Opinion of Kingman's Performance

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Slumping Sluggers Not Getting Things Done

Zero for twenty in the 2 through 6 spots in the lineup is not going to get it done.  I don’t care how much we second guess Mattingly for his bullpen management or his lineup that omitted Cruz or batting Gonzalez in front of Kemp.  Those things are minor details in comparison to the punchless meat of the lineup.  When Victorino, Gonzalez, Kemp, Ramirez and Ethier go hitless in twenty at bats, I don’t care how many guys Lincecum walks.  You aren’t going to win.

 Giants celebrate win. (photo by Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)

The Giants are getting timely hits with men on base.  The Dodgers never do.  The Giants don’t leave men on base, the Dodgers thrive on it.  The Giant bullpen is getting it done.  The Dodger pen has its struggles.

Ken Rosenthal wrote a column today hinted that the Dodger team chemistry was mixed up too much at too late a date.  The new guys are pressing.  Trying too hard to make an impact.  Over 1/3 of the roster is new to the club and there isn’t clubhouse cohesiveness.  Rosenthal said that he thought that maybe there was time to turn things around, but with 24 games remaining, they better do it quick.

He’s right too.  I thought the trades assured us a playoff spot.  Now I’m hoping that they don’t destroy this team and lead to a group of finger pointers.  The ugliness of the state of the Dodgers is at epic highs.

A couple more observations and I’ll retire for the night:

*Josh Beckett’s effectiveness deteriorates significantly when he pitches from the stretch.  His management of base runners is horrendous.  His delivery is deliberate and too slow.  A.J. Ellis had no chance to throw any base stealers out in last night’s game.  Beckett was nasty from the windup, but a different pitcher once runners got on base.

*Matt Kemp is playing hurt.  His approach at the plate was one of confusion.  He isn’t running at full speed.  I admire that he wants to be out there and help the team, but right now, he’s hurting them big time.

*Alfonso Marquez’s strike zone was something the Dodger hitters complained about a lot yesterday.  But they failed to adjust to it as the game progressed and took far too many strike three calls.  I understand the frustration with borderline calls not going hour way, but there comes a time in a game that you much change your approach and start swinging the bats.

As of this writing (12:00 am), St. Louis is trailing in the top of the 13th 5-4 to Milwaukee, so the Dodgers just may enter tomorrow’s action a mere 1 1/2 games back in the wild card.  Unbelievable that this thing isn’t over yet considering how horribly the Dodgers have been playing.

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