Opinion of Kingman's Performance

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Up-coming Idle days in Schedule Should Allow Dodgers to Optimize Starting Rotation Order

The Dodgers have a rarity of two off-days this coming week, and three days off in the coming nine days.  This creates a unique opportunity to break-up the back-to-back Greinke/Kershaw starts without having either one of them losing a start.  Additionally a juggling of the rotation order can set up the home series against the Giants in two weeks, with both Greinke and Keshaw facing them.  Without a shuffle in the rotation, the Dodgers would play their three against San Fancisco with Latos, Wood and Anderson on the hill.

The approaching schedule is as follows:
Today, August 16: Reds (Greinke)
August 17: Offday
August 18: @ Oakland (Kershaw)
August 19: @ Oakland (Latos)
August 20: Off day
August 21: @ Houston (replace Wood with GREINKE)
August 22: @ Houston (Anderson with 7 days of rest)
August 23: @ Houston (replace Wood with KERSHAW)
August 24: Off day
August 25: @ Cincinnati (Wood with 10 days of rest)
August 26: @ Cincinnati (GREINKE)
August 27: @ Cincinnati (Latos with 8 days of rest)
August 28: Cubs (KERSHAW)
August 29: Cubs (Anderson with 7 days of rest)
August 30: Cubs (Wood)
August 31: Giants (GREINKE)
September 1: Giants (Latos)
September 2: Giants (KERSHAW)

Aside from setting up the starting staff to the most advantageous match-ups for the team, this also grants much needed extra days of rest for Wood, Anderson and Latos.   It makes perfect sense and I would hope that the decision makers would give these changes serious consideration.


Kike Hernandez is that rare gem that unexpectedly may be the key acquisition in the off-season trade with Miami.  He brings enthusiasm combined with versatility and a glove that can competently play 5 defensive positions.  I call him the modern day Derrell Thomas, but with a better bat.

Hernandez's three-run clout in last night's game was nearly hit out of the LF Pavilion.  The blast was shocking, not because he homered, but because of the distance the ball travelled.  ESPN tracked it's distance as as 433 feet.   I'm not sure how accurate that measurement was, but there's no doubt it was tattooed.

The Dodger's 8-3 win last night showed a return of the home run, as 5 were hit by both teams on a hot August L.A. night.  Something I would expect to continue in today's afternoon contest in the sweltering heat.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

The New Guys Contribute for the "W"

Dodger fans can be an impatient lot, and the early results of Jim Johnson, Alex Wood, Mat Latos and Luis Avilan have got a lot of them up in a tizzy.  For that reason last night's 5-3 Dodger win over Cincinnati may have temporarily calmed a few nerves.
Alex Wood went 6 1/3 innings in his first Dodger win. (AP photo)

It can't be ignored that Alex Wood pitched a good game last night.  He was on his game, his pitch count was low, he was getting ahead in counts.  It was a solid, not great, but solid outing and deserving of a win.

Jim Johnson retired the two hitters he was assigned, and luck was in his favor for the first time in which her wore a Dodger uniform.  I realize Johnson has been lit up in his previous outings, but I've seen enough nasty pitches from this guy in all but one of those appearances to still believe he can be a valuable piece to the bullpen.  To simply give up on him would be foolish.  As much as I'm quick to criticize Mattingly, I was glad he found a spot for Johnson to contribute last night.  I strongly believe that Johnson will be a significant contributor to the team between now and the end of the season.

Latos and Avilan remain to perform up to standard, but there's time.  Meanwhile, the Dodgers, in my opinion need about 27 more wins to wrap up the division title.  That'll put them at a 92 win season. Do they have it in them to finish up 27-18, (a .600 pace)?  I believe so, but there's still a lot of quality opponents that they'll have to beat.


Last season Dan Uggla found himself in a San Francisco Giant uniform for 4 games.  He participated in a three game series in SF against the Dodgers and went 0 for 9, while striking out 4 times.  He also made two errors at second base.  It was a putrid week for him as his batting average lowered to .152. As Dodger fans we were elated, after all the Dodgers swept the Giants and their new second baseman appeared to be done as a player.  The Giants brass didn't stick with him much longer, as he was released after his next game, an 0 for 3, two strikeout performance in a loss at home to Pittsburgh.

