Eric Gagne – Roy Smith

I was able to watch Eric Gagne throw batting practice yesterday and it sure did give me a good feeling. It also made me think of two things that Eric brings to the table that sets him apart.

GagneThe first is Eric’s ability to change speeds as a closer, which is somewhat unique considering how hard he throws. Eric has an outstanding straight change up – which he displayed during his batting practice session – and an above average, old-fashioned, overhand curve ball. Now I know that closers such as Trevor Hoffman with San Diego and Keith Foulke with Boston have great change ups, but they don’t throw as hard as Eric. When Eric throws his curveball, often hitters take the pitch because they just get frozen. It is very hard to hit when having to track three such distinct pitches and speeds.

The other is the presence that Eric brings to the ball club. He has the ability, through his personality, to mingle with all of the various groups — young, old, position players and pitchers. There is a confidence that he provides the club that everything will be alright. The other team also knows that if they are down after seven or eight innings, their chances of coming back are slim. I experienced that feeling first-hand as a player when I was a member of  the 1987 Twins with Jeff Reardon, and I see the same intangibles in Eric.

We are keeping our fingers crossed that Eric will again be healthy for the entire season because we need him not only on the mound but in the clubhouse. So far so good.

173 comments

  1. thomask932@yahoo.com

    I’m very glad to hear that Eric Gagne seems to be healthy. All of us Dodger fans are keeping our fingers crossed. Go LA Dodgers.

  2. atholen@us.ibm.com

    its unfortunate for this young man, that since neither he, nor anyone in the dodgers org, understands WHY he hurt his arm in the first place, and what he needs to change to prevent another injury, that over time, with that same pitching motion, he will hurt it again…

    • JhallWally

      Yep!! I missed the first 5 minutes of the game trying to get GameDay connected and we’re already out in the top half of the 1st. Geez!!! I see Andre got a hit.

      • JhallWally

        Actually, at this point I don’t really care if we win or lose. I’m not expecting anything from this team. Right now, it would be better for the team, decreased attendance, and young kids going forward if we get buried in the cellar.

      • trublu4ever

        I know. Just tying my best to be optomistic. By the way, the Rockies have a fund raiser where for two dollars, you can get a ball (autographed) from a grab bag…..wouldn’t grab a ball be good for us, too?

      • JhallWally

        I do like to see Ethier and Kemp do well and I hope they make it to the All-Star Game. I think Kemp is a shoe in. Ethier is gonna have to get hot to make it. I think Kershaw will get picked if he pitches well the rest of the month.

      • JhallWally

        That’s a hell of a promotion. The ball is worth more than 2 bucks. The only autographs I would care to have of our current players are:
        .
        Kershaw, Kemp, Ethier, Billz, and Carroll.

  3. enchantedTheBeav

    I’m starting to find myself rooting for the other team – I want the friggin stadium empty next home game.

  4. enchantedTheBeav

    You know, I’ve thought about this and I’ve thought about this, and I’ve come to the conclusion – we just need to play better…

  5. enchantedTheBeav

    Honestly, I doubt this team is even competes in AAA, and if they did, I guarantee they wouldn’t be in the top 5 in record.

  6. nedsajerk

    How bad is Gibbons is I still take him over Thames? Hoffmann deserve another shot here. To bad Gordon wasn’t on 3rd on the bunt.

    • nedsajerk

      lol 2 QS for Lilly and Bills and Kershaw gotten had one in there last 2 games. Kershaw probably should’ve had one and left when the score was 7-3 and even Donny was scare to bring in his bullpen and wanted Kershaw to get one more inning out of him.

  7. trublu4ever

    What do you guy think of the talks about re-alignment…..15 teams in each league…no divisions ? Wasn’t that the way it used to be? National League and Americn League?

    • nedsajerk

      They need to go back to the West and East divison. I miss the Reds and Astros in the same division is the Dodgers. You can still have 7 in the AL and 8 in the NL and not have the AL West with 4 and NL West with 5.

    • nedsajerk

      It sad the Orioles and Blue Jays have no chance in that divison with the Yankees, Red Sox and the Rays.

    • nedsajerk

      That throw did come to the plate of course you have to advance on that but it probably was just a terrible move on Blake part but should Wallach be hold accountable for that?

  8. nedsajerk

    Thames was like 0/19 and got his 1st hit since that 2 runs PH HR’s back on Apr 22. in a 12-2 games.

  9. Colliethec

    So at 2-0 why didn’t Rod go out & give Elbert a pep talk? Not sure I like how he works with the pitchers. With a 6 run lead in the 8th you CAN’T walk people! You know his history so go & have a freaking chat with him! Also per game day 2 of this balls were right down the middle strikes.

