What a real tough series for the Dodgers. Let me get this out of the way right now. Dodgers over the past few years have not been the best team in St. Louis only winning something like 4 games. For those of you that know me, know I have always said I HATE St. Louis. Not the city itself, just because the fact that our team plays poorly.
But this series was something else, not only did we get swept in a 4-game series. But Sunday’s loss was the cherry on the top when it comes to humiliation. But it happens to best of teams. No baseball fan/player/coach likes to be “walked-off” on. The Dodgers were in control the entire game, but it comes to show how funny baseball is. Dodgers were amazing through 7 innings but did bad in 2 innings, yet still lost. No doubt that this game has to be blamed on the bullpen (whats new right?)
This year our starting pitching has been good…not great just good. Last year it was the same way, but our bullpen was there to backup the starters and finish a game, no problem. This year a different story. Pitchers called up, pitchers sent down, pitchers hurt, fans heartbroken. It seems like everytime the Dodgers have a slim lead, its the toughest for the pen to preserve a lead. Now, it feels like its a matter of time. If not this inning the next. There has been some good pitchers in our pen. Kuo has been great and well….thats it. But due to the history of Kuo we cant use his arm like we use our phones, his arm will die. Our back end has been the worst. Sherrill being horrible to say the least, while Broxton not being able to close within pressure. A closer is suppose to be reliable and although he has All-Star status, Broxton is not the sharpest tool in the shed.
The trade deadline is approaching and as much as we all want an Ace, to be honest I wouldnt mind getting a few good relief pitchers, because whats the point of bringing in an Ace if our bullpen will throw his good start down the tubes. Our starters can get us some good starts but our ‘Pen is dry, there is no more ink left to sign, seal and deliver a win.
Tomorrow the Dodgers return to the Ravine, to face the Giants. Once again the Dodgers need to use the Giants as a spring board to bounce back up. They are about 5 GB but its not impossible to come back up, 70 games left. If you remember in 08 they found themselves in the same position vs. Arizona and towards the end of August they exploded and took the lead in the NL West to win it and get to the NLCS, its frustrating but lets dust ourselves off and get ready for the next series.
Think Blue and Support the troops!
For us Dodger fans we thought the world was coming to an end on “heartbreak sunday” (i dont need to remind you what happened that night) but anywho, Dodgers picked themselves up and traveled north to face the hated Giants for three games. Dodgers found themselves in third place and beaten up like a piñata by the American League for a week. There was frustration by the drama of Kemp not performing well and being benched by Joe Torre. then Trade rumors began spreading like an atomic bomb. Although it didnt get much media attention or didnt seem like a bug game, Monday’s game vs. the Giants was a huge game, it was a rebound game. The Dodgers desperately needed Monday.
The faith of Monday’s game was in the hands of Billingsley, who was making his first start since coming off the D.L that same day. Billingsley had a GREAT game and kept the Dodgers in the game limiting the Giants to 2 runs, while Casey Blake who was long over due for a home run, blasted a 2-run shot over the left field fence to give the Dodgers the game difference runs of 4-2. To me Monday was the game that shapped the series. The Dodgers gained their confidence back, they felt good about themeselves and they did what they are suppose to do and that is beat up on teams in your division…especially the GIANTS!!
There was much controversy as i mentioned about Kemp being benched on Sunday, Monday and was benched on Tuesday also only because Manny was injured (God we pray he is ok and ready to play soon) Kemp was a replacement in the field and he made the best out of it. There are fans out there who say Kemp was punished and others who were blaming Joe Torre for benching him. Both legit arguments but this short rest that Kemp received was good for him, he knew that whenever he was going to play once again he needed to give it his all, and so he did. Playing amazing defense and turning it up offensively the last two games of the series. Some may say that Kemp had that all along and the benching was unnecessary, but I will contradict that and say that in order to play you have to prove your can play and Kemp wasnt performing well. He knew that, the coaches knew that, the fans knew that…WE ALL KNEW THAT! but im glad he performed well this series.
It’s not all controversy in this blog entry.Dodgers sweep the Giants! It feels so good especially in San Francisco. Furcal is hotter than the sun, Loney is an RBI machine, Manny has amazing numbers, shame that he is injured. The starting pitching looked spectacular (bullpen still needs improvement) but overall it was a great series for the Dodgers, now we can rest and go to Arizona and take care of business there. Ethier likes his home state of Arizona and his numbers show it. Dodgers are now in 2nd place and ready to make a move for first.
Oh, and whats up with Padilla being targeted by opposing pitchers? One of these days the Nicaraguan is gonna go crazy and bean an opposing pitcher for no good reason so to the other teams BEWARE!
Enjoy the sweep, hope Manny is ok, tomorrow is gonna be a LONG day given the fact that the Dodgers have an off day. I’ll post my pre-series blog on Friday.
Think blue and God Bless our troops!
Today is a new day. The Yankees have packed their bags and headed out of So Cal, but theyre not the only ones. Our Dodgers have also packed their belongings and traveled north to San Francisco to begin a 3 game series. Currently the Dodgers are in 3rd place 5 games behind the surprising Padres, and a half game behind the Giants who are in 2nd place. So this series is big. One team will sink and one team will swim, lets hope we send the Giants into McCovey Cove with no flotation device. Meanwhile, the Padres face the Rockies in San Diego. Scoreboard watching already.
The Dodgers have done well against the NL West and should be a spring board for the Dodgers who are looking to bounce back from a tough 1 week stretch. Coming back from the D.L. Chad Billingsley will take the mound, whom has had up and down season. He needs to try and avoid to give up the long ball (but thats really the goal of every pitcher isnt it?). The Giants will counter with Barry Zito who began the year like a Cy Young but has not been as sharp of late. Zito did beat the Dodgers in their last meeting at Dodger Stadium.
This is the Dodgers first visit to AT&T Park this year and it always brings the hate from both sides of the state. Dodger fans would do anything to not having to watch and listen to the “Shot heard around the world” and Im sure Giants fans would rather swim to Alcatraz than having to listen to the Dodgers brag about having 5 World Series Championships since moving to the West and Giants zip, zero, nothing, nada. We will hear the usual “BEAT LA” chants, which we are used to hear in every city where LA teams travel. Makes me feel good every time i hear it.
The division is still well within grasp of our hands. There is still a full second half of baseball to be played. The Dodgers offense is struggling with Kemp and Martin not being able to pick up the slack. Im not bashing on Kemp, he has great potential and he is better than what is going on the field. Is it a bad slump? I hope so, I wouldnt trade Kemp, we Dodger fans know we always get burned to signing and letting go of players. So, I would hold on to Mr.40/40 for right now. But on the otherhand for those of you who know me know I wont be wearing a “55” jersey anytime soon. Martin had a great two seasons making it to All-Star game and having good numbers for catcher. But he hasnt produced. he has all but 17 RBIs this year and has done mistakes on the base paths or throwing down to second. I want Russ to do well, he is our catcher, he is wearing the Dodgers across his chest, but its dissapointment for him, from his attitude he seems frustrated also. If his numbers dont improve I wouldnt mind making him part of a trade package towards July, sorry ladies its not a male pageant, its baseball. Manny has turned it up of lates getting hits and driving in runs and really setting other Dodgers up in good situations to bring in runs, what most people dont realize is that if Manny gets hot the rest of the Dodger line up follows. Put your seatbelts on it should be a good ride towards the end of the season with some bumps along the way,
Think Blue, God Bless our Troops