Uggla during his 4 days as a Giant. (photo by USA Today/SI)

The final numbers for Uggla as a Giant: 11 ABs, 0 Hits, 1 BB, 1 R, 6 SO, 2 errors.  He was a Giant from July 25-29th.

Q: What does he get for that?

A: A World Series ring.  

Uggla is in San Francisco with the Nationals this week and he was presented his ring, for that 4 game losing swing.  Sorry, but there's something wrong with that.

Oh, and another thing.  Uggla is still awful.  As a Nat he's hitting .191 with an OBP of .294.  At least in the past he had some pop to go with that low OBP, but even that is gone now.  Uggla has one homer this year so far.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Schedules / Road Trip Report

The Giants are finally hitting that rough patch of the schedule, and so far, things aren't looking good for the guys in the halloween colored duds.  Look at this brutal slate of games:

@Cubs (2 more, after having lost the first two), Astros (2) at home, Nationals (4) at home, @Cardinals (3), @Pirates (4), followed by a home stand with the Cubs (3) and then the Cardinals (3).

This stretch is against all playoffs contenders and in the dog days of August.  Following those 22 games they travel to Los Angeles and face the Dodgers for four.

Now if the Giants survive this stretch, September may be their month as they only face the NL West and A's, plus three home games with the hapless Reds.

So the Dodgers really need to take advantage of this month and stretch out the lead.  On the scheduling front, the Dodgers have their share of tough opponents too, (Nats, Astros, Pirates and Cubs), but the A's and Reds are mixed in there too.  If the Dodgers enter September with a 7 game lead, they should be in good shape.  They do have eight remaining contests with the Giants, who have pretty much owned them all season.

So I made it up to Philadelphia for yesterday's afternoon matinee.  Fact is, I traveled up to New York two weeks ago and caught the series opener there too, (which was Kershaw's masterpiece), but this piece is on Philadelphia's Citizen Bank Park, which was inundated by Dodger fans.

Who would have thought that Philadelphia would ever be accepting of a situation like that?  The city that may have one of the toughest fan bases in the all of sports.  Booers of Santa Claus, battery throwers at J.D. Drew and their own hometown star Richie Allen, fighters of opposing hockey players in the penalty box.  There's little doubt that Philadelphia fans have a reputation of being a tough group.  

I'd never think that visiting fans from a team over 3,000 miles away could openly cheer in such a place without receiving any hostility or any fights breaking out.  But such was the case yesterday. The Dodgers had quite a contingent of fans, with many dressed up in jersey, caps and more.  I saw friendly banter between them and Phillies fans, as things should be.

So I give my props to Phillies fans.  They were great hosts.  The fans I interacted with were actually very complimentary towards the Dodgers, and as I departed, one even wished us luck in the playoffs.  I'm sure if the Phils didn't have the worst record in the league that things would have been different, but that's neither here nor there.  What I witnessed was a knowledgeable fan base that was respectful.

Watching the blue crew lace out five hits while plating three runs in the first inning made me think that with Zack Greinke on the mound, the game was over.  How were we to know that Greinke would give up more runs in the first inning as he had in the previous two months?  It was one of those games.

With an 1 1/3 innings in the books, both teams had already combined for 11 runs and 13 hits.  There was no doubt that CB Park is a launching pad, as no lead appeared safe, even up to the final outs as the Phillies rallied from a four run deficit to having the potential winning run at the plate.

Props to CB Park's Bull's BBQ, where I had an amazing BBQ beef sandwich.

I met up with True Blue Will from New York.  A great friend and acquaintance from the Think Blue LA forum. I've met up with Will at CBR as well as Citi Field a few weeks ago. Will caught Amtrak from NYC and is about as loyal and knowledgable as  Dodger fan as there is, dating back to his days when he followed the Boys of Summer in Brooklyn.