Beware of the Fog

There’s a cloud over AT&T Park this morning and maybe it’s the start of the NFL season. I, for one, am not ready to start thinking about football — not with three weeks left to go in the regular season, most of which come against the very teams we’ll need to beat to play in October.

It was great to see a couple of Inside the Dodgers readers up here in the Bay Area over the weekend. Glad you guys are all up north supporting the team.

Meanwhile, I know a lot of you guys have been worried about Russell needing more days off so I did some research to see how he stacked up historically against Dodger catchers. With 20 games left and three off days, it’s conceivable he could catch every game until the end of the year. If he were to do that, he would have caught 149 games and would break the record for most games caught by an LA Dodger catcher, but not by very much. Believe it or not, Mike Piazza caught 146, 146 and 139 games in 1993, 1996 and 1997, respectively, and somehow it didn’t seem to hurt him in the long run (the strike-shortened years of 1994 and 95 were the main reasons his games were down in those seasons).

And though Martin’s run production has tailed off a bit in the second half, he did did hit .300 with a .432 OBP and .511 slugging percentage in August, which is when the hot summer months usually take a toll on catchers across the game. He’s batting .280 so far in September, but it’s only a week so it’s tough to gauge much from such a small sample size.

Defensively, his numbers in throwing out runners in the second half are down (33 percent to 22 percent), but he’s thrown out six of his last 16 (38 percent), so he’s getting better lately. Plus, he hasn’t had a passed ball since the All-Star Break.

So while I certainly understand everyone’s concern for a player who will hopefully be a cornerstone of this team for several years to come, it’s not exactly like he’s being driven into the ground to the detriment of his future. Or at least there’s a historical precedent to look back on in that regard.

Anyway, I just wanted to throw a few facts out there so the debate is actually based on reality over beliefs.

Here’s the lineup for the road trip finale here in SF:

Abreu, SS (day off for Furcal)

Pierre, CF (batting .333 since the start of August)

Kemp, RF (his average is 5th in baseball over the last three weeks)

Kent, 2B

Loney, 1B

Martin, C

Ethier, LF

Nomar, 3B

Penny, P (he and Webb have the most wins in the NL over the past two years)

139 Comments

Wow, what a lineup! I am feeling good about todays game. Go Dodgers!

Grady flat out nailed it today, great lineup.

wow…nomar 8th? i really never would have thought that possible. i’ll give grady credit for once. I’m even ok with Abreu lead-off.

LET’S GO BLUE!

whoo!!! what a lineup!
Go Dodgers!

Furcal really showed some fatigue yesterday with some of his swings nice to see Grady erk up the courage to rest him today, But I have to admit I wanted to see Hu play SS.

Omg Grady must be drunk. Oh say it ain’t so Grady. Nomar at 8th no freaking way. I still want Pierre in that lead off spot bu don’t mind Abreu there.

Furcal is both injured and overrated. Not a good combo.
He has not helped this team and cost us a game the other night. He needs to sit for awhile.

I heard on Dodger Thoughts that Hu had a sour arm maybe that’s the reason why Hu ain’t playing, it really would have been nice seeing him do his thing with that SICK GLOVE of his.

I’m not saying he won’t contribute but he needs to go on the DL and get healthy. The 70% Furcal is not helping.

You really think Grady would start Hu over Abreu at SS? When Abreu been with us before and played 3rd base. I wonder why we called up Young if he not going to get a chance to PH. Heck we got Moeller on this time maybe we don’t need him to be our 3rd catcher.

oops time=team

OMG! Wow my prayers were answered! Abreu in for Furcal. Is this a moment of clarity from Grady??!!! lol

I think someone was in Grady uniform this morning.

Nice lineup today. I called Grady this morning and told him to throw this lineup out there. LOL. Lets win the series this afternoon.

Yea Oakland89. MEEEEEE.

greawt lineup, although i think that pierre should lead off.. but its ok.. starting at the 2 spot is ok… go dodgers!

we need LaRoche!

I like Abreu, and his approach to the game. He’s done what’s been asked of him, and produced on defense, and offense. However, I wonder if there are alterior motives to showcase his talents to offer him up for trade bait in the off season. Things that make you go hmmmmn.

“i’ll give grady credit for once.”

“nice to see Grady erk up the courage”

“Omg Grady must be drunk”

“Is this a moment of clarity from Grady??!!!”

“I think someone was in Grady uniform this morning”

“I called Grady this morning and told him to throw this lineup out there.”

===================================================

Wow! Even when you guys get what you want, you bash Grady. (The trademark of a true ITD Groundhog – The ability to find the dark cloud inside of the silver lining).

You guys are too much.

Try this one: Great line-up today! Let’s win!

GO PENNY!

GO DODGERS!

