Dodgers 5, Cardinals 3

kempethierfistbump.jpgBe
honest. If I’d come up to you before the game and said, “so, you know
how everyone’s all freaking out about how awesome Chris Carpenter is?
Yeah, well, Randy Wolf’s going to put 11 men on – five walks! – in just
3.2 innings, including loading the bases with zero out in the first,”
how would you have felt about tonight’s odds?

If you said anything other than “I’d feel like stepping in front of
a bus… that’s headed off a cliff… and is full of orphans… with
diseases,” then you’re a dirty, dirty liar, and it’s time to
re-evaluate your life.

Really, it’s Wolf’s struggles that were the story of this game. He
wasn’t good – far from it. (To be fair, saying “five walks” is pretty
misleading, as two were intentional jobs to Albert Pujols and he
was getting squeezed by home plate umpire Dana DeMuth all night.) But
despite clearly not having his best stuff, Wolf was able to
keep the messes he kept getting into from getting out of control, which
is more than Carpenter could say. Wolf’s two runs allowed came on a
ball that Matt Kemp probably should have had in the first, and a
cueball double by Skip Schumaker in the fourth.

Meanwhile, Carpenter was also not his usual self – even the outs
were hit hard – but unlike Wolf, wasn’t able to avoid the big play,
which was of course a two-run bomb by Kemp that put a point – as if
there was any question - onto his arrival on the national stage as a
big-time player.

Wolf’s line was terrible tonight, and I guarantee you’re going to
see a slew of articles in the morning about how the Dodgers rotation
issues are already rearing their head. In my book, I’m giving Wolf a
huge deal of credit for keeping this thing calm when he could have
easily left down 6-2. 

Heroes

Matt Kemp. He got a poor jump on that ball in the
first that could have prevented the first run, but more than made up
for it. If the Dodgers go quietly in the bottom of the first after the
Cards loaded the bases in the top, it could have changed the complexion
of the entire game. It’s amazing how different it feels to be facing a
Cy Young winner when you’ve just deposited a ball into the dead center
bleachers, doesn’t it?

Jeff Weaver. The man who I didn’t expect to even be
on the NLDS roster was put into an impossible spot when Wolf left in
the 4th inning. The Cards had loaded the bases with two outs, and had
just scored to draw within a run. A hit here blows the entire game
open; but Weaver got Ryan Ludwick to tap weakly back to the mound to
put out the fire, and then added a scoreless fifth on top of it.

Rafael Furcal. After a very mediocre season, Furcal
ended the year red-hot (.891 OPS in Sept/Oct). But who knew if that
would hold up into October? Well, how’s 3-4 with a triple and a
sacrifice fly RBI strike you? He could be a huge secret weapon this
month.

Every Dodger pitcher who faced Albert Pujols. When
you’re facing the absolutely-no-doubt-about-it, might-not-even-be-human
best player alive, and in five trips to the plate he comes away with
three groundouts and two intentional walks, you know you’ve done a good
job. That is how you beat the Cardinals. For the record, that’s
Wolf three times (two intentional walks and a groundout), Belisario
once (groundout), and Broxton once (groundout).

Having an awesome bullpen.
Belisario in the 6th! Kuo in the 7th! Sherrill in the 8th! Broxton in
the 9th! That’s just the scariest foursome of fireballers around, and
you haven’t even used Ramon Troncoso yet.

Including Weaver, the
five relievers combined for 5.1 innings of 5 hit, 1 run ball, a line
which could have even been better if Kemp hadn’t misplayed that hit in
the 9th. We’ve been saying it for months around here – it doesn’t
matter if your starters go deep into games in a short series with lots
of off-days when you have a pen like this.

Joe Torre. No hesitation to pull Wolf in the 4th
before things got out of hand, inevitable complaining that he’s
overworking the bullpen be damned. Clearly, you can’t ask the pen to
work 5-6 innings every night, but few things are more important than
winning a Game 1.

