Before we begin, I can’t help myself but to point this out. During the game, I was posting in the game thread over at the Big Blue Wrecking Crew message board. After Milwaukee tied it up in the 9th, I said:
Author: Mike Scioscias tragic illness
Time: 4:09pm PST
I guess we can look at it this way.. what fun is a quiet 5-1 win? A walkoff homer from Ethier is going to be way more entertaining.
A Ethier homered to right, M Kemp scored.
That’s right. I’m that good!
Anyway, after watching our suddenly powerful outfield put out four homers today, I thought it might be a fun idea to hit up the wayback machine… all the way back to the long-ago days of… May 2008.
Dodgers outfielders, May 2008
Pierre: 28 starts .286/.350/.313 .662 OPS 0hr 9rbi (actually his best month of the year)
Kemp: 26 starts .286/.360/.388 .748 OPS 1hr 14rbi
Ethier: 21 starts .292/.330/.416 .746 OPS 2hr 7rbi
Jones: 11 starts .178/.255/.311 .566 OPS 1hr 3rbi
Young: 1 start .200/.333/.267 .600 OPS 0hr 0rbi
Pretty lousy overall, no? Kemp and Ethier were solidly in their “good, but not great” stretch of the season, while Pierre – even in his best month – was still markedly worse than either, yet Torre insisted on playing him every single day. Jones, before his knee surgery, was his typical black hole of suck, and Delwyn Young got only 15 at-bats the whole month.
But now – now that Manny’s in town, Jones is on the DL, Kemp and Ethier are both on fire, and Torre’s finally wised up and nailed Pierre to the bench – look at the stats the outfield has put together in just over half a month.
Dodgers outfielders, August 2008
Manny: 16 starts .424/.514/.780 1.294 OPS 6hr 21rbi
Kemp: 16 starts .329/.338/.562 .900 OPS 3hr 6rbi
Ethier: 9 starts .357/.426/.786 1.212 OPS 4hr 8rbi
Pierre: 5 starts .222/.300/.296 .596 OPS 0hr 1rbi
Jones: 2 starts .111/.200/.444 .644 OPS 1hr 1rbi
Those numbers certainly stand out a bit, don’t they? Think about it – since Manny’s arrived, he’s been absolutely out of his mind on fire, yet Ethier is only slightly behind him in OPS, and Kemp looks like a slacker with a .900 OPS, which is still pretty impressive. No one, of course, expects that Ethier can keep up this recent hot streak, and Torre, to his credit, has kept Andre in the lineup at the expense of his cuddly bear, Juan Pierre. We’ll see how long this lasts, but I can’t see anyway that (other than days off) Manny/Kemp/Ethier isn’t going to be the starting outfield for the rest of the season, and hopefully into October. These guys are simply carrying this team right now (not that Kent and Blake aren’t helping too), and they’ve singlehandedly pulled out some games in the last week that would have without question been lost earlier in the season, before the offense woke up.
I won’t pretend that some of the bullpen failures don’t concern me, because they certainly do, and we will get to that in the near future. However, it’s been so long since this club actually had an offense that was worth watching. I don’t know about you, but for right now? I’m enjoying the ride.
- Mike Scioscia’s tragic illness