The “motive” for Abreu playing is that Furcal has been terrible of late.

If Nomore has to play, at least he’s batting 8th.

Grady must of been playing Nintendo last night….

Im too excited about Furcal being out since it will only be for a day, but maybe a day off will help him. Long long overdue though.

what happened to LaRoche supposedly getting the most playing time at third base from here on out? I agree at least nomar is batting 8th, but LaRoche had performed very well, but is not going to see a start in SF? I wonder if they’re just showcasing him. If they are doing that, then they can only hope that they are able to get A-Rod.

Would be 2 days with the day off tomorrow. I guess he know how important he needs him against SD at home.

fezzik031: “what happened to LaRoche supposedly getting the most playing time at third base from here on out?”

I have a feeling that his back is really hurting him. Since coming up, he is 2 for 13 (.154) with 6 K’s; this after having incredible numbers at Triple-A Las Vegas the past month.

I’m betting that he will have back surgery during the off-season. I just hope that he comes back strong next season, as I really like this kid.

GO DODGERS!

1) Josh, very nicely argued and presented. Also it’s fair to note that Piazza and Martin were both junior college players and both broke into the majors at fairly similar ages. I’m not sure how to gauge a comparison accurately, though, so I still get a little nervous about Martin catching as many games as he does.

2) I really like this lineup. Most shocking about it was seeing Nomar bat 8th, which sends a signal to me that LaRoche will have a decent oppurtunity to fight for a spot.

3) Pierre deserves some credit for how well he’s been playing since August. He put up a .361 OBP in August and so far this month he has a .371 OBP. Even if that is a matter of him getting better luck on balls in play, it is fair to note his BABIP has been lower than his career averages, and earlier in the year he was having a lot of difficulty with successfully bunting for a hit.

4) Furcal’s balls in play numbers at the plate have been lower than his career numbers this year, which explains part of his offensive weakness, but more significantly, he also has shown a significant power drought. His defense has been excellent for most of this year, but after some poor plays recently, Little feels that Furcal needs two days off in a row at least to get back on track.

5) Brad Penny has been excellent, and is 20 innings shy of his career high of 205 in 2007. As good as our bullpen is, it’s been excellent to see him become more efficient and go deeper into games. Matt Cain, with a 7-14 record to go with a 3.83 ERA makes Derek Lowe look lucky. This should be a fun game for LA.

I have a feeling Penny is wearing down in the second half as usual, although not as much as he usually does. It will be interesting to see how he does today, even though the Giants aren’t exactly putting Murderer’s row out there.

I guess LaRoches 2 run scoring doubles in two games isn’t enough for him to play. Or it’s too important not to have Nomore in the lineup. But I will say, I think this line up is pretty good considering.

Nice Kent! Way to go!

KENT’S 18-75 good Dodger stats for the old reliable.

Martin should have known better there. Molina’s got a gun.

OL’E!!!******* nomar, better hope that doesnt come back to hurt the dodgers.

Now if Cain can only hang a few.

jriley: There were 2 outs and 2 strikes on Ethier when Martin was, I assume, given the steal sign. A perfect time to take a chance even against a catcher with a good arm. So I think you are the one who should have known better.

Pretty quiet on the blog today. Guess alot are paying more attention to Football. Dodger game not televised here, so I got it on the gameday while watching the Chargers-Bears game.

To further amplify Ethier hitting 213 with 2 outs. Even lower I guess with 2 outs and 2 strikes.

miketink…And Martin with a bad wheel. You have your opinion. I have mine. He’s too valuable to this team to aggravate that injury.

Com’on Cain give us something to hit.

It’s not an opinion. It’s the perfect time to attempt a steal. You didn’t even mention his knee just Molina’s gun in your original unoriginal comment. Give me a break admit you didn’t think before you posted.

Penny’s being hit hard, but not offen and Cain is hardly being hit. Let’s hope it’s Cain that blinks first here.

I can’t believe a lot of teams are hit back to back to back homerun this year. I can’t believe Mil did it in the 1st inning from the first 3 guys to lead off the game.

K_E_N_T and we need help from other. Especially from Cain.

Another homerun Kents.

tink Opinions are like a**holes. We all have one. Everyone who keeps track of the Dodgers knows about Martin’s knee injury. You’re trying to make yourself out like the end all know it all on baseball. Get over yourself.

Way to battle Martin!

“And Martin with a bad wheel” triples. Maybe he should have stopped at 2nd to avoid aggravating that injury.

I don’t know if Cain will be back, but he was definately weakening there, to bad about Ethier’s unproductive strikeout.

The Cards put up a 4 spot in the 3rd and up 4-2 against the Dbacks.