Brendan Ryan.
This was probably common knowledge to a lot of people, but I had
absolutely no idea he was rocking such an epic pornstar/child molester
‘stache. The sheer cojones it takes to wear such a thing puts
him squarely in the “heroes” category, and probably gets him on the
offseason list of “guys we need to trade for.”

Just look at it. Look at it. It’s glorious, horrifying, and ingenious all at the same time.

MSTI fans on Facebook. What? You’re not a fan yet? What are you waiting for? We had a pretty good conversation going on over there tonight. It’s what the cool kids are doing.

Goats

Tony LaRussa. Come on, Tony. I know you’re
notorious for this, so I can’t be surprised, but do you have any idea
how painful it is to watch you stride to the mound 12 times a night?
Did we really need to go through 3 pitchers in the 6th inning? I’m
watching this game from the East Coast, friend-o. Help a brother get
some sleep. This game didn’t need to be 3 hours, 52 minutes.

Mark DeRosa. It didn’t mean much in the course of the game, but there’s throwing errors and then there’s throwing errors. That ball he airmailed into right field from third base was at least 25 feet off the ground. Hey, keep it up, fella!

Matt Kemp.
Hey, Bison, you can hit awesome dingers off Cy Young Award winners all
you want. That’s enough to look past a bad jump that probably cost a
run in the first inning. And while not getting to the possible
game-ending ball was bad enough, allowing it to bounce past you to
allow a run to score is unacceptable. Fortunately, Broxton was able to
end it, but it should never have come to the tying run being at the
plate. That said, it was good to see him mouth “my bad” during the
fistbumps at the end.

Cashing in opportunities. This is on both teams; an
NLDS record 30 men left on base. You could say “well, that’s good
pitching not letting runners score,” but remember – you have to get 30
men on base in the first place.

TBS. I know it’s probably hard to get used to live events when you’re mostly showing reruns of Family Guy
and “Con Air”, but you realize how bad things are when the fact you’re
subjecting us to the Corpse of Dick Stockton isn’t the worst offense,
right? Because I know when I think of “playoff baseball,” I think “Dick
Stockton”. Actually, when I think of “Dick Stockton,” I think of
“Grizzlies! Timberwolves! It’s meaningless December basketball!” Or at
least I would if I gave a dick about the NBA. Which I do not. Anyway,
it’s all well and good that you point out that you realize you’re
having technical difficulties, but could you, I don’t know, FIX IT? I
was seeing jumpy video and losing audio for the entire game. Oh, and
Dick – Carpenter wasn’t “gritty” tonight. He was just lousy.  

Bill Plaschke. It goes without saying that he’s
always a goat, but I’m starting to wonder why the grumpy old man agrees
to cover a team he so clearly hates. What were your thoughts in the
first inning? Mine went something along the lines of “Crap, Wolf
doesn’t look great/Phew, he got out of it/MATT KEMP IS A GOLDEN GOD!”

Billy’s thoughts?

First error on Joe Torre, for playing
Ronnie Belliard at second base, fly ball falls between Belliard and
Matt Kemp for first Cardinal run..

Don’t
forget, tomorrow’s a 3:07pm Pacific start. So skip work, cut class,
break out of jail, do whatever you need to do. Kershaw! Wainwright!
Dodgers lead, 1-0!

O.K., So Maybe We Don’t Have To Play Them ALL The Time

So, a thoroughly miserable game all around.  I mean, it wasn’t a blowout, in fact, it was only a Manny82309  .jpg3-1 loss, but it was definitely a frustrating loss.  Chad Billingsley managed to go 6 IP, giving up 3 ER on 9 hits, while walking 1 and striking out 5.  Billingsley was, for the most part, decent, and managed to pick up another quality start, but also hit a wall in the 6th inning, which brought in the 2 runs that ended up making the difference in the game.  The 6th inning hasn’t been a particularly good one for Billingsley, this year, as he seems to either fatigue or loses something that causes him to become much more hittable. 

