Offensive slump be damned, because this one was a much-needed circus: the Dodgers put up 15 runs on 18 hits, and where do I start? Sure, a park where even Ross Gload can go deep twice on a humid night might take some of the air out of the sails, but at this point, I don’t even care. It’s been so long since the Dodgers had output like this (they hadn’t scored 15 since putting up 17 against the Brewers last August) that any ballpark-aided assistance doesn’t even bother me at this point.
Andre Ethier led the way by getting on base six times on four hits, a walk, and getting hit. Ethier was just the 11th player to get on base six or more times in 2010, and the first Dodger to do so in a nine-inning game since Shawn Green‘s famous four-homer outburst in 2002. (Russell Martin got on bases six times in a 2008 game, but it went 13 innings.)
Even whipping boys Scott Podsednik and Ryan Theriot combined to get on base five times, and James Loney, Casey Blake, and Matt Kemp (coming off the bench) all chipped in multiple RBI, with Loney making several nice defensive plays as well.
And then there was Jay Gibbons, who was really going to lead this post until all of the other shenanigans occurred. After contributing a pinch-hit RBI single in his debut on Sunday, Gibbons was a highlight of the night while contributing three hits and four RBI, including his first MLB home run in over three years. What did he get for his trouble? Being double-switched out in the 6th inning. Ha!
Fun aside, Gibbons is what he is, and that’s not the second coming. Of course not, and he looked bad in striking out against lefty Antonio Bastardo. He’s clearly a guy who ought to be facing righties nearly exclusively. But by comparison, it took Garret Anderson 20 at-bats to get his last three Dodger hits, and it had been 60 since his last home run. It’s almost like this was a move that shouldhave happened long ago, right?
And Joe Torre, to his credit, almost managed this one perfectly. Vicente Padilla threw just 83 pitches, but clearly struggled to get through the 4th and 5th. Ronald Belisario returned to action, giving up Domonic Brown‘s first MLB homer in the 6th, and Carlos Monasterios was allowed just enough rope to hang himself with in 1 2/3 mediocre innings. George Sherrill was finally used properly, entering to face a lefty the Phillies couldn’t replace with two outs in the 8th, and continued his streak of usefulness by retiring Brian Schneider.
Sherrill then got his first big-league at-bat, and somehow drew a walk off J.C.Romero. In the bottom of the 9th, Sherrill does what he does – allowed righties Jimmy Rollins and Raul Ibanez to reach, while retiring lefties Greg Dobbs and Gload. (Edit: My mistake, Ibanez bats lefty. Still, the point stands that Sherrill is a LOOGY guy right now, decent against lefties and horrendous against righties.) Now you’d think, with two outs and an eight-run lead, Torre would just leave Sherrill out to get that last out, but no: he had to go get Octavio Dotel. Still, avoiding Hong-Chih Kuo and Jonathan Broxton in a game like this was a must.
I had some comments on a recent post trying to use ERA and wins to make an argument, showing that whenever I think explaining why stats like those are useless get repetitive, there’s always people who are new to our world. Tonight’s game offered an excellent education in both. Sherrill did his job in the 8th, coming into a situation with two men on and getting out of the inning. After allowing two singles and getting two outs in the 9th, Dotel allowed a walk and a double, letting both runners score. Those runs are charged towards Sherrill’s ERA, not Dotel’s. What was basically a positive night for Sherrill now looks bad on his line, because ERA – especially for relievers – is generally unreliable.
As for wins, Padilla gets the W for allowing four runs in five innings, hardly his best performance. Yet he didn’t get the win when he threw six scoreless innings on July 18, and he actually got the loss for allowing one earned run over seven innings on July 23. That’s why wins don’t matter for pitchers.
Of course, the big news postgame – and as I said on Twitter, we couldn’t have THREE MINUTES to enjoy this romp before this came down? – Dylan Hernandez is reporting that Rafael Furcal is headed to the DL. Good get on that, because Charlie Steiner on the postgame show still hasn’t mentioned it. No word on who’s coming up… but we all know it’s Juan Castro, right?
Asked if Hu would be called up, Torre said, “Probably not.” Asked if Castro would be, he said, “I can’t tell you that.”
Hu hasn’t played since June 29, and I believe he’s still on the DL with a hand injury. Hey, if not Castro, the Mets just released Alex Cora…
Update: I just looked it up, and Castro was yanked after one at-bat for the Isotopes tonight. Yeah, no matter what Torre says, Castro’s coming up.