Superman Jeff Kent does it again!Arizona, don’t worry,even the rocks can’t save you!

tink Your not going to upset me with you snide remarks. Anyone can be a Laptop Rambo, and stir up hate, and discontent on a blog hiding behind the keyboard. Take it somewhere else. I’m not biting on that.

Be great to bomb Tyler Walker, give the bullpen a rest, go into tomorrow’s day off and go play the Pads.

Padres just lost 4-2

Pads just lost to the Rocks. Opportunity knocks.

So much for that.

Well Penny went 7, didn’t look like that in the 1st, he pitched a gem after that, now it’s up to guys in the bullpen. PROCTOR going to work.

BBBEEEIMEL VS BOOODDDDS

Ist & 3rd BIG BAD JON.

Game over. Season over.

Deja Vu, I’m going back to football. What has happened to Broxton?

AGAIN don’t blame griddle.

****! Brox is having a bad week.

This one Grady played well, Broxton just screwed up again.

ya all you fake dodger fans go back to your football and give up on the dodgers…better yet why dont you all become angel fans

LONEY___MARTIN___ETHIER and a pair of rosary beads.

I’m not giving up yet. We still have a shot here. I’m praying for divine intervention here to pull a rabbit out of the hat, and get a win.
GO DODGERS!!

Hey, when two solo shots by Kent is you *only* offense for the game …

Also, bringing in Broxton with runners on and expecting him to be a lights out stopper is kinda iffy. His season ERA with no runners on is 0.49, his season ERA with RISP is 8.44. He does better with a clean slate.

Hey bill 1234, you think were finished? Big talk, but these Dodgers will never say die!Why don’t you go and blog with the angels?

Way to go Andre! We’re still breathing…

Nah, the season’s not over, just another unnecessary step backwards. But, this series we had a major chance to sweep and blew it. Don’t ever question my loyalty to this team, but we undoubtedly just blew a MAJOR opportunity to make up ground again. You can’t waste days like this in September and we just did.

Good game, we lost and let’s hope the D-backs groak.

ndeschenes

if you could actually read i was putting down all the ppl here that said the season was over. but nice try

alex is right. the season has probably been over for a while, but we just keep winning a few then losing a few. we’re not making any ground just treading water. and admitting that the season is over doesnt ever mean that we arent loyal…just we’re realistic

nvm alex said the season isn’t over. I actually believe it is..but hey I sure hope they prove me wrong

If the Dodgers can’t nut up and beat Peavy and the Pods, then RIP.

The Gnats have played spoiler on the Dodgers for years. They do it again. Now, I find myself rooting for the Cards against the Snakes. Boy! This upcoming homestand has to be HUGE for the team.
GO DODGERS!!

We had a golden chance to score after Martin’s triple, Ethier blew it by swinging at a pitch in dirt. The fact that we couldn’t do anything with Cain, aside from Kent. Just overall, you can’t play like this and expect to play in October. Sorry, you can’t. They get this series to really make up some ground. If they take 4 or 5 of six we can get excited, but anything less than that, it will take a monumental two weeks to make the playoffs. This homestand definitely can get them back in it, but will end them if they don’t show up.

Hopefully it’s another day closer to Colletti and Little being GONE!!!

And, please, Mr. McCourt don’t let Logan White get away before you pull the plug on those two worthless jerks.

anybody else just looking forward to 2008 yet? doesn’t look like we’re gonna be doing much this year. i hope i’m wrong, but with about 22 games left, this has been a wildly diappointing season.

Dave Littlefield and Jim Tracy will probably be available…

Well, the Dodgers have opted to do it the hard way. Instead of gaining ground by beating a last-place team, they’ll have to do it head-to-head. It’s going to be tough but not impossible.

griffon:Don’t know if you’ll see this so I’ll be brief. Every pitcher has a much higher ERA with RISP than with no runners on. Your figures do not prove that Broxton does better with a clean slate which is a popular claim lately but noone that I’ve seen has proved it.

And White and Gibson/ or Hersheiser/ or Girardi will also be available. That’s much more of what I had in mind as replacements for the current incompetents.

For all you Furcal bashers, Abreu’s at-bat with the bases loaded in the 7th was very rookie like. I’m still waiting for strike one.

Ummmmmmmm…I was KIDDING about the Pirate losers…

Hey little,and I mean little, I guarantee you, you put Andy Laroche at third, and that will be the extra spark to bring us all all the way back!Listen to this man!We can still do it only with Super Andre Laroche at third!

Really, you think management is actually smart enough to get rid of little, get rid of the deadweight on this team, etc. They haven’t done it yet so I don’t see any reason why they will now. This season will not be blamed on Little, no way. We’ll be luck if it gets blamed on Ned.

