Opinion of Kingman's Performance

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Hanley the Hero and Other Post-Game Notes

Hanley Ramirez is the best hitter on the planet.  Let there be no doubt.  This is a guy that is as dialed in as any hitter in the game.  His outs are loud.  His singles are singles because they’re hit so hard that the outfielder is able to lob the ball back into the infield before Hanley has taken his turn at first.  One of these days he’ll hit a line drive that will go through the outfield wall.  

(photo by Danny Moloshock/AP)

Ramirez is assuming a leadership role on the club on a team with several veteran guys that could easily take that role, but at the moment, who's better?  On this national stage, we’re noticing him taking an extra step.  Even on defense he’s talking to guys.  Warning them of lighting conditions, directing traffic on balls in play.  Applauding his teammates on heads up plays.  

When Puig threw him a seed as the cutoff man that held Upton from advancing to third on a single, Ramirez pointed to the young right fielder and applauded his effort.  This is a sign of Hanley that never really surfaced in Miami.  He’s a tutor for Puig, a mentor for Uribe and a leader and stabilizer in the clubhouse.

With a single, double and triple tonight, TBS announcers claimed that Ramirez had set a post season record for the most extra base hits in a post season 5 game series. If true, that’s an amazing accomplishment in just three games.   In 13 plate appearances against some mighty fine pitchers, Ramirez has four doubles, a triple, a home run and a couple of singles.  That’s a .538 average on the biggest stage of his career.  And... there’s more: four runs scored, six runs batted in, 16 total bases.  His OPS in these three games is 1.769.

It’s only three games, but what a three games they have been and what a time to become scorching hot.  

Nolasco Appears to be the man tomorrow
All indications are that the Dodgers start Ricky Nolasco tomorrow night against Freddie Garcia.  Never has there ever been a bigger game for the Dodger right hander.  It should be awkward for Ricky who has gone about 10 days without a start and about a month since his last good one.  Keep you eyes and ears pinned to the net for the latest news.  Since the Dodger bullpen was used up today, if Nolasco falters, look for Chris Withrow to be called upon to pitch several innings.

Atlanta Defense is Lacking
The Braves defense has been pretty ugly.   There was the error on the bunt and the thrown away toss to first when Adrian Gonzalez broke up the double play, but Evan Gattis in left field continues to play a pivotal role in this series.   Gattis has cost his team some outs and provided the Dodgers a couple of extra bases due to his miscues or failure to get jumps pn fly balls hit his way.  He also has botched backups and positioning himself correctly on caroms off the wall.  There is no doubt that the guy has an offensive stick and he’s hitting well in the series, but at what price?  His lack of defensive skills have played a big role in both the Dodger wins in this series.


A Good Omen
For what it’s worth, in those LDS and LCS series in the past were the winner needed to win three of five, there have been 15 of those series that  started with a split after two games.  Of those 15 series, the team that won game three ended up winning the series 14 times.  As a Dodger fan you have to feel very god about their chances with game four at home and then if game five is necessary, Clayton Kershaw takes the mound.

As a Dodger fan, a win tomorrow would really do wonders for their chances at winning the pennant because Kershaw will have another four days to rest up before the NLCS begins.  A Pittsburgh win and the Dodgers will be playing games 1 and 2 at home, but maybe that’s getting ahead of things.


Black and Gold
Who would have figured that the black and gold sports team that is dominating the headlines in Pittsburgh this October is not the Steelers, but the Pirates.  That Pittsburgh team has a lot of fight in them, coming back after losing the lead twice today, and getting ahead with some clutch RBIs from old friend Russell Martin.  That series is definitely not over, as St. Louis is probably the best team in the National League not named the Dodgers that remains in contention.  But the Pirates have to be happy with their position right now.

Record Offensive Output
The thirteen runs today by the Dodgers was the highest scoring offensive performance by a Dodger team in post-season play in Los Angeles Dodgers history.  That’s quite an accomplishment when you consider some of the fine offensive Dodger teams with the likes of Garvey, Reggie Smith, Cey, Guerrero, Baker and others.  Scoring 13 in post-season play is real hard because the opponents are usually there because their pitching staffs are pretty good.  So, consider what the Dodegrs did today and appreciate it.  Kudos to the bats.

Carl Crawford 3-run homer put the  Dodgers ahead 4-2 in the second inning.(photo by Mark J. Terrill/AP)

This was a game the I predicted to be a pitchers duel, and the exact opposite occurred with both starters gone by the third inning.  It’ll be interesting to see how Hyun-Jin Ryu bounces back from this.

Moral Victory
The fact that Atlanta knocked around Paco Rodriquez so much in the 9th that Mattingly felt the need to put in Kenley Jansen had to be something that they’ll look at tonight and feel good about.  Obviously Mattingly didn’t want Withrow up to pitch because he’ll be considered the long man tomorrow.  Schumaker was in center field, so Jansen was the man, throwing four pitches to retire Bryan McCann via strikeout.  Jansen’s insertion into the game should not impact the possibility that he’ll be used tomorrow at all.  

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