Opinion of Kingman's Performance

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Upcoming Road Trip - and interesting links to other Dodger blogs

After a 4-2 homestand, the Dodgers start a 10 game road trip that may define the remainder of the season. They face no slouches with 3 in Cincinnati, 3 in Philly and 4 in Denver.   If they return still in contention, then hopes will be lifted.  Things were looking bright until Ubaldo Jiminez spun that gem last night. Prior to Wednesday night, the offense seemed to have found itself.  Here’s hoping that the Jimenez shutout was more of the Rockie ace returning to form than the Dodger bats not producing.
With Kuroda, Kershaw and Billingsley starting things off in Cincinnati.  The Reds will counter with Bronson Arroyo, their ace Johnny Cueto and Travis Wood.  I like our chances to start out the trip on a winning note.   Kershaw faces their #1 starter, which gives them a fighting chance in Saturday's matchup.  Both Arroyo and Wood have been unimpressive this year so far with ERAs in the 5 run range.  Chad Billingsley returns to his home state to finish out the series on Sunday.  The Philadelphia trip may get a bit dicier since Lilly and Garland start that series out and they avoid our number 1 and 2 starters.  

The Dodgers dodge a bullet by avoiding Roy Halliday, who takes his turn on Sunday, the day before the Dodgers arrive, but then they face a formidable trio of Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels.  It’ll be a tough run in Philadelphia who sports the National League’s best won-loss record at 34-22.

The Dodgers will close out the road trip with a four game weekend set in Colorado where they will probably face Ubaldo Jimenez again in the series finale.  The other starters they face are up in the air being that the series is more than a week away, but it looks like they’ll face Chacin, Mortenson and Hammel.
So as the Dodgers take off on the road, they are 5.5 games out and looking up at the Rockies, Giants and D-Backs.  Here’s hoping they return having at least passed Colorado and in a position to take the division lead.
Around the web:
Interesting comments by Steve Dilbeck at the Los Angeles Times about the Dodgers improved defense.

I knew things were better, but didn’t realize they were the top defensive team in the league.  It is refreshing to see Matt Kemp play better out there, despite his misplay Wednesday night that turned Wiggington’s sinking line drive from a single into a triple.  I still have my reservations about Ethier, Gibbons and Thames out there on the defensive end.  UZR ratings will be interesting to see on them this year.  Defense is one of the most difficult facet of the game to rate and traditional stats don’t tell us a lot about a players throwing ability, extra bases not taken, and range factors.  But it’s nice to see the Dodger error totals down substantially.

Mike Petriello takes a look at historical data and the Dodgers long odds at making it to post season play.  He does discuss some positives for the the Dodgers with the injured getting healthy, much of the dead weight leaving the roster and the young arms that are emerging in the bullpen.  It’s not all doom and gloom.  A very interesting read.

Brandon Lennox over at Truebluela discusses the draft and Dodger bloodlines.    It is the second part of a three part series.   There are quite a few kids of old legacy Dodgers that are available for this years draft.  Knowing Logan White’s penchant for selecting players with bloodlines, (Van Slyke, Mattingly, DeJesus, Dee Gordon, Wallach to name a few), I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of the names mentioned in Lennox’s article showing up on the Dodger draft board.

 Jon Weisman, as always, has interesting insight into the Dodgers young bullpen arms and how solid they are.

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