However, the bulk of this loss can’t really be blamed on Billingsley.  He wasn’t great, but he pitched well enough.  Unfortunately, even despite the fact that taking three out of four from the Cubs deems this a very successful series, the offense for the most part hasn’t really changed and continues to struggle.  The offense did come alive a little bit on Thursday, scoring 7 runs (albeit 4 of them came on a Russell Nathan Coltrane Jeanson Martin, Jr. Grand Slam), but Randy Wolf singlehandedly won the game for them on Friday (both at the plate and on the mound), while eeking out 2 runs yesterday afternoon and barely mustering one run today.  As has been the case, the problem isn’t necessarily getting the runners on base, but the inability to hit with RISP.  Take today: in the bottom of the 6th inning, Juan Pierre PH for Billingsley and singled up the middle, only for Furcal to ground into the force play at second and then for Ethier to ground into the inning ending double play.  Things become the most maddening in the bottom of the 8th, when the Dodgers wasted two leadoff walks and after Loretta grounds into a force play at second, Hudson comes in to PH and hits into the inning ending double play. 

Those two innings in some way have been a microcosm of what’s been killing this team over the past month or so, in addition to Furcal, Loney, and Martin having a miserable August (.221/.287/.267, .227/.320/.273, .238/.304/.349, respectively), and, well, Manny not being Manny.  Hopefully this does amount to nothing more than just a bump on the road, but those bats are going to need to pick up beginning Tuesday, when they begin a critical series in Denver against Colorado, who are 3.5 games behind after today.  Should be fun… 

Lastly, to take care of some business, as you may know, this weekend marks the ThinkCure radiotelewebethon and one of the notable contests is the Battle Of The Josh’s, which pits Josh Rawitch, the VP Of Communications for the Dodgers, against Josh Suchon who, along with Ken Levine, host KABC’s great “DodgerTalk” show, the same show, if you remember, MSTI (who, by the way, I think is still somewhere on the 5) appeared on back in May

Anyways, there’s a lot of cool things you can bid on, but one of the cooler things on there that we encourage you to look at is the opportunity to stalk… err, excuse me, follow Josh Suchon around Dodger Stadium for the day, amongst other cool things, which can be found on this link.  Bidding ends tomorrow, so check it out, especially as it all, of course, goes to a great cause. 

- Vin vinscully-face.jpg

Randy Wolf Is My New BFF

With a lot of the talk, in regards to our pitching, Wolf2009  .jpgsurrounding Billingsley and Kershaw, and the whole talk of “ace this, ace that,” it’s sometimes a bit difficult to remember that there’s another pitcher in our rotation who has kept up and become one of the better pitchers in the NL, and seems arguably our most consistent pitcher, this year, and that’s, of course, Randy Wolf.  MSTI rightfully devoted an article to him just this past week, which is why I’ll keep this brief, though Wolf continues to dazzle. 

Tonight, he went 7 IP, giving up 1 ER on 1 hit, while walking 2 and striking out 5, in a duel of the Randys.  Wolf came out on top and, coincidentally, also made Dodger fans feel randy.  He’s been on a tear lately, and drops his ERA to 3.35, which ranks 15th in the NL, his VORP ranks 2nd to Kershaw on the club, while his 1.11 WHIP ranks 7th.  This also becomes his second straight start where he walks off giving up 1 hit.  Just really on a roll, right now, and if you would have told me Randy Wolf was going to do this into August, I would have thought you were insane.  This has been a signing that has really been golden for the Dodgers, and Wolf continues to be on a pace that could end up being a career year. 

Oh yeah, did I also mention that it seems like he’s been our best hitter lately, too?  As if going 3-4, with 3 RBI’s, and coming one triple away from the cycle last Sunday wasn’t enough, he scores all of the runs again for the Dodgers tonight, with a two run double and then draws a walk later on!  I guess he finally got sick of the no decisions and said: “Dammit, I’ll do it myself!”  But it’s almost comical how good he’s been lately, both on the mound and at the plate.   He’s been a real horse for the team this year and, God willing he stays healthy (knocks on wood), should be a huge asset come October. 

