Opinion of Kingman's Performance

Sunday, August 4, 2013

A Bunch of Random Dodger Tidbits

Hanley Ramirez is helped off the field, preliminary reports state that he has a "jammed right shoulder."(photo by Joe Raymond/AP)

We know the drill with Dodger injuries.  The announcements are usually a “sprained” this or that.  A “contusion,”  “day-to-day.”  It’s almost like a broken record.  Unfortunately the Hanley Ramirez injury looks like it’s much worse that the norm.  I’d be shocked if it doesn’t result in a disabled list stint.  After all he has been through with the left shoulder, let’s hope that today’s injury isn’t a repeat with the other shoulder that required surgery three years ago.  Ramirez was saying just a few weeks ago that just now he’s starting to feel like he did before he hurt that thing.
Such is life for the 2013 Dodgers.  Injury after injury.  Just when we think that the adversity is overcome, another setback occurs.

What’s with Chicago and their lightly-padded walls anyway?  
The only thing that appears to be between the Dodgers  and a championship season right now are injuries.  The last two days, injuries are winning, though the standings might not say so. 

It’s Dee Gordon watch with the Dodgers now.  OFAC hasn’t cleared any MLB teams to sign Cuban shortstop Alexander Guerrero yet, so that option isn’t out there.  Corey Seager?  OK, I know, too soon.
The Dioner Navarro/Hanley Ramirez altercation today was odd.  Ramirez probably overreacted to the inside pitch thrown to him.  Navarro definitely did so when he angrily broke Ramirez’s bat that had been left at his feet after Hanley walked.  You’ve got to love the team spirit as the Dodger team barked at Navarro and defended their man.

Navarro’s departure from the Dodgers was unlike any that I remember.  Not only was he released, but Don Mattingly offered some parting shots at Dioner that at the time, I thought might destroy his chances at ever resuming a baseball career.  “I don’t think he’s the right guy for this team right now,” said Mattingly in August of 2011 when it was announced that Navarro was released.  He told Tony Jackson of ESPN: “It was time. For what we’re asking of guys to do to go about the business of winning, (Navarro) didn’t fit.” 

Maybe he was right.  Navarro seems happy with a losing team like the Cubs.  Some players perform best with clubs that aren't under the pressure of the big stage in pennant races, though there was one season that Navarro did quite well with Tampa Bay.

I know the novelty of top tier soccer being played at Dodger Stadium is interesting, but seriously?  In the dog days of a pennant race, they tear up the field and then have to attempt to restore it to pristine playing condition for baseball, all within one weeks time.  The timing of the event was bad.  I guess organizing the logistics of such an event was not possible to coordinate during the off-season.

Kevin Baxter of the L.A. Times wrote about it on Friday.

A lot of balls hit by Dodger hitters today were falling short of the wall in the Wrigley Field wind that was blowing in.  Hanley, Schumaker, AJ Ellis, Crawford and Gonzalez all blistered balls that either stopped at the warning track or even short of it.  Every fly ball appeared to be a battle for the outfielders today, as is so often the case in the windy city.

Who remembers this memorable Wrigley game when the wind was blowing out?  It was quite different on July 20, 1979, a 23-22 win by the Phillies. 
The promotion of Stephen Fife to start today’s game came completely out of the blue to many.  There must be a method to Mattingly’s madness as the idea of giving the starters some extra rest is telling us that 1) he wants his best pitchers well rested for the stretch run and 2) at the rate the Dodgers are winning, they expect their top tier starters to be lined up for post season baseball having a lot of innings left in the tank.

This is uncharted waters for most of the Dodger pitching staff.  Kershaw has limited post season experience and Greinke only has a little in 2011. Neither has had any notable post-season success, so Dodger management must be thinking about having their guys ready to go deep into October baseball.  Nolasco, Ryu, Capuano and Fife have no playoff experience at the Major League level.

As for Scott Van Slyke, he just keeps chalking up the frequent flier miles to Triple A cities.  This time, heading to Fresno where the Isotopes are taking on the Giants PCL affiliate, the Fresno Grizzles.  In the back of their minds, the Dodgers might be thinking that sending Van Slyke down might be temporary since Puig’s “day to day” status could resort to a D.L. stint as Kemp’s did.  Let’s hope that isn’t the case.  Puig has been an absolute lightning rod to the Dodger offense.

Who would have figured that the Dodgers would be heading to St. Louis, half way through this road trip with a 5 1/2 game lead in the division, (and 6 game lead in the loss column)?  This is an extraordinary sequence of events and Dodger fans need to treasure these marvelous weeks.

I think it’s safe to say that we won’t see a string like this again for years but every time that is said, they pull out another series.

It’ll be difficult to set the major league record for consecutive road wins, as the Dodgers will need to sweep three straight from the Cardinals in St. Louis to accomplish the feat.  They also may need to do it without their hottest bats in the lineup, Hanley Ramirez and Yasiel Puig.  The N.L. record is 17 straight by the 1916 New York Giants.  The thing is though, it seems every time we expect the Dodgers to come back to earth, they continue their winning ways.  Dare we get excited about this possible record that is within their grasp?  You can’t count this team out.

The Cubs must have thought they caught a break by playing a 4 game set against the Dodgers and not facing their number 1 and 2 starters.  Who would have guessed that starters 3 through 6 would set down the Cubs for four games of incredibly pitched baseball which included 23 consecutive innings of shutout ball.

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