I Don’t Believe What I Just Saw

Last night at Dodger Stadium: 

MartinGS2009  .jpgMSTI at this time: 

MSTI LA Traffic2009.jpgBy the way, isn’t it funny to notice how Torre’s reaction in the first photo is like the complete opposite to the rest of the 56,000 in the stadium?  There’s Kemp and Hudson, absolutely thrilled, and Torre just seems “ehhh…?”  I mean, I’m sure he was thrilled, but you gotta love that Godfather face. 

Anyways, a bit late to all this, I know, but massive headache, last night (strangely not caused by “God Bless America,” this time), but back!  So, wasn’t last night quite a fun game… for a change?  For the most part, an effective start by Weaver, a decent job by the bullpen and, thankfully, the offense did a decent job, scoring 7 runs on 11 hits.  Of course, for those watching, four of those seven runs were off the bat of Russell Martin, who hit a grand slam in the bottom of the 6th, to send Dodger fans and the city of Los Angeles into the Twilight Zone. 

It was really a great moment for a variety of reasons.  First off, we badly needed this game, lest we drop to a 2.5 game lead, but it was a great moment for Russell Martin, a guy who has had very, very few of them over the past year.  No question that 2009 has been a very forgettable year for Martin, going into last night ranking 21st in VORP amongst all catchers, in addition to having next to zero power, as he was being outslugged by everyone on the team with at least 50 at-bats (excluding Loretta), and even being outslugged by Billingsley and Wolf, not to mention the defensive miscues, this year.   Not quite what you expected from your catcher going into the year, though hopefully this wakes him up or can be the start of something that he can build upon. 

Nonetheless, one of the good things about Martin has been his OBP (.368), though it’s about .308 for the month.  Unfortunately, this is really compounded by the slumps of some others in the offense.  Jon Weisman of Dodger Thoughts points this out, noting a bulk his scapegoats for the month: 

These are my scapegoats for the Dodger slump in August.

James Loney: .328 on-base percentage, .288 slugging percentage, .616 OPS
Russell Martin: .295 on-base percentage, .316 slugging percentage, .611 OPS
Rafael Furcal: .296 on-base percentage, .274 slugging percentage, .570 OPS

Alas, that’s not going to get it done, but hopefully what we saw last night was more of a sign of things to come.  Not so much because of the Martin Grand Slam, but mostly for the fact that, sans Ethier (who still had an RBI) Loney, and the 9 spot, we saw every hitter get a hit, including 3 from Manny, a guy who really needs to, to quote Emeril Lagasse, “kick it up a notch.”  Thankfully, we’re playing a slumping Cubs team and, hey, if our offense can’t handle it tonight, Wolf’s going on the mound.  Maybe he can try going for the cycle again while throwing 8 scoreless. 

- Vin vinscully-face.jpg