You rock, Randy Wolf! 

- Vin vinscully-face.jpg

We Should Probably Stop Overlooking Randy Wolf

wolfvsdbacks.jpgFor all the ink, pixels, and tears spilled over the trials and tribulations of the Dodger rotation (Billingsley hurt his leg! Kuroda missed two months and just took a liner off the head! Kershaw’s great but young!) it’s about time that we recognize the one member of the top four who really should have been the most likely to get hurt: Randy Wolf.

Back in January, it looked as though the Dodgers were going to sign one of Wolf, Jon Garland, and Braden Looper. At the time, my preference was actually for Garland, when I said:

Really, it comes down to the differences that Wolf and Garland can offer you. Wolf is probably the more talented pitcher, and if he’s healthy and on his game he’s a better option than Garland. But on the other hand, if these are the three guys you’re choosing from, you don’t need an ace. With the other questions in the rotation, you want a guy who you know can pick up innings. Between Billingsley’s leg and big innings increase, Kuroda’s shoulder, and Kershaw’s youth, there’s no one we can say will almost definitely give us 200 innings. Garland, by all accounts, can. They won’t be great innings, but league-average innings do carry value. So when one of those three hits the DL – and trust me, one will – I’d rather know we have a steady horse like Garland than a question mark like Wolf.

I think that point of view has been proven to be a fair one, considering the fact that we’re all still groaning over starting pitching innings. But the key point there is when I said, “Wolf is probably the more talented pitcher, and if he’s healthy and on his game he’s a better option than Garland.” That said, with his history of arm injuries and bizarre 2008 of “awesome in Houston/terrible in San Diego”, how could you possibly have counted on him?

Well, Wolf’s really been great beyond our wildest dreams so far in 2009, and he’s really done it very quietly – mostly, I would think, due to his pedestrian 7-6 record thanks to a criminal lack of run support. (Reason #1283901883 why wins are useless for pitchers!) It’s true that his fantastic outing today (7.2 IP, 10 K, 3 ER – 20 set down in a row at one point – plus 3 hits, including a two-run homer) is the impetus for this point, but let’s not shortsell him by only talking about his big day today.

I was shocked to see this, but Randy Wolf has become a horse. He’s tied for the NL lead in starts, and he’s gone at least 6 innings 10 times in a row and in 23 of his 26 starts in 2009. Believe it or not, Wolf, of all people, has now launched himself into the top 5 of NL innings leaders this year, and he’s 14th in the NL in strikeouts (giving the Dodgers 3 of the top 14, incidentally). 

If Randy Wolf had done his normal “be decent for a few months, then go on the DL for a few months” routine, I honestly don’t know what the Dodgers would have done. You can talk all you want about “aces”, whether the Dodgers have any, and whether they should have gone after one before the deadline; Randy Wolf’s no ace, but he’s become a solid, effective, innings-eater, who you know will be available every 5th day and give you 6-7 innings of quality work. That is what pennants are built on. (And no, I still can’t believe I just called Randy Wolf “a horse”. Frogs, falling from the skies!)

So We’d Want Roy Halladay For His Bat?

Despite the incredible outing by Clayton Kershaw last night, the Dodgers are on their first four-game losing streak of the season, and with another loss tonight would have suffered their first sweep in St. Louis in 22 years. But Kershaw pitched brilliantly, Randy Wolf allowed just two earned runs in the first game, and while Chad Billingsley did implode after 5 solid innings in the middle game, it’s not as though he’s getting replaced in the rotation. No, the real problem right now is the bats – just three runs scored in the three games of the series. When you’ve got Manny Ramirez, Casey Blake, and Matt Kemp all hitting under .200 over the last week (small sample size, granted), your offense isn’t going to go that far.

So then what the hell is Gerry Fraley at FoxSports.com talking about?

