Opinion of Kingman's Performance

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Defeating the Weaker Teams on the Schedule

Today's game resulted in another nice win on this Sunday August afternoon, it was the pennant race at it’s best.  At the start of the day, only three games separated the top three teams in the NL West.  Additionally, the Dodgers, Giants and Diamondbacks were all playing inferior teams that have given up on the season.
Luis Cruz hits a 2-run single in the 5th inning of today's action against the Cubs (photo by Danny Moloshok/AP)

These are the games that each of these pennant contenders have to win.  It’s a chance to fatten up on the schedule.  We all know tougher foes will be on the slate soon.  These games are looking more and more crucial as the schedule winds down.  It makes me wonder why there is a mentality to sometimes “mail in” games that are played earlier in the season.
So often we hear players and managers speak about how the season isn’t won early in the season and often times they play or strategize as if early season games don’t matter as much because there is so much season left to play.  If you think about it though, April and May games count as much in the standings as August and September games. 
The Blue Crew lost 4 one run games to the Brewers in April and May, several of them very winnable.  Then there was the month of June when the offense went on hiatus and we wondered if they’d ever score a run again.  The Kenley Jansen loss in mid July where he turned his back to the plate only to allow Padre shortstop Everth Cabrera to steal home and snatch away a victory was the type of loss that I will remember, especially if the division lead is within 1 game as it is now.  
But there was always some comfort in the fact that there was still a lot of season left.  Now, not so much.  I'll hand it to the Dodgers though.  They are defeating the weaker teams, and that is something that good teams need to do.  Once again this streaky team has a 3 game winning streak going, something that should continue when the Rockies arrive in town tomorrow for a three game set.
The standings as of the end of today’s action:
San Francisco 59-49    .546   --
Los Angeles    59-50    .541   0.5
Arizona           55-53    .509   4.0
Arash Markazi of ESPN tweeted today at 10:43 am: “James Loney just got to the Dodger clubhouse.  Shane Victorino looks at his wrist and says, “You MFers better start showing up earlier around here.”
Shane Victorino, donning the blue batting gloves today, called out his tardy teammate (photo capture from WGN HD television)

That’s the first I have ever heard of someone from within questioning the work ethic of this team.  Maybe it takes an outsider like Victorino to shake things up.  With a 1:00 pm game, I would tend to believe that a close to 11:00 am arrival isn’t satisfactory.   There has been some talk about this ball club needing a person that is willing to get in some faces and shake things up, perhaps that person will be Victorino.
It isn’t as if Victorino doesn’t know Loney either.  They were teammates with the Jacksonville AA club in 2004.  Maybe his comments shook things up, perhaps I'm making a big deal out of nothing.  Wins tend to make these little altercations go away.  Only time will tell.

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