    • enchantedTheBeav

      Don’t worry Collie, we all go weak in the knees with that staring us in the face.
      .
      Or something like that.

    • enchantedTheBeav

      Seems typical of CNN – totally miss the real reason why people are staying away in droves.

      • Collie

        They did spend a bit of time on Mcourt and how people feel he is in it just for the $$$…
        .
        “Robert Watkin, who has been attending Dodger games for 31 years, says he feels disenchanted.

        “Since the McCourts took over he’s made it his priority to take care of personal business besides making this organization the successful organization it’s always been,” he said.

        Watkin said the feeling of a family atmosphere has dissipated, and he blames McCourt.

        “People have lost trust. You used to come here, and it wouldn’t matter if the team was winning. It was fun. It just doesn’t feel that way anymore, and I think in essence people are boycotting until something turns around,” he said.”
        .
        ” Andre Hannie is a season ticket holder who says he also feels betrayed by the lavish personal spending of McCourt. But he remains a die-hard fan.

        “I am bitter over what he’s done over the years, but it’s not going to stop me from supporting the team. There could be 12 people here and I would still come out every night,” Hannie said.”
        .
        “We need an owner here who’s committed to the team, the fans and most importantly winning. It’s been (almost) 25 years since we’ve won a World Series,” said the Dodger fan.”

      • enchantedTheBeav

        Wasn’t the feel I took away from the piece though – they played up the beating, then threw in a fan reference to McCourt.
        .
        Could be too that I can’t stand CNN reporting on anything. 🙂

  10. nedsajerk

    You can get a defensive indifference when a team is leading? I guess Carroll doesn’t want to leave either.

  11. Collie

    This is something from the article I would agree with…
    .
    “In a recently filed lawsuit, Stow’s family alleges that security officers and managers at Dodger Stadium have been apprised of a history of aggressive, violent behavior. The suit asserts the presence of criminal gang activity in some crowds at the stadium and inadequate safety — both factors in the attack, according to the lawsuit.”
    .
    Of course it didn’t seem to me as if it was addressed when it should of been. I know I offered some ideas that weren’t out of order or that hard to of been put in place. I even remember asking if they are going to wait for someone to get seriously injured or killed to do something. Well…

  12. Collie

    I hear you E. I’m just still really pissed that this happened. It has really upset me because I feel like I should of voiced my feelings more about my experiences and maybe something would of been done. I keep asking myself if I could of done more that could of kept this guy from being beaten like he was. I know my comments were told they were being addressed and that we are listened to. So I took it for the word that was given. Now I don’t believe 1 thing this organization says. It’s all PR and BS! It has really affected me as a baseball & Dodger fan. I can deal with losing. But the classless way this team has been and is being run is killing me. I would like to ask McCourt what he thinks of the Weiner fella…

    • JhallWally

      Nothing you or anyone could have done Collie. Frank is a self absorbed, arrogant, greedy asshole. He basically ignored the fans and the franchise to fund his own vanity.

      • Collie

        Maybe so Wally but it still has caused me to question what else I could of done and feel bad that I didn’t do more. Not that if I did more it would make a difference but wondering if I had would of this tragedy been avoided? I imagine it like seeing someone who is driving poorly late at night and probably drunk. Not calling anyone and then hearing the next day they crashed their car into someone else and seriously injured them.
        .
        Being a huge Dodger fan here in Giant country made it tough for me. Not that any Giants fans gave me grief about the incident. They were all very cool with it and realize that it’s not the way most Dodger fans are. But I’ve always said the worst day as a Dodger fan is better than the nest day as a Giants fan… well that is getting close to not being correct. I just know that I root for the team — not the owners.

      • JhallWally

        I can certainly understand how you are feeling. You were trying to call attention to it a couple of years ago. And yes, it is getting close. I used to catch a little crap for being a Dodger fan but now, people just shake their heads and roll their eyes. We are no longer respected as a franchise, just pitied. That is what makes me mad and sad.

  13. nedsajerk

    2-2 and you can’t get him out with the last 2 pitches. I love Gwynn defense to bad we should’ve had been up 2-1 in this series maybe 3-0.

  14. Collie

    Wow!! That’s the 2nd time TG has made the same type of catch and saved the game! That was awesome!!

  15. Collie

    Nice to win one. I have to give credit on the game when it’s deserved. Lilly did a great job and pretty much everyone chipped in on this one. Bat wise — the Bully had it’s usual meltdown. Take care everybody — sorry to moan & run but I’ve got some chores to attend to.