To understand why the Los Angeles Dodgers are skittish despite their healthy lead in the National League West, consider the first two games of a series against St. Louis.

Because they scored one run in those two games?

The Dodgers took on a true ace in right-hander Chris Carpenter and lost. The Dodgers took on a budding ace in right-hander Adam Wainwright and lost. Carpenter and Wainwright combined to allow one run in 15 innings.

You got it. Hard to win when you score one run in fifteen innings.

The losses will have no impact on the Dodgers’ march to the playoffs.

The losses tell why the Dodgers could be short-timers when the playoffs begin.

Because the offense would struggle against aces in the playoffs? Possibly; it’s an old baseball cliche that “good pitching beats good hitting”. But it seems to me that it’s just a slump; there’s not too many offenses I’d take over the crew the Dodgers have. Either way, go on, Gerry: tell me more about the struggling Dodger offense.

The Dodgers have a good club for the long haul of a 162-game season and have benefited from playing in a soft division. They went into Wednesday’s game at Busch Stadium at 30-12 against the NL West and 32-26 in all other games.

Cliche alert! The best team in the league and the top two wild card contenders (so, three of the top five NL teams) all reside in the NL West. Sure, Arizona and San Diego are dreadful. But the East has Washington (and lately, the Mets) and the Central has Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. “NL West as weak sister division” = “fallacy”.

The Dodgers are not set up well for the playoffs.

The club lacks the starting pitcher(s) that can win against the top-shelf starters such as Carpenter and Wainwright, who both rank among the NL’s top eight in ERA.

clayton-kershaw.jpgWell, I’d say Clayton Kershaw – currently 7th in the NL in ERA, ahead of Wainwright – is a pretty good start. Randy Wolf, by the way, is in the top 20, and Billingsley is top 30. I won’t argue that the Dodgers’ top 2 are better than the Cardinals top 2, but as MoKM pointed out, it doesn’t matter how badly Billingsley blew up when the offense is putting up zero runs, does it?

A Dodgers-Cardinals series is a real possibility for the NL playoffs. In that matchup, the Cardinals would hold a huge advantage because Carpenter and Wainwright outweigh any pair from the Dodgers’ current rotation.

Well, it’s a good thing that games are played in pairs. Win one, get two! Fortunately, you only play one game at a time, and right now I’ll take my chances with Kershaw in one of those games.

And in a third game, the Cardinals could trot out right-hander Joel Pineiro, who ranks ninth in the NL for ERA at 2.95.

Really, Joel Pineiro? That’s the best you’ve got? Yeah, he’s having a nice season, even though it’s the first time he’s had his ERA below 4 since 2003. He’s also had terrible success against the current Dodgers, allowing a .325/.360/.815 line in 140 plate appearances against the boys in blue throughout their careers. I’m not all that worried about him.

In one breath, Dodgers outfielder Manny Ramirez said it is too early to talk about the playoffs. In the next breath, Ramirez said “you see a lot of good pitchers in the playoffs.”

That explains why general manager Ned Colletti is pushing for a top-shelf starting pitcher before Friday’s waiver-driven trade deadline. (Another arm for the fraying bullpen would help, too.)

Last night’s debacle aside, the “fraying bullpen” has the third-best ERA of any bullpen in baseball and the second-lowest batting average against. They’ve already gotten a boost by the return of Hong-Chih Kuo and look to get another when Ronald Belisario returns, and you show me a bullpen that’s going to add two better arms than that right now. It’s true that the high innings count by the pen is a concern, but “fraying”? Hardly. More like an unexpected strength. But that’s okay, Gerry, just like with the bit about the weak NL West, you just keep following the party line without doing any real research. We don’t mind.

What the Dodgers have now in the rotation — kids and questions — will not do come October. The manager understands that.

“I don’t think that it’s any secret that we’ve been inquiring about how we can make this ballclub better,” manager Joe Torre said. “Pitching is always the priority. Pitching controls everything.”

