|Dodger closer Javy Guerra|
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Dodger Relief Core - Quite a Feat Tonight
For a good laugh, check out the Big Blue Wrecking Crew Board game thread of tonight’s Dodger win in Washington. They did it in Jim Tracy rhetorical question language. Did I find it entertaining? Most definitely. Was Jim Tracy the greatest quote machine to ever sit in the Dodger managerial seat? Well, at least since Tommy Lasorda.
It was a good thing for the Blue Crew that Strasburg was on a strict pitch count. The man had awesome stuff and probably could have gone the distance. 56 pitches through 5 innings is not a big work load, but with that valuable arm, you can hardly blame the Nats for playing it safe and removing him after five. I’m hoipeful that the Dodgers see some more of that Nationals relief core before this series ends.
What almost went unnoticed was the 17 strikeouts served up by 6 Dodger pitchers tonight. That included the first six outs recorded by Guerrier, Kuo and Jansen. They were all punch outs. The Dodger relief core has really been doing its job during the past two weeks. Jansen is looking particularly good. Guerra is turning into Don Stanhouse from 1979, but getting the job done. Then there is Hong-Chih Kuo.
To give you a feel of how poor Kuo’s season started, the lefty has actually lowered his ERA to 9.14. He would need to pitch 28 and 1/3 consecutive innings in order to get his ERA under 4.00. Such is life for a relief pitcher that only goes one inning at a time. One bad outing skews the stats horribly, a few bad outings can make things impossible for him. If we look at Kuo’s recent outings, we’ll find that he has gone four consecutive outings without giving up a run.
Looking Forward to Friday
I have tickets to Friday nights Dodgers-Giants matchup at AT&T Park. If all goes as planned, it’ll be Kershaw vs. Lincecum. That is a matchup that is something we may be talking about years from now as we do about when Koufax and Marichal faced each other. (Which happened only three times in the 60’s). I equate the K & L matchup in a similar vein. We'll be talking about them 30 years from now, when the two Cy Young Award winners went against each other head to head. Here's hoping that the boys feel motivated to oust the Giants from second place in the division.