I know you’ll be back to your normal way and harassment Grady again after you apology to him last night. Let’s LaRoche stay on the bench until next year and platooning with Nomar.

we should be a half game out right now….frustration

Brox has been overworked and is not himself. Bad decision to bring him on in that situation. Grady’s use of his pitching staff has really been questionable. This should have been a series sweep, but we wasted two great efforts by starters. A real shame with so much at stake.

It’s so depreesing to think our season is pretty much over. To lose 2 out of 3 to the loney Giants the way we lost them is disheartening. Unless we take like 5 out of 6 or better from AZ and SD in this upcoming week its all over but the crying. I’m not saying we can’t take 5 of 6, I’m just saying its less then unlikely. We will for sure know whether we are done or not in one week from today.

miketink – spending some more time on the question:

Over his career, Broxton’s inherited 50 runners, of which he’s let 15 score. That’s only 30% of inherited runners he’s let score. This year ( given that recent results are freshest in one’s memory ) he has inherited 21 runners, and he’s let seven score. Well, that’s 33%, which is around the same percentage.

Now the question is, how is he doing compared to others? Grabbing stats from a few of our other relievers:

Hendrickson has 22 career inherited runners, of which he’s let 11 score. ( Of course, he’s mostly been a starter! ) So, how about this year with LA, in relief? Well, he’s had 10 inherited runners. He let three score. That is 30 percent again, in a small sample size. His stat is skewed by his rookie year, in which he let 6 of nine inherited runners score. So that 30 percent sounds about right for him where he’s at currently.

Seanez has 247 careeer inherited runners. He let 98 score. That’s about a 40% career rate. Ouch! What about this year with the Dodgers? ’cause remember, we’re trying to pin down the perception of whether Broxton lets too many score. Seanez inherited 35 and let 16 score. That’s 45%. So he’s worse than career! To be expected at the end of a career.

What about Proctor? 149 career, 41 allowed to score. 27% career! With the Dodgers? 6 inherited, one scored. Small sample size. On the year he has had 37 inherited, 10 scored. 27% again. So, he’s OK, slightly better than Broxton.

Hernandez’ career: 401 inherited, 135 scored. 37%. This year: 6 of 19, 31%.

Beimel career: 196 inherited, 58 scored. 30%. This year: 10 of 47, 21%.

Saito MLB career: 38 inherited, 13 scored. 34%. This year: 4 of 11, 36%.

Looks like Broxton’s 30% is around normal. Even somebody like Hernandez or Hendrickson who makes everybody cry “Game over!” has been pulling around 30% or slightly above for this year. Seanez is nasty bad.

Proctor and Beimel’s been good – Beimel especially has been good about keeping those inherited runners away from home plate. So perhaps he would have been a good choice today. Who knows?

So, what’s the bottom line? Broxton is not better than most other Dodger relievers at keeping runners from scoring, and he’s certainly not the worst, either. He’s about average. Why then the perception that he’s letting them score? I guess because of high expectations. Broxton is a closer of the future, supposed to be a cut above the rest. Yet, he’s just about average. Might as well bring Hernandez or Hendrickson in and leave Broxton to pitch when he’s at his most dangerous – with the bases empty.

And maybe that’s where my frustration with today’s game lies.

It goes deeper than inherited runners, of course. There’s also the question of pitching with runners on or none on, and with runners in scoring position or not. Here’s the batting averages against for our selection for none on, runners on, and runners in scoring postion:

Broxton .239 .209 .258

Hendrickson .273 .316 .336

Seanez .228 .279 .271

Hernandez .276 .337 .310

Proctor .279 .197 .173

Beimel .248 .270 .295

Saito .159 .175 .152

Well well. Broxton is one of the better guys in the pen if you look at those globbed together stats. Proctor ( runners on ) and Saito is better overall, Seanez is also better at not letting runners on to start with, and only twelve points worse with them in scoring position.

The bottom line, then, is that it is probably mostly a matter of perspective. We want Saito or Gagne or somebody lights out when Broxton comes up. He’s the closer of the future! He’s suppose to be great!

But instead, he’s just a good reliever. We’d better enjoy the Saito years. It may be that in future we won’t have the smooth ride through the ninth we have with Saito and had before with Gagne ( remember Baez, anyone? ).

redfox,
Bad decision to bring Broxton in in “that situation?” You mean, with a 1-run lead in the 8th? Yeah. Little should have brought in his set-up man. Oh wait…

It’s funny how people are blaming Grady for losses this weekend when they can be pinned directly on Furcal and Broxton. I know that the team wins and loses, but they made the error and gave up the HRs, respectively.

