Thursday, April 10, 2008

I Like Loney and Mango Pickles

by Art

James Loney has hit safely in all of his nine games this season.

I like Loney and I think I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say he's the first Dodger I've ever seen that has the potential to maybe approach "The Streak". It's considered the unbreakable record and it's been held by Joe DiMaggio for going on 67 years; in 1941 he hit safely in 56 consecutive games. Loney is no DiMaggio, but even DiMaggio wasn't DiMaggio when The Streak started. He puts the bat on the ball more consistently then anyone I've ever seen play. Last year he hit .331 with a strikeout once every 7.1 at-bats; this year (so far) he's hitting .364 with a considerably lower at-bat/strikeout ratio of 5.5 but he always seems to find a way to put the bat on the ball.

Fun fact: in '41 DiMaggio struck out a total of 13 times the entire season, Loney already has six.

I'm not saying he's going to break 56 or even approach it, all I'm saying is he is the only Dodger I've ever seen to have Streak-like potential.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Offensive Woes

by Art.

Matt Kemp826270109.269
R. Martin9294303610.103
Andruw Jones9310401310.129
Juan Pierre718030101.167

Our reliance on our pitching is becoming unfair. The Dodgers have scored three or fewer runs in six of their nine games, four of those games accounting for almost all of their five losses on the season. It's a tribute to Dodger pitching that we've been able to salvage and win two of those six.

Of all of the Dodger bats no one looks worse then Andruw Jones who started the day on the bench in today's 4-3 loss against Arizona. It's a joy to watch him play the outfield but it's a chore to watch him bat. He just looks over matched out there.

This is nothing new to the Dodgers who have struggled at the plate since the early nineties when I remember begging for a hit when runners were in scoring position. So far in this young season the Dodgers have stranded 132 runners. Let me say that again, 132!!!! Their wins haven't looked much better then their losses: in their four wins this season they've averaged 12.75 stranded runners a game meanwhile that number balloons when they lose to 16.2. If they were able to score just two of those 16.2 well then you're looking at 6-3 record, which would put them in a tie for first with Arizona instead of three games back.

It's only nine games into the season and it's crazy to panic or to read too much into what's going on yet. Martin will get better, Kemp is on his way back, and Jones might carry last year's slump into this year but he can't be this bad all season so there is reason to be hopeful, I just hope we don't blow out our pitching before then.

Friday, April 4, 2008


by Art

He scored the first run of the season on Kent's home run and he scored the winning run on an infield single the next day in the bottom of the ninth. On Wednesday he went 0 for 4 with a walk and two strikeouts leaving three men on base and the Dodgers loose by one run. It's evident to me, even this early in the season, that as Rafael Furcal goes, so do the Dodgers.

Nice to see DeWitt is doing well. Actually I think I like him better then LaRoche who reminds me of my dog Floyd when I take him to the dog park. If it were up to me I'd trade LaRoche when given a chance and use DeWitt as Nomar's backup. He's come into a tough situation and stepped up and that's the kind of attitude I like to see in a Dodger. Now having said that the kid is only going to do well for so long. This isn't football when the season is over 16 weeks after it begins, we play 162 in the majors and it's only a matter of time before he starts to struggle. Hopefully by then Nomar is back and can take some of the pressure off.

Pierre is on the bench and deservedly so, the guy batter below the Mendoza line in spring and the one chance he gets to prove himself on Wednesday he bunts back to the box and gets caught stealing for the last out. Talk about anti-climactic. Torre has Ethier taking some ground balls at first in hopes to alleviate the congested outfield and it makes sense. Pierre isn't good enough or powerful enough as a pinch hitter and using him solely as a pinch runner seems like a waste; with Pierre the only way you're going to reap the benefits of his style of play, and there are benefits, is by playing him every day. I know I said I would have gone with Pierre over Ethier but I was wrong. Ethier's earned it: he looks like he's lost some weight and solidified his swing, the kid is better then I thought and will probably be good for a long time. Maybe it's time to alleviate some payroll and trade Pierre to perhaps the Cubs. It's only fair to the veteran and maybe we can acquire a proper 4th outfielder.

Martin is the new Dodger god. If you're not on his bandwagon I suggest getting on. Just look what Kuroda had to say about the guy.