When he wasn’t getting sandwiched by victorious Pirates…
Some short thoughts after a long day:
When you have a gift go-ahead run on 3rd with no outs in the 9th inning of a tie game, you must score. The Pirates were begging the Dodgers to take the lead, as Jamey Carroll got an easy double when Andrew McCutchen foolishly dove for his base hit, and then Octavio Dotel’s wild pitch pushed Carroll to third.
At this point, all you have to do is hit the ball to the outfield. Yet Rafael Furcal weakly grounded out to the pitcher, Matt Kemp watched strike three, and after an Andre Ethier walk, Manny weakly grounded out to second. Opportunity wasted.
Clayton Kershaw was killing me… After all the talk about how he should have been the Opening Day starter and how Vicente Padilla’s bad start wasn’t a big deal… Kershaw was brutal. He threw 109 pitches in just 4.2 innings and walked six – including the opposing pitcher, twice. If not for Jeff Weaver coming in to fix the bases loaded, two outs mess he left in the 5th, this could have been a lot worse. This wasn’t the Kershaw I saw dominating the Reds last week in Arizona; this Kershaw was wild and seemingly afraid to challenge. Though at this point, I’d be afraid to even make eye contact with Garrett Jones.
…but not quite as much as Joe Torre. I know the traditional move says to save your closer until you have a lead on the road, but I can’t express how much I hate, hate, hate that idea. You can’t get to a lead if you’ve lost the game beforehand, and watching undead Ramon Ortiz blow the game while Broxton watches is infuriating. I can’t restate this enough: your best reliever never entered the game, while three non-roster invites (two of whom, granted, performed well) did. I will never understand this.
Don’t forget the early game tomorrow (9:35am on the West Coast! How do you people do this?), but more importantly don’t forget this: tomorrow I will (through my relationship with Heater Magazine) be posting my first article in the new “Fantasy Beat” blog section over at Baseball Prospectus, focusing on relievers. If you’ve got a subscription, come on over to harrass me for talking about two NL West teams who aren’t the Dodgers.