Opinion of Kingman's Performance

Friday, July 27, 2012

Hanley! Hanley! Hanley!

The Gesture that Krukow got upset about (AP Photo by Jeff Chiu)

As Hanley Ramirez rounded the bases in the 10th after depositing a Sergio Romo fastball into the left field bleachers, Giant announcer Mike Krukow attempted to spark controversy saying that his gestures to his teammates were an effort to show-up the Giants.  This wasn’t a pirouette Krukow, it was a guy that is enjoying baseball again.
Ramirez is making his impact as a Dodger and I strongly believe that when he arrives at Dodger Stadium on Monday for his first home game as a Dodger, he’ll receive a heroes welcome reminiscent of what Manny Ramirez received in 2008.  Hanley is the impact bat that this team has needed from day one.
Stephen Fife Steps Up Again

I’m not sure how Stephen Fife did it, but he pitched his second consecutive Major League quality start.  With a fastball floating in at around 88 MPH and secondary breaking stuff that initially was inconsistent and somewhat wild. Fife gutted his way through 6 1/3 innings, allowing only one earned run again.  
The recently called up righty, with a quirky stutter-step delivery, seemed to get stronger as the game progressed.  Through the first four innings, he looked anything but impressive while surrendering three walks and five hits scattered all over the place.  It took a defensive gem from Hanley Ramirez and Matt Kemp to keep the Giants at bay as the led 1-0 after four.
Stephen Fife retired 9 of the last 10 hitters he faced (AP Photo by Jeff Chiu)

With two outs in the top of the fifth, Fife doubled for his first major league hit to start a two run rally.  It was the first Dodger run scored at AT&T Park since 2011 when Aaron Miles crossed the plate on September 11th.  For a while there it looked like the 3-1 Dodger lead would be one that they wouldn’t relinquish.  Dodger hitters began first pitch swinging against Matt Cain, with three resulting in hits in the 6th inning as the Dodgers added another tally off the Giants ace.
Fife continued to set down the heart of the Giant order, retiring seven straight batters in the 4th, 5th and 6th innings.   The Orange men helplessly flailed away at the junk that the former RedSox prospect tossed at them.  He was removed with one out in the 7th inning after retiring nine of the ten final hitters that he faced.  
He deserved a better fate than a “no-decision” and I blame that on Mattingly and his predictable bullpen management.
The Joe Torre Factor
Don Mattingly used up three pitchers in the 7th inning to retire three batters, and they weren’t even the guys in the middle of the order.  I understand that Choate is the lefty specialist, but seriously, he couldn’t have been used to face Theriot?  Maybe I shouldn’t complain, after all Theriot was retired on one pitch by Jamey Wright.  I just hate burning up the bullpen to get outs in late innings.  That was a Joe Torre specialty.  That and burning out his closer by leaving him out there to die.
Fife had thrown 93 pitches when he was removed.  He was setting hitters down.  Did he really need to be removed with one out with no threat in the inning?  Lately Belisario has been struggling.  The automatic 8th is a thing of the past and it would have been nice to start out the 8th with Choate facing Cabrera, Posey,  and Pagan.
The tutelage of Joe Torre came back to haunt the Dodgers again.  Man, I hate the way modern managers handle bullpens.  
Scoreless Innings Streak

The Dodgers were on the verge of making Giants history tonight.  Being shut out for 32 consecutive innings against San Francisco, they would have set a Giants team record having been shutout the most consecutive innings against a single team had they gone into the 6th inning without scoring.  Instead they scored 2 runs in the 5th and stopped the streak.
The scoreless streak is ancient history.  This was a long night and this one was a barn burner from start to finish.  The Dodger-Giant rivalry is alive again after the lack luster effort the Dodgers gave a month ago.  They're two games out with two to go this weekend.  Enjoy this one guys, they're back at it tomorrow at 1:00 pm.