My wish to have both Colletti and Little replaced has nothing to do with blaming either one for this weekend’s games. The players either perform or they don’t, or make an untimely error, and those are not situations to blame on the management. When you allocate a division high payroll of $110 million plus (actually close to double any of the other teams in our division), you should be able to expect winning results. We already know that Colletti contributed mightily to this season’s disaster by his off-season moves – some with just bad luck, but other moves that someone in his position should have anticipated. Little seems like he did not know how to play and handle this team that he was given, but the acknowledgement is that he was in accord with everything that Colletti did. My contention is simply that they both be held accountable – if they can’t produce a division winner and a team that will go deep in the playoffs, they should both be gone after a two season tenure. As far as I’m concerned, we have the right man for GM in place in Logan White, and I would like to see the field manager position go to someone with fire and visible desire, preferably with Dodger roots, like Gibson or Hesheiser. Maybe if we actually finish behind the Rockies, Mr. McCourt will come to the realization too that he needs to make a change.

so i did the math. and in order for the dodgers to go to the postseason they have to win 16 of the next 19. which seems pretty impossible. MAYBE the season is over( just being realistic here). or MAYBE they still have a shot.i dont know, its just really tough to swallow the truth.

Why is Logan White such a guaranteed great GM? How much GM experience does he have? Assistant GM experience? Go-fer to the assistant GM experience? I have no idea of anything about the guy but everyone on here thinks he is the second coming of Christ.

I don’t think one great offseason followed by one bad offseason is enough to can a GM, even if he has a large payroll to work with. Maybe the manager. But not the GM. Especially since he’s made solid mid-season moves this year to shore up the weaknesses wrought by injury. Just my opinion.

Another opinion of mine – at the rate Coletti is going, this team will be excellent next year. He’s kept the youth intact, and with one or two solid FA signings this offseason (Hunter, A-Rod, some 7th-inning pitching help) this team could be World Series-caliber. Remember how many analysts picked this year’s team to go far in the postseason? Next year’s will be much better, with a more experienced Broxton, Bills, Martin, Loney, Kemp, Ethier, maybe LaRoche. Even WITHOUT Schmidt/Brazoban/Tsao/Kuo/maybe Kent, this team will be one to reckon with next year with the signing of one solid middle-of-the-order bat. I understand that as diehard fans, we have even higher expectations of a GM than most fans because we over-analyze everything that happens. But I think Coletti deserves another year at the helm, and let it be his decision to fire Grady or not.

Evy91 –
What math did you do? They have to win that many based on how many Wins/Losses by the Pads/D-backs/Phils respectively? Kind of important speculation before you throw solid numbers out there…

I have no idea what’s wrong with Broxton. It can’t just be a coincidence that he went 94 games without allowing a home run and then he allows 4 in his last 11 games. His velocity is still good, his slider is sharp, probably just bad command from fatigue. The pitch to Durham today wasn’t that bad, it was right on the inside corner but it was up. The pitch to Ortmeier was right down the middle. The pitch to Soriano was six inches off the ground. The pitch to Iguchi was right on the outside corner and he just went with it. So it was really only about 1 or 2 bad pitches.

But that being said. This is a results game. Home runs aren’t cheap hits. I think it’s time to let Meloan get the next hold chance in the 8th inning. It won’t happen, because Grady doesn’t want to test a rookie in a pennant race, but it’s desperation time! Shake things up!

Bottom Line

Broxton should never been in that situation…never the truth is that Little guessed and changed his mind on his strategy all this week guessing….i.e today uses proctor to face Winn like he should have Friday vs Biemel proving he guessed friday…He decided before the inning that Broxton would not pitch 4 days in a row and changed his mind… 4 times this week he let pitcher bat in top of inning only to pull him 3 times after 1 or 2 batters..the 1 time he did not it worked out and wells finished…today he brings in Biemel to pitch Bonds and changes mind 2 pitches in..had he made upp his mind he would have Proctor walk him in cae of extras or to counter Bochy..he even had Saito up in the 8th…he was lost??

1. Winning 2-1 in the 8th in a huge game down the stretch..bring in Broxton for 8th and satio for 9th..which has been the lock all year. All of Broxton’s problems were other situations ( Thursday (7th ..2on ) Friday (Tied game in 9th etc)if Little decided Broxton was available even going in 4th staright day… He brings him in to start the inning like he did yesterday in 3-2 game to start 8th. Yesterday faced almost same batters and got 1-2-3 (Frasden grounded out and Bonds struck out)…bottom line if he was going to use him he should have brought him in to start the inning. He did not because Little never intended to use him given the week he worked…he panicked

*Little bringing in Biemel to face Bonds who he has dominated and then intentionally walking the winning run is simply bad baseball…we have dominated Bonds by going after him all year…no manager in the world does that eit..either Proctor walks him in and stays in or biemel pitches to him..if he gives up the run it is 2-2 and we still have a shot…remember little even played the infield back on Friday and allowed the tying run to score on vizquels grounder…how can he change his mind because the count is 2-0??? Plus by walking Bonds he does not set up the double play because Davis was going to steal that base automatic on broxton so he is putting the winning run in scoring position..

