Every time I go away, something amazing happens. In June 2008, I took a weekend off and the Dodgers got no-hit by the Angels… and won. A few weeks later, I went on tour with the band and came back to find that Manny Ramirez and Casey Blake were now wearing Dodger blue.
And this weekend? Andre Ethier is a destroyer of worlds, apparently, hitting 4 homers in the last 3 games. That guy? He’s good. Plus Carlos Monasterios was surpisingly effective in his first big league start, and Blake DeWitt and Xavier Paul really stepped up as well. DeWitt, after a four-hit, two-double game on Sunday, now has his OPS+ up to 110. He’s proven that he’s worth investing more time in, and that’s all you could have hoped for after the first month. Paul had two hits on Sunday, and now has at least one hit in 4 of the 5 games he’s appeared in this season. With Manny set to return this weekend, lets all keep our fingers crossed that Paul sticks while Garret Anderson is sent to the glue farm.
Of course, I suppose it wasn’t all fun and games, since Vicente Padilla won’t be back for at least a month, and top prospect Andrew Lambo got suspended for 50 games for a violation of the drug policy. This isn’t a Manny situation, though, since he’s had marijuana issues before. Whether or not I really think that marijuana is a drug worth getting suspended for aside (it’s certainly not enhancing your play, is it?), if that’s what it was then he’s a world-class idiot.
Finally, anyone who’s ever read this blog knows very well about my distaste for using wins as a stat for pitchers, since they’re about as useful for measuring success as knowing a guy’s horoscope. But last year’s AL Cy Young winner, Zack Greinke, is really going to the extreme on it, and Big League Stew explains why perfectly:
After six starts, Greinke is 0-3. He’s on pace to finish with 214 strikeouts, an 0.98 WHIP, an ERA of 2.27 … and a record of 0-19.
If you’re judging pitchers by wins, Ramon Ortiz (who picked up his first this weekend) is beating Zack Greinke. If that doesn’t tell you all you need to know, nothing will.