Kershaw is a “kid”. Billingsley is a “kid”. Regardless of whether the Dodgers go get Roy Halladay or not, they’re still going to get postseason starts – as well they should. So that point is invalid. I’m not suggesting that I wouldn’t like to see a move made, just that this whole article is taking the fact that the Dodgers couldn’t hit Carpenter and Wainwright and somehow turning that into meaning the pitching staff sucks. Because Halladay’s going to hit 5th in the lineup on the days he doesn’t pitch, right?

In their current form, the Dodgers lack a starting pitcher who can go 4-0 in a postseason, as Philadelphia left-hander Cole Hamels did last season and Boston right-hander Josh Beckett did in 2007.

Why? Because you say so? It was only yesterday that I made the case that Kershaw’s been the best pitcher in baseball over the last two months, and while I realize that’s a lot to throw on a 21-year-old, with each outing you see more and more that there’s something special there. Who’s to say what he can’t do at this point? And as we’ve shown a million times, “wins” are ridiculous, so even if Kershaw were to go out and throw a stinker, the offense could pick him up and still get him a “win”.

The Dodgers consider themselves fortunate to get a starter through the sixth inning. Their starters have averaged only 5.62 innings per game, the second-lowest total in the NL.

That is no way to go into a postseason.

This is a stat that gets trotted out a lot, and it kills me. The Dodgers do average 5.6 innings per start, and of course you’d like to see that be a little better. But it gets made out to be as though Dodger starters are getting knocked out in the first inning every night, when in reality the league average is 5.9 innings per start. That means that Dodger starters are getting, on average, 1 fewer out than the average team. Big god damn deal. Besides, it’s somewhat of a faulty stat, because it includes all the short outings we saw from guys like Eric Milton, Jason Schmidt, and Jeff Weaver. You really think any of those guys are getting an October start?

The Dodgers’ top two starters are right-hander Chad Billingsley and left-hander Clayton Kershaw. It would be an act of faith to send them out for the first two games of a postseason series.

Back here on Planet Earth, it’d be an act of lunacy to not send them out for postseason starts. Unless you’ve got a plan to trade for Halladay, Johan Santana, and Tim Lincecum, you’d be crazy to complain about these two guys.

Kershaw is 21 years old and has all of two innings of postseason experience. He has won his last five decisions but is prone to walks and inflated pitch counts that force him out of games early. He goes into Wednesday night’s scheduled start against St. Louis averaging 5.03 walks per nine innings.

I love that first sentence, because it’s so uninformed. Let’s apply this to the top starters available at this year’s trade deadline:

Roy Halladay is 32 years old and has all of zero innings of postseason experience.
Cliff Lee is (almost) 31 years old and has all of zero innings of postseason experience.

See what fun stats can be when you neglect to use them properly? While Fraley wants you to think Kershaw’s lousy two postseason innings means he should still be in grade school, in reality they’re two more than Halladay and Lee combined.

Billingsley leads the rotation with 10 wins but has been erratic, with one win in his last nine starts. On Tuesday, Billingsley shut out the Cardinals for five innings but allowed six runs without getting out of the sixth. It marked the third time in Billingsley’s last four starts that he could not go six innings.

billingsleyvsmets.jpgWins are stupid, and I don’t care about them. Yes, Billingsley’s been slumping lately, but we’ve been through this. He’s still one of the best young pitchers in baseball.

Billingsley also carries the mental scars of last season’s poor performance against Philadelphia in the NL Championship Series.

He lost twice, allowing 10 earned runs in five innings. Billingsley also failed to respond in kind after Philadelphia’s Brett Myers brushed back Ramirez in the second game of the series.

No. This is so stupid it that it almost offends me. I’ve never even heard of Gerry Fraley, so clearly he’s not someone who follows the Dodgers closely. So what’s basically happening here is that Fraley remembered reading an equally ridiculous Bill Plaschke article last year, and decided to parrot that theme with zero research whatsoever. Well done, Gerry!

Of the other three starters, only right-hander Jason Schmidt has postseason experience