Little’s job is to put us in the best position to win …yes the players have to execute but his use of Broxton and Biemel today was horrible!!!!!!!

he mismnaged the 7th in chicago…he mismanaged the 7th Friday and he mismanged the 8th today…..in the most critcal week of the season so far

Well Kids, this was a terrible weekend, no doubt about it. I’ve thought for some time that this is just not a playoff caliber team. But we’ve come too far to give up now. The coming week will tell the tale.
KEEP THE FAITH!!!!!

I did not get to see today’s game, but did get to hear part of Dodgertalk and have read today’s posts. It’s evident once again that Little snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Little has yet to understand how to mange a pitching staff. 4 games in a row he has let a pitcher pitch a simply brilliant game, only to continue to get the “extra” inning out of him and get burned. He got lucky yesterday when the leadoff double by Feliz didn’t score off Wells in the 7th. Seriously, how many games has Penny actually pitched into the 8th inning this year, so Little thinks it’s wise today, 190 innings into Penny’s season? Why not start a reliever fresh with no runners on 2nd. As for is use of Beimel, why walk Bonds then take him out? Let him pitch to Durham-does Little know Durham is hitting .143 as a right handed hitter this year? Why bring Broxton in for the 4th game in a row? Wouldn’t Saito maybe have been a better option instead of an obviously fatigued Broxton? Broxton has pitched in over half of this season’s games.
The Dodgers will go no where as long as Little manges this team. he seems like a nice guy, but to me, along with the announcers at ESPN Friday; all the callers to Dodgertalk and about 90% of the posters on this board, Grady seems severely overmatched when it comes to crucial game decisions. You would think he would have learned after the Pedro gaffe of 2003, but I guess not. Kevin Kennedy needs to be the manager in 2008

I don’t think you can just say oh well, Ned had one good offseason and one bad. Because you can’t just start over this season. He’s handed out several multiyear contracts now which are not only affecting us now but they will next year too. The Nomar, Pierre, and Schmidt signings are not going away next year and will limit the teams manuvering for the future. Face facts, without the GREAT performanced by the gems of our farm system, we would be the Giants this year, maybe even worse because they’ve had a better pitching staff. I think Grady is awful as a manager but for the millionth time most of the flaws of this team fall squarely on the shoulders of a GM who does not know what he’s doing. He’s used to collecting mediocre veterans to support a true star player, and thats pretty much what he’s done here except theres no star to pick up the slack. He has yet to prove that he knows how to put a team together, or how to evaluate talent, or when to cut ties with a player (hello, Tomko).

Super Andy Laroche is our best shot to come back!Okay guys, nothing is impossible for those that believe!Let’s forget about the negative,pull together, play true Los Angeles Dodger baseball & win the net 6 games in a row!And Grady Little,no matter what line up you put out,we will cheering for The Los Angeles Dodgers!

How are you so convinced that LaRoche is the answer to all our problems? He’s hitting less than .200 this year and his back is hurting him. I’m not saying that nomar is much better but grady not starting laroche is so far down the list of why we keep losing.

There was a certain spark when Andy Laroche was in the line up with all the other kids from the farm system!They were winning games!He has very good power!The Dodgers would not lessen only gain wih him in the lineup!

Andy LaRoche needs to play. Nomar needs to sit. Grady cost us another game.

I like LaRoche so sure I agree play him the rest of the way. But next year I definately think we need A-rod at the hot corner.

The best news is Saito will be back next year for sure.

About Broxton ???? What I don’t understand is this. Duhrum is benched 2 wks. ago. .218 avg. 10 hrs.Broxton makes 3 pitches, 92;93;92 mph
He pulls the last one. After the homer, broxton does NOT pitch below 95. From 95 to 97.

Why ???? He did Not waste the last pitch, right on the inside corner. His thought process STUNK……..

Ughh.

After today’s game, I may end up hating Ray Durham as much as I hate Joe Morgan. Both Giant second basemen who killed our dreams. A few thoughts:

1) What happened to Brox? He’s human (to my surprise), and he’s been consistently good for two years, and still has great stuff. Just bad timing to have a slump.

2) It’s not all over. We have 12 home games and 7 on the road. A .500 team should expect to go 12-7 over such a stretch. Even though we’re not playing great, we’re better than a .500 team. If we go 13-6 (which is how we started the season), we would match last year’s record. That might get us in the Wild Card. A little hot streak at 15-4 would almost surely get us in.

3) We should have won Friday and today. If we had, we would be .5 game out of the Wild Card spot. We are THAT close.

4) Even so, losing games like this, and a number of other games that were too close, or against weak teams, are real problems. Early in the year, they are problems we can correct. In September, hope is low.

