Opinion of Kingman's Performance

Sunday, May 29, 2011

It All Clicked Today. Offense Arrived and Kid K Shined.

Jeff Gross/Getty Images

For the second time since April 24th, the Dodgers won a series.  That’s quite a stretch of futility.  The Dodgers scattered 17 hits in a blustery Dodger Stadium that was reminiscent of a Sunday afternoon game at old Candlestick Park.  Take a look as Kershaw pitches in the 8th inning and almost gets blown off the mound.

Then there are the adventures of catching fly balls that Jay Gibbons and Rafael Furcal experienced in the 7th inning.

Nevertheless,  Clayton Kershaw pitched a two hit shut out (one of those hits being the Gibbons miscue).  Today he was again within a hair of pitching that no-hitter that I’m convinced will occur this year.  Clayton leads the National League in strikeouts with 87 and has an ERA at 2.62 that ranks 8th in the league. 
The Giants are falling and the Rockies are a mere 2 games ahead of the Dodgers who are 5.5 games back of the first place Diamondbacks.  It has been mentioned before and I’ll say it again, as bad as the Dodgers have played, they are still in the thick of things.  A series win against Colorado will really put them back on track.  I’m hopeful that today’s 17 hit attack wakes up the bats for an offensive surge we haven’t seen with the club so far this year.
With the fine Dodger starting pitching, even a mediocre offensive production will easily put them in playoff contention.  The N.L. West foes have been very kind and have not run away with the division.  Hopefully Florida goes into Arizona tomorrow and returns to their winning ways.  The Gnats are in St. Louis, so they have their hands full.
Ejection was Ridiculous
Ron Culpa has some mighty large rabbit ears.  He ejected Matt Kemp from about 70-80 feet away as Kemp made some comments about his strike zone as he walked back to the dugout.  Now granted, I don’t know what Kemp said, but judging from Dave Lopes and later Don Mattingly’s reactions, he didn’t appear to say anything that warranted an ejection.  It is another episode of one of today’s umpires forgetting again that we don’t come to see them, we come to see the players.
Mattingly’s post game comments on the topic:  “well, obviously Matt’s mad, so I’m sure he was saying some things...the main thing for me is that Matt’s walking away at that point, and he’s looking away. And that’s where, all he (Culpa) has to do is turn around and walk away and then you have no confrontation.”
And that is the point and problem I have with many umpires in the game today.  Unlike most of the veteran umpires from 20-30 years ago, umpires today seem to be much more sensitive and confrontational.  Culpa didn’t need to toss out Kemp.  Steve Lyons said on the post game show that Dave Lopes said to him that when he accompanied Kemp to the bench, he warned Kemp to keep his mouth shut because Culpa was “looking to run somebody.”  What is that all about?  An umpire wanting to run someone.  Whatever happened to being the faceless arbitrators of the game?

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