Same lineup as last night, with Randy Wolf on the hill. I’ve include some notes below about Furcal’s ridiculous three-game span, as we’ve been doing some serious Furcalating in the office this morning (kudos to Jon Weisman for the new verb).
Before we get to that, though, I want to answer the question from a couple days ago about whether or not Grady sees what goes on this blog, as I didn’t want to ignore the question.
To be honest, Grady actually does an incredible job of not reading any of the media "coverage" of the team, as he doesn’t want it to affect the way he deals with the reporters or other media members. It takes some serious thick skin to not take this stuff personally. A lot of players, coaches, managers and executives I’ve met over the years have claimed that they don’t bother reading "that stuff," but many of them still do. I have found that in the last year or so, the coverage of the team has become of far less importance to those being covered and I credit Grady with setting the tone. At the end of the day, they have a job to do and reading what is written about them is not usually beneficial to doing that job.
If you think about it, it makes sense. Let’s say you’re a school teacher and every day, thousands of people weighed in on what your lesson was like on a given day. Some are knowledgeable, some aren’t. Some are mean about it, some are constructive. Some will never be pleased with no matter lesson you plan and some will always be sure that they can teach the class better than you, even though you know your students and their various strengths and weaknesses better than anyone else. The same can be said for almost any profession.
However, Grady has asked me to let him know when there’s something significant that’s written about or covered that he needs to deal with and I do that from time to time. I also know that all of the players and coaches have tons of family members who read everything that’s written about them in media outlets and fan forums and report back. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of them read this blog regularly, though I can’t imagine any of them post any comments.
So the short answer is, while I don’t think Grady is going to necessarily read this blog or message boards or anything else on a regular basis for input, he’s probably aware of what the public’s sentiment is to the extent that it is necessary. I hope that makes sense. Now for the Furcalations (and a Nomar note):
CONNECT FOUR – Rafael Furcal collected his third straight four-hit game last night, making him the first Dodger in L.A. history to have three consecutive four-hit contests. The Major League record is four straight four-hit games, established by Brooklyn Dodger Milt Stock on July 3, 1925. The last player with four hits in three consecutive contests was Furcal’s former Atlanta teammate, Marcus Giles, in 2003. Furcal is just the fifth player in the last 55 years to accomplish this feat with the others being Giles (2003), Brett Butler (1995), Mike Benjamin (1995) and Tim Salmon (1994). After going 4-for-5, Furcal is now hitting .476 (20-for-42) over his last 10 contests and has raised his average from .214 to .297 since the third inning on Saturday, May 12. He was actually hitting .158 on April 21.
MORE ON FURCAL – Rafael Furcal has 14 hits in his last 16 at-bats, becoming the first big leaguer to accomplish that feat since Derek Bell from April 20-24, 2000, according to SABR’s Trent McCotter (and confirmed by Elias). Also confirmed by Elias was Tot Holmes’ claim that in 1923 the Dodgers’ Jimmy Johnston went 23-for-28 from June 24-30.
STILL MORE ON RAFFY – Rafael Furcal now has 15 career four-hit games which is his career high. The only other Dodgers with two consecutive four-hit games since moving to Los Angeles were Willie Davis (1966), Manny Mota (1969), Jimmy Winn (1974) and Steve Garvey (1976).
NO CHANCES FOR NOMAR – In Randy Wolf’s last start on Friday, Nomar Garciaparra did not record a single putout in a complete nine-inning game, becoming the 24th first baseman in Major League history and first player in Dodger franchise history to accomplish that feat. The last big leaguer was Raul Ibañez on April 18, 2005, who played eight innings in the field that day, as did eight others on the list. That makes Garciaparra one of just 16 first basemen to play nine full innings without recording a putout in a big league game. Other former Dodgers to share the record are Dolph Camilli, Bud Clancy, Gary Thomasson, Bill Skowron, Frank Robinson, Len Matuszek, Franklin Stubbs, Fred McGriff and Greg Brock, though none actually did it in a Dodger uniform.