5) The reason hope is high is we still have tremendous talent. I have thought since June that Kemp would emerge as an All-Star quality player some time between August of this year and August of next year. It looks like he’s done that since mid-August. He still has room for improvement, but all you need to do is listen to how Vinny describes him. Add Loney, who has more power than he has been given credit for, Ethier (who hits and throws better than we may have thought), and Martin who is already an All-Star

6) The thing that worries me most is if we do not win, I am very scared that management will decide to make some drastic move in the off-season. If that means signing A-Rod, I can live with that. But everything else really worries me. Without joining the JP-bash machine, there are really only two positions where we are really weak–CF and 3B (despite Furcal’s struggles–and the error on Friday–he’s still one of the better shortstops in the game). Since there is no reason to think we’re going to move Pierre with a 5-year deal, how do we improve the club? I am terribly afraid that someone will make the move in the off-season that we did not make at the trading deadline. Someone might view that as the only way to improve the team. But you can hardly blame Loney, Martin, Kemp, or Ethier for our shortcomings. Aside from the fact that (except for Russ) none of them have been allowed to play full time, they have all been fantastic. All-Star caliber players, and four of our five best hitters. You can’t blame LaRoche or Abreu, because they have had limited playing time. Seriously, a trade like this is a far bigger fear than losing games this season.

7) The improvement for next year seems obvious–better coaching and experience for the young guys. The problem is not talent, but failures in fundamentals. I’ve talked about our need to be a better fundamental team and more aggressive on tha basepaths to scratch out runs. It’s hard to teach that during the year. But it has to start with winter workouts and spring training. Grady has made a LOT of questionable calls–this weekend is classic of his strange handling of pitchers–continually not pinch-hitting for guys that have gone long, in potentially run-s, and then twice sending guys out to start an inning, only to pull them after a lead-off hit. The lineups are sometimes odd (I think Grady is just trying to drive traffic to the website). But all of that could be forgiven if they stick with the kids and work on strong fundamentals.

8) Josh is absolutely right about Piazza v. Martin. And–this may be sacrilegious because Piazza is the greatest offensive catcher in the history of the game–but Martin may actually be more important to the team than Piazza, because of his superior defense and the way he handles the pitching staff. (Although, Piazza was much better than he got credit for–he handled a virtual United Nations of starting pitchers and it was tough to throw out runners that the pitchers did not hold well.) That being said, Lieberthal is a one-time (at least) Gold Glove winner and a competent hitter. And Piazza reached his peak in 1997. Even though he had several good years after that, he never hit over .300 after 2001, never hit more than 30 home runs after 2002, and has been basically had his seasons shortened because of injury/accumulated fatigue thereafter. That means that the greatest offensive catcher really only had 9 great years, starting with his rookie year, and I don’t know if you can ask for the same from Russ if he keeps having the same wear and tear. Admittedly, it’s hard to sit him down when he has been the best hitter on the team, but hopefully with the emergence of Kemp, Loney, and others, there will be a few guys who can take the heat off of him.

Sorry about the long post. There is a lot of pent-up frustration here.

Now’s a pretty good time to go on a 6-game winning streak. And we CAN do it.

there needs to be some changes in the offseason. Philosophy wise.

todays lineup should have been this…

Pierre

Martin

Kemp

Kent

Loney

Ethier

LaRoche

Abreu

Yep I’m still thinking why Pierre wasn’t leading off?

Fatigue was a reason Little wanted to stay away from Broxton on Sunday. The manager said that if Broxton hadn’t been tired from pitching in the team’s previous three games, he would have started the game-deciding eighth inning with a 2-1 lead.

Little allowed Brad Penny to pitch into the eighth but pulled him at the first sign of trouble, in this case a leadoff double by Kevin Frandsen.

“It was all in my mind to leave him out there until he got a baserunner,” Little said, adding that Penny was pulled because “he was pitching far too good a game to be in a position to lose right there.”

Penny had given up one run and seven hits in the first seven innings. His 82 pitches were a season low.

The Dodgers could’ve easily gone 9-1 this road trip if it wasn’t for terrible use of their bullpen.

This article is calssic grady changing his mind. He has no philosophy we can’t figure him out because I don’t think he knows what he’s going to do.

Pierre should lead off. For another team!

This team is battling the other teams and their own manager. When they win , they win in spite of him. And usually when they lose he has a lot to do with it.

Little, speaking of removing Brad Penny yesterday: “He was pitching far too good a game to get in position to lose a game right there.”

Please end the insanity. Playoffs should take priority over stats.

Absurd Little decision concerning Penny. He was either too tired to be left in to start the eighth inning, in which case Little should have pinch hit for him, or he wasn’t, given that he had made only 82 pitches. To take out the ace of the staff after one runner reached base only so that he could not be charged with the loss is a screwed up mentality that only Little would consider and articulate. Wish that was his only fault during this disappointing season. This guy has become a real loser and should be cut loose as soon as we’re mathematically eliminated.

