So, first off, the biggest news: Vin has taken over the ship here at MSTI for the weekend! Yes, to paraphrase the great Stevie Wonder, I have been, if that, a Part Time Blogger, but it’s nice to be back.
But we have more important things to talk about: like, how about those Dodgers? You know, the team that was supposed to fall into this deep funk post-Mannygate, start sucking, and wallow themselves in sadness and stuff themselves with lots of Lithium? And who could blame them? I mean, for crying out loud, they started out 1-3 without Manny! Surely the season is over!
Well, not quite. As you saw today, the Dodgers came back from a 3-0 deficit against Chris Volstad and won 6-4 aided by HR’s by Casey Blake, Xavier Paul’s 1st career HR (who, by the way, continues to impress), and a respectable pitching performance by Eric Stults, who went 5 IP, giving up 3 ER, walking 2 and striking out 5. Broxton was shaky again in the 9th, and was only throwing a mere 98 MPH this time, but he got the job done and, given his pitch count over the past two days (28 pitches today, 27 pitches the night before), will likely get the day off tomorrow. No, actually, make that a guarantee.
So far the road trip has been a very refreshing one for the Dodgers. Coming off the horrible series against SF, they didn’t look their best, but they have rebounded quite nicely, taking 2 out of 3 from the World Champion Phillies and rallying to win the first game in Florida at Sand Bark Stadium (yes, I will continue to screw up the name of the stadium… it can’t be any worse than what it ACTUALLY is!). The really good news, in particular, has been the emergence of James Loney on this road trip. Not just because he’s belted 2 HR’s, but his approach at the plate in general looks better and it shows, collecting another two hits today. It’s interesting, though: the more I watch this team, the more I’m reaffirmed at just how good we are and can still be even with the absence of Manny. That isn’t to discount his impact, our team is still obviously better with him, but my confidence in our offense is still relatively high; we’re still piling up runs (and with a really struggling Ethier) and, for the most part, if we’ve had issues in these past eight games, they’ve primarily been due to bullpen issues, namely that Guillermo Mota was born.
Even with that, the Dodgers advance to 25-12 and retake the claim of having the best record in baseball. Not bad, huh?