Opinion of Kingman's Performance

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Random Stuff to Close Out the Month of August

The Dodgers finished the month of August 16-13.  On August 1st they were 2.5 games up on San Francisco.  They close out the month in the same spot, 2.5 games up.  They went through seven starting pitchers in the month and eleven different relief pitchers.  Such newcombers as Darwin Barney, Ronerto Hernandez, Kevin Correia, Pedro Baez and Carlos Frias made significant (and insignificant) contributions.  Others such as Josh Beckett, Jose Dominguez, Chris Perez, Paul Maholm, and Stephen Fife were lost for the year.  There were scares with injuries hobbling Juan Uribe, Hanley Ramirez, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Zack Greinke.
Dodger reserve Darwin Barney (photo by Mark Zerrill/Getty Images)

But here we are, after all that, the Dodgers still remain in a relatively strong position.  There are 25 games remaining, and the Dodgers destiny is on their hands.

You want some good news?  There are no more games in San Diego, and only three more against the pesky Padres at home in mid-September.  I hate playing that team.  And speaking about rival ball clubs...

It's not as if the Dodgers are looking for help or anything, but don't you find it particularly annoying that the Milwaukee Brewer went into Los Angeles and played the Dodgers like World Series champions and swept them, only to go into San Francisco this weekend and roll over and die?

The Brewers are quickly becoming my latest team to despise.  Not only for the reasons mentioned above, but also because of that left fielder of theirs, a player that lacks character more than any other player in the league.  Mr. Ryan Braun.  (Something addressed in previous posts several times over the years).

But back to Milwaukee the team.  I honestly hope they don't make the playoffs, just because they have done everything in their power to keep the Dodgers out of post season play.  That and the gimmicky slide, stupid sausage races and for being the team of Commissioner Bud Selig.  I find it hard to believe that there is actually a statue erected to the man outside that stadium of theirs.

So in the period of six days, the Dodger lead disintegrated by more than half, from 5.5 to 2.5.  Those things happen in the course of pennant races, just as the Giants 9.5 lead disappeared quickly in May.   It should be noted that though the Giants had a great week, going 6-1, their elimination number reduced from 29 to 24, at a pace of almost one game per day as well. 

You didn't think it was going to be easy did you?  Especially after 3/5 of the Dodgers starting staff disappeared with injury and it got to be Kershaw and then count the days until Kershaw would pitch again.  The truth of the matter is that if Greinke and Ryu don't return to form, this team will be in trouble in post season play, (and getting there).  Those three are enough to carry the ball club to the World Series, but they have to stay healthy.  Signs have shown that not to be the case during most of the month of August, but after Greinke's last two starts and Ryu's return today, maybe they will hold up.
Now the Giants.  They're good.  No doubt about it.  Their pitching is solid.  Their hitting mediocre, but streaky at times.  That Giants starting five made up of Bumgarner, Hudson, Vogelsong, Petit (& no Lincecum) and Peavy is not a bad staff.  As a Dodger fan, you don't want them inching much closer to the lead because those horses can hold up down the stretch.  Those five guys will keep their team in contention most nights.

Believe it or not, these three upcoming against 1st place Washington are big, very big.  It'll be a tough chore, but champions have to win during these stretches, and this is their test.  Do the Dodgers have the heart of a champion to take the reigns of this race and hold on strong?  Guys are hobbling, some are slumping and the rotation has resorted to depending on guys like Roberto Hernandez and Dan Haren fairly often.  But this is it.  The time for the Dodgers to show that they are that club that can go all the way.

A sweep of Washington would do wonders for their confidence.  First, because these would be wins at home, (something that they inexplicably haven't done well at all this year) and second, because the Giants are playing well and making a run at them, and third, it will show the baseball world who will be the team to reckon with in post-season play.

Over the years the Dodgers have had their share of slow base runners.  James Loney comes to mind.  So does current first baseman Adrian Gonzalez.  But I think I speak for EVERYBODY when I say that A.J. Ellis has got to be the slowest position player base runner they have ever had.  And he probably wouldn't argue about it either.  I love they guy, but man! Talk about running with a piano on his back.


Matt Kemp's avoidance to the tag while scoring the Dodgers sixth run today was about as savvy a base running play I've ever seen him make.  Kemp has a history of base running blunders, especially from his earlier years, but that was simply a veteran player knowing where he was and avoiding the tag as on a true "Dodger" can as he literally lived up to the team moniker.  Great heady play!

Kemp avoids the tag just before slapping the plate.  (photo by Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers @ Dodgersphotoblog.com)


It's always nice to win on "get-away" day.  Today's win was a big one.  Had San Diego swept them, it could have really set the Dodgers off in a tail-spin.

1 comment:

  1. For the Love of the Game !! Exciting Sept baseball !!
    Go Dodgers !!