kemp and Loney weren’t starting from day 1. They turned out to be right.

The kids are playing

It is great to see Kemp and Loney playing lots. Four for 7 against division rivals will do. I am also thrilled that Billingsley had a great game.

Are they good enough to win the World Series? Yes. I think there is now enough spring in the bats to score the runs. the pitching is there. 3 good starters. Billingsley might grow into being a fourth. In the playoffs that is all you need.

One thing I would like to see. How are the Dodgers for scoring runs against the best teams? Sure they win against the OK to average teams. I was glad to see them beat up on the Mets.

Congrats to Martin.

Hitting Hard

Great game tonight against Tampa Bay. Second inning saw a homer, two doubles and two runs. Two triples and single did the scoring in the 8th. One run of the two-run 5th was due to great base running. Furcal went from first to third on a single (hit and run) and Pierre got to second when the throw went to third. Martin made contact. Two runs score. Rock and roll.

Loney had 4 total bases and Gonzo a terrific 7. This is a great Dodger lineup.

Lowe kept Tampa Bay to three runs. Good pitching.

Oh Nomar, Nomar! Wherefore art though, Nomar?

Nomar is great, a wonderful sportsman, and he is just not hitting the ball. I hate to say this, because I love watching him play but Loney has to start at least half the games. Slugging .338 is just not on for the number three hitter.

So let’s give Loney some starts, many of them, as long as he is hitting. When Nomar bats, where should he be in the lineup? Number 2 of course. When Nomar plays, Kemp should be in centerfield batting 6th. Russell Martin should always bat third. (I know, I know, batting order doesn’t matter much, but Martin will get the most runs out of the extra at bats.)

The Dodgers are doing well, but they don’t quite look like World Series winners. Let the kids hit and they will.