The flurry of stories in today’s newspapers bring two major things I have to touch upon:
* Torre’s use of the bullpen yesterday. You may have noticed that I had, oh, a few issues with Torre’s moves yesterday. Mainly, I excoriated him for bringing in Falkenborg in the 6th and Johnson in the 11th. I stand by everything I said about Falkenborg; clearly, Wade, Beimel, and Park were all still available, and they all should have been used before Falkenborg.
As for Johnson, I strongly felt that it was ridiculous that he was used while Kuo and Broxton sat. Dylan Hernandez at the LA Times points out that:
Hong-Chih Kuo had pitched in three of the last four games and was ruled unavailable by Manager Joe Torre, and Jonathan Broxton was being saved for a save situation.
Now, that might very well be true. But don’t forget, “three of the last four games” came before an off-day. Considering that Johnson had thrown 87 pitches in Sunday’s game while Kuo had only thrown 17, you would think that Kuo would still be a better choice than Johnson. But okay, if Torre really wanted to avoid him, why not Broxton? I don’t understand the whole “saving him for a save” idea; because how likely is it you ever get to that situation if you bring in a mediocre pitcher who threw 87 pitches two days prior? Johnson admitted as much, saying:
Asked how much he had left in the tank, Johnson said, “You saw it. Obviously, it wasn’t great.”
Torre, when asked about using Johnson, said:
“We were looking for volunteers at that juncture,” Torre said of the end of the game. “It’s a tough loss, but I’m proud the way this ballclub played nine innings.”
I think I’ve made my feelings pretty clear that Kuo should have been available, and that if he really wasn’t, you absolutely use Broxton to give your offense another shot or two to score. But even then, if you insist on bringing back a starter, why not Hiroki Kuroda for an inning or two? I’ve always been a big proponent of letting starters get an inning out of the pen on their throw day, and Kuroda’s getting a solid week off between his Saturday starts. He’d already had an extra day off than Johnson had, and he’d still have three more days off until he goes this Saturday. Remember, this isn’t just about me not liking Jason Johnson – it’s that as much as I don’t think he’s all that great at full strength, I really don’t see how you expect to have any chance to win going with Jason Johnson two days after 87 pitches.
Moving on from that debacle to something even more frightening…
* I completely agree with TJ Simers. Or he agrees with us, since both Vin and myself wrote about it first. Either way, I generally despise Simers’ usually unfunny tactics, but this time, he’s dead on: even he can’t stand Juan Pierre’s sobbing anymore. Seriously, read some of these quotes and tell me that these aren’t something that could have been lifted precisely off this blog?
Boo-hoo, says Pierre, it’s great the Dodgers were able to land Ramirez, but what about me?
Andre Ethier is the only player in uniform with a legitimate gripe of not enough playing time, and he’s not saying anything to disrupt the 25-man effort to win it all. OK, so make that 24-man effort, not counting Pierre
I would argue the best position for Pierre is on the bench, waiting to pinch-run and swipe a base. Then grab a shower.
If Andruw Jones is earning his keep these days, Jones is playing center, flanked by Ramirez and Matt Kemp, while Pierre returns to getting mistaken for a bat boy.
“Write whatever you want to write,” Pierre says, and so OK, what a self-centered brat, Manny mania the best thing that’s happened to the Dodgers in years, and Pierre pouting.
Wow. I don’t even know how to respond to these, except that I’m just thrilled and floored that someone in the mainstream local media finally sees what we’ve been saying for over a year. I just never expected it would be TJ Simers, of all people. I hate to say it, but you’ve earned it: kudos, TJ.
- Mike Scioscia’s tragic illness