No point in looking back now, it’s time to look forward. The next 6 games, in my opinion, will decide the Dodgers fate this season. With three against the Pads and 3 against the DBacks, we cannot go less than 5-1. The Phillies host the Rockies, so let’s hope the Rocks take 2 out of 3 there or vice versa, doesn’t really matter. The Dodgers can and will, win or lose the wild card this week.

I agree kiper, but the realist in me says its not looking good.

charris, i want to agree with you, but i am taking a course in “positive thinking” and i am staying positive. But, reality tells me the Dodgers are getting real tender, you know, where you can almost stick a fork in them? Lets go BLUE!!!

Just curious;…Would any of you, consider, signing Wells for ’08 ?????Think about it..

No, we do not want nor need to sign Wells for ’08. I also don’t think he’d want to come back, I believe that he’s ready to surf out into the sunset.

we’d probably get more out of Wells in ’08 then we would Schimidt.

Penny

Lowe

Billingsley

Loaiza

are the only “for sure” rotation guys next year.

No, I won’t sign Wells. Despite how well he’s doing right now. Next year he’s a year older. He will run down. Unless you give him extended rest here and there in the season, it probably won’t work. And who can afford giving a starter two weeks or so off every so often?

Next year’s rotation is a big old worry for me, as would be future years’. Position player wise we’re doing OK, provided our manager plays the young, strong guys, but rotation wise? Hmmmm, I dunno.

Next years rotation will more than likely be:
Penny

Lowe

Bills

Schmidt

Loaiza

Not a bad 5…

diehardblu, when he turns on a fastball this weekend and he hits it 435 ft….I’ll be here waiting to hear from you.

Posted by: kiper04@yahoo.com | September 7, 2007 11:03 AM

kiper where are you at bud? 2 for 7 both singles, I don’t understand the fascination of walking bonds especially when Beimel owns him. BARROIDS STINKS!!!!!!

touche diehardblu!!! I just hate Bonds so much that I love to watch the frustration on his face when they walk him. Kudos to Beimel, to bad that Broxton cost us the series.

diehardblu, I was wrong, you were right, my bad. You know your match ups very well. Any interest in taking Grady’s job?

i bet by next season the rotation will stack up like this.

Billingsley

Penny

Lowe

Schmidt

Loaiza

of course with Ned and Grady in charge you never know. They just might resign Hendrickson and give Bombko another shot.

Then when Schmidt shoulder goes out again we’ll have either McDonald or Kershaw ready to step in.

I just noticed my comment on yesterday’s (Sept 9th) lineup was posted on the Sept 8th blog. We need to give our youngsters as much playing time as possible, guys like Abreu, LaRoche, Hu , Young etc, etc, I’m pretty sure we are going to keep a lot of them and the more major league expirience they get the better they’ll be next year. But of course we have to give it our all this year as long as we are still in contention.

There was a blurb in today’s L.A. Times about “what if another team offers more money” for Saito. Do some fact checking guys: Saito is under our control for 4 more years. It’s either retirement or playing for the Dodgers. Period.

Correcto, he is not a free agent, he has only been in the Majors for 2 years. I was reading in the MSN MLB rumors section that the Rockies may look to move Garrett Atkins next season to make room for a hot prospect and among the 4 teams mentioned as a possibility are the Dodgers.

I will be amazed if Schmidt ever features in an effective role in our starting rotation. I think his shoulder is simply done and signing him was a bad ex-Giant buddy move by Colletti and Conte.

And I would never forgive Colletti or Conte for the Schmidt signing as things have turned out if I were McCourt. It almost smells too much like collusion. I don’t think Colletti did it with knowledge, but he of anybody should have had ample warning of what could happen with that signing.

I really believe that Jason Schmidt will be a valuable member of the Dodger rotation next season. He may not be a 92 -95 MPH fastball pitcher like he was before, but he’s a veteran who knows how to win and I think he’ll be a great 4th pitcher who can give the Dodgers 13 to 14 wins and keep them in ballgames.

kiper04 – I break out in angry hives whenever the phrase “veteran who knows how to win” is uttered, because that is how we get guys like Gonzalez, Hillenbrand, Sweeny, Tomko, Hernandez, Seanez et all on the team to help us lose :-P

“This bullpen has been worked pretty hard and he still had good stuff,” Little said of letting Penny bat. “It was all in my mind to leave him out there until he got a baserunner.”

This is a problem people. Why is he thinking like this? Why is he intent on putting the bullpen in a position to fail. Penny was hit by a pitch, and was already tired, he should not have been allowed to start the 8th inning.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: