|Tony Gwynn Jr. hits a 3 run pinch hit triple off Lincecum in the 4th inning. (photo by Mark J. Terrill AP)|
The 6-2 Dodger victory tonight puts their home record at 12-3. Now with a 5 game lead over the second place Giants who are under .500 at 15-16, barring a disastrous stretch the Dodgers have positioned themselves well this year. It’s ridiculous to be talking playoffs already, but the division has shown no signs of having another team that will string up a record with over 90 wins. Arizona could easily run off and get hot, but so far they have dug themselves in a hole. With 130 games remaining, this Dodger team will finish with 85 wins by simply playing .500 ball the rest of the way.
Accolades to Mattingly
As critical as everyone was with Don Mattingly’s decisions during Tuesday nights game, I’m going to recognize his good moves on Wednesday night. Pinch hitting Tony Gwynn Jr. in the 4th for Billingsley with the bases loaded was the move to make, but how many managers would have left him in to get another inning out of him? Gwynn’s bases loaded triple broke open the game and turned a good performance by Lincecum into a mediocre one at best.
I’ll also hand it to Mattingly again in the 6th, where he removed a very effective Jamey Wright from the game and batted Scott Van Slyke in his major league debut. Scott laced a broken bat RBI single up the middle. At the time I remember thinking that Wright was so effective, and those types of relief appearances were so rare, that it might be a good idea to keep him in the game.
Not three days after I posted that the Dodgers bullpen was their achilles heel, they come up with a game saver today. Stellar performances from Wright, Belisario, Lindblom and Jansen made a fool out of me. Jamey Wright rebounded from his disastrous Wrigley Field outing on Sunday to strike out three in his two innings of work. Wright’s stuff was simply nasty, with darting downward movement. He had a wicked curve too.
|Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images|
What’s with the close calls at first this series? Did the Dodgers get one call all series? Am I off base or did it seem we couldn’t catch a break at all. Additionally, Belisario was really getting pinched by Cederstrom with ball/strike calls. Belisario was throwing some sinkers with real crazy movement again. A few more appearances like that and I’ll be a believer again. He is sawing off bats with that sinking stuff again. Let’s hope he stays clean and keeps out of trouble off the field.
So it was solid relief pitching throughout the series. Is it time to get excited? Not really. Remember this Giants club is about as weak offensively as any team in the league.
Putting Up With Giant announcers:
I know I complain about all things Giants, but I simply can’t help it. My bias and dislike for all things orange and black must come out. Perhaps much of it has to do with my step-son cheering in the other room whenever something good happens to the San Francisco club. What makes matters worse is that for some reason, there is a 2 or 3 second delay on my HD television in my bedroom. So I’ll hear him screaming in excitement and that tells me that I should probably turn away because something bad is about to happen.
As I settled down to watch the rubber match of the series, immediately I was reminded why I can’t stand these homer telecasts with homer announcers in San Francisco. Over the years I’ve really tried to keep a level head with regards to their biased portrayals of the action on the field, but I fail year after year. These guys just simply try my patience to the nth degree. Throughout tonight’s contest they replayed Giant highlights from theit 2-1 win the previous night. A game that the Dodgers pretty much handed to them.
Tonight their descriptions of the events began with another inaccurate stereotype of Dodger fans. I simply thought,”maybe I should track this stuff. Perhaps there’s enough for a post on the topic.”
During the first minute of the broadcast:
Jon Miller: “And the Dodger fans are arriving late through the turnstiles. As they so often do, being notoriously late.”
As a season ticket holder to the Giants (though I only attend about 8-10 games a year), I can accurately say that at the time the Giant home games start, there are more empty seats than full seats, even when the game is a sell out. Giant fans arrive late too.
Jon Miller: “You can see the San Gabriel mountains out there, very clearly. Which is not often the case here.’
Hey Miller, this isn’t 1974 anymore. There are more clear days in L.A. than not. The smog situation isn’t nearly as bad as it was a few decades ago. Wow, picking on the smog. Really?
Okay there was more...but my rant is over.
Bunt itis one game, pinch hit itis the next. One works, one doesn't. The manager has a fifty/fifty chance of being right or wrong. All he can do is make a decision. The players have to execute. His call may well be a correct one, but the hitter/pitcher makes him look good or not so good.ReplyDelete
I think we are starting to see that Don Mattingly might not be just a conventional manager. That is, a totally predictable one and big into sabermetrics to help make decisions. It appears he is trusting his instincts and is not afraid to make tough decisions. Sitting James Loney has to be a tough one. Lifting Bills had to be a tough one.
Hopefully our relief pitching will become more consistent with a steady diet of last night. That sure makes a manager's life easier.
I am not a big Belisario fan, disturbed by his two year antics, but I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Everyone deserves a second, or last chance. Throwing consistently like he did a couple of years ago would be a definite plus.
It is good that you can enjoy Dodger games with your son-in-law and Giant announcers. Nothing like an irritant free night at home with Dodger baseball.
I used to like Jon Miller on Sunday night baseball, but Joe Morgan drove me crazy. Joe was not a big Dodger fan.
Harold, I agree with most of your points except your belief that Mattingly is a into sabermetrics. I don't quite think that is the case with his propensity to cal for the bunt and give up outs. Also, he has that Joe Torre disease where he sticks with the old toothed veteran (i.e. Kennedy, Uribe) instead of playing the kids, (though I'll admit that perhaps he is under orders from above to play the guys with the big contracts).ReplyDelete
I have noticed over the years that Jon Miller on a national telecast is a much different announcer than he is on a local Giants telecast.
I don't really understand sabermetrics all that much Evan. Bunting to me is a strategy based on personal preference or style, apart for numbers and statistics. If bunting is a sabermetric approach then you definitely would be correct in that assertion.ReplyDelete