It's time to take my lumps. For the first time in close to six months, I looked back at my pre-season predictions for the Dodgers this year. Like most seasons, I was a bit off, but with a few things spinning my way in post-season play, I still might have the two teams I predicted facing each other in the fall classic. Here goes...
My quote on the starting pitching:
|Between May 6th and September 28th Carl Crawford failed to hit a home run. A power drought that few ever expected from the Dodger left fielder. (photo by Alex Gallardo/AP)|
Found below are comments I made about the infield:
"I’m a believer in searching for the silver lining when bad news occurs and as devastating as Hanley Ramirez’s injury is to the Dodger offense, the infield defense will be much improved without the Dominican star playing at shortstop. Cruz has mediocre to poor range, but the balls he gets to are fielded steadily. Uribe flashes nearly flawless leather at third and Mark Ellis and Adrian Gonzalez simply don’t make mistakes on the field. That quartet will save the pitching staff some runs.
With the final roster decisions not yet announced, suddenly Justin Sellers’ name has surfaced into the mix. I found that surprising, but as a defensive specialist at short, his insertion into the lineup will not be a major game changer. Sellers has a lot more range than Cruz, and Mattingly must be seeing that and weighing the variables of stronger infield defense versus his weaker bat batting 8th in the lineup.
What I didn't discuss was the monster season Hanley has had. Essentially Ramirez picked up the slack and provided the offensive production that was expected from the outfielders that went down with injury. I'm actually surprised that Hanley has returned to the form of his superstar years at Miami. Very pleasantly surprised. I also thought he'd be a defensive liability at shortstop when actually he has done quite well there with the glove.
On to the catchers:
|(photo by Christine Cotter/AP)|
Ellis' offensive production dropped significantly, but his defense was solid, especially his caught stealing ratio. But 10 homers and 52 RBI isn't bad production from the guy behind the dish. Plus he still works those counts like a fiend. Fedex has hit .234, which is about what I expected and adequate for a backup. Plus he does hit the occasional homer.
Here were my final comments:
Below is how I predicted that the standings would be at the close of the season. To the right in "red" font are what that teams actual records are after 161 games. I'm way off on some, and rather close on others. Of the 10 teams I predicted to make post season play, only 4 are already in. What was I thinking about Boston in the AL East? Not very good. I still feel good about my World Series prediction, and I think there is a good chance that could actually occur.