|Kenley Jansen pitched a solid 8th inning tonight|
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
A Laugher Almost Reverses Course as Dodgers Hang On To Win
I almost felt sorry for the Padres in the 2nd inning tonight. But then I realized that the team I follow is the laughingstock of MLB due to the owner’s inability to pay his bills and the GM’s inability to make good deals.
I can’t remember a time that the pitcher walked in four runs in an inning since I made my Little League mound debut and only pitching appearance ever as a 9 year old in 1970. (Yes, I came in with the bases loaded and walked four guys in a row to take the loss).
Tim Stauffer threw 36 balls and 25 strikes tonight. That was absolutely pathetic, a ratio of 59% balls and 41% strikes. C.B. Buckner did appear to be pinching him a bit. Though I also saw a few charitable strike calls on 3-0 counts. The Padre coaching staff that was giving Buckner the business had to know that Buckner’s zone was consistent.
Stauffer’s performance tonight was purely an aberration. His bases on balls allowed per nine innings coming in to tonight’s game this year was 2.3, the best for a starting pitcher on the San Diego staff. To put things in perspective, Clayton Kershaw has the same BB/9 rating of 2.3 too.
By the 7th inning I was beginning to wonder if this would be another of those games that I won't ever forget. With an 8 run lead, the Padres pecked away to pull within three runs and getting the tying run to the on-deck circle. It took a full all out effort for the blue crew to hold on to win as the pesky padres battled back.
Padre announcers began to reflect on the August 21, 1990 game that the Dodgers blew to the Phillies after having a 8 run lead in the ninth inning. A game that I recalled just about 8 or 9 days ago in what I remember as the worst loss ever.
The Bet, the Standings and My Awful Pre-Season Prognostications
I wagered a steak dinner with a Giant fan co-worker that the Dodgers will finish the year with a better record than San Francisco. It didn’t look good a few weeks ago but as of tonight, the Giants lead over the Dodgers has dwindled down to 6 games. The Diamondbacks win over the Rockies tonight has put the Dodgers in sole possession of 3rd place. Kirk Gibson has Arizona running smoothly on all cylinders. He is definitely the Manager of the Year. The Diamondbacks from last to first journey is the National League success story of the year.
I’m embarrassed with my pre-season prediction on the D-Backs. Here is what I wrote in March:
“I love Kirk Gibson as a manager. I wish he was in the Dodger organization. If there is anyone that can light a fire under a club it is him, as we well know. But he’ll have to be a true miracle worker to get the Snakes out of the N.L. West cellar this season, and that's too bad, because it could cost him his job. Arizona lacks a bullpen. Their starting staff is too inexperienced and has too few that can eat up innings. There are question marks at first base, third base, left field and catcher and now the closer in the bullpen. I see the Diamondbacks winning 68 games this season and finishing last. There are too many holes with this club.”
Wow, 68 games? Arizona already has 77 wins. I guess I need not apply for a job as an odds-maker in Vegas.