  16. enchantedTheBeav

    Nothing more you could’ve done Collie – it all fell on deaf ears. You can’t change somebody [or an organization] like that. Its like needing a stoplight at a certain intersection. Nothing’s going to happen until someone gets killed. Cheaper to bury your head in the sand and pretend nothing bads happening than to be proactive and fix it before its totally broken.

    • JhallWally

      No, he would have played it as a single most likely in his current condition. Gwynn went all in on that one and if he doesn’t pull it off, its a bad judgement call. Its a single with most outfielders out there.

  17. nedsajerk

    I was thinking the same thing when Kemp misplayed Cargo’s hit. I was wondering why Donnie still had him in with a 7-1 lead in the 8th?

    By Colliethec on June 11, 2011 8:07 pm

    I guess Donny had no chance there after using Thames and Blake already and the possible worst things to happen is to bring in Uribe to play 3rd move Miles to 2nd and Carroll in LF.

  18. nedsajerk

    Notes
    •Speaking of roster moves, Hector Gimenez was activated from the 60-day disabled list after tonight’s game and outrighted him to Double A Chattanooga, which means he cleared waivers, which is no surprise.
    •Marcus Thames got an RBI single as a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning, his first hit since being activated from the DL. The hit also snapped an 0-for-19 skid, dating back to April
    •Lilly got his stolen base in the third inning, which was rare not just because he’s a pitcher (it was the third stolen base of his career), but because Lilly was 0-for-41 dating back to last season before his single tonight.
    •Jason Hammel’s ERA against the Dodgers in three starts this season is 7.98. Against everyone else, in 10 starts, it’s 2.70.
    •Hong-Chih Kuo pitched a scoreless eighth inning tonight, striking out all three batters, in the second game of his current rehab assignment with Rancho Cucamonga.
    •The Dodgers signed more draft picks tonight, including fifth rounder Scott McGough, a pitcher (for roughly $150,000, per Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times) and seventh rounder Scott Woodward, a third baseman

  19. dodgereric

    Remember when I posted our 9th inning pitching stats? Remember how horrible it was? Let’s update it. This time, let’s compare it to the rest of the NL.
    .
    League average .244/.319/.359/.678
    .
    ATL .181/.281/.258/.539
    SD .197/.267/.278/.545
    CIN .202/.306/.314/.620
    MIL .205/.311/.256/.566
    WAS .213/.294/.267/.561
    SF .225/.337/.266/.603
    AZ .229/.298/.394/.692
    PIT .247/.290/.374/.664
    FLA .249/.316/.361/.677
    NYM .254/.330/.359/.689
    STL .261/.325/.436/.761
    PHI .262/.335/.361/.696
    COL .265/.296/.439/.736
    CHI .271/.358/.380/.737
    HOU .293/.348/.451/.799
    LA .333/.403/.500/.903
    .
    Wow. Ugly with a capital UG. Of course, it wouldn’t be fair to compare it to the AL with the DH. Ah, let’s look anyway, just to make ourselves feel good about the team Ned’s put together. You know, the one that the owner likes so much.
    .
    ATL .181/.281/.258/.539
    SD .197/.267/.278/.545
    SEA .202/.270/.251/.521
    CIN .202/.306/.314/.620
    MIL .205/.311/.256/.566
    LAA .209/.281/.327/.608
    TB .211/.276/.283/.560
    OAK .213/.274/.270/.544
    WAS .213/.294/.267/.561
    BAL .214/.280/.385/.665
    CWS .221/.310/.368/.679
    SF .225/.337/.266/.603
    BOS .226/.259/.321/.580
    AZ .229/.298/.394/.692
    MIN .229/.301/.401/.702
    CLE .237/.317/.328/.645
    DET .239/.349/.330/.679
    TEX .240/.330/.380/.710
    KC .242/.327/.384/.711
    PIT .247/.290/.374/.664
    FLA .249/.316/.361/.677
    NYM .254/.330/.359/.689
    STL .261/.325/.436/.761
    PHI .262/.335/.361/.696
    COL .265/.296/.439/.736
    NYY .270/.326/.375/.701
    CUBS .271/.358/.380/.737
    TOR .290/.355/.493/.848
    HOU .293/.348/.451/.799
    LAD .333/.403/.500/.903
    .
    Oops. Wow again. Not just worst. Astoundingly worse. The only team over .300 in batting average against. The only team over .400 in On Base Percentage. The only team to reach .500 in Slugging Percentage. The only team over .900 in On Base Plus Slugging Percentage.
    .
    Putting this horror aside for a moment, it isn’t really surprising that the NL has 4 of the top 5 teams in this catagory. No DH, lower stats, right? But the NL also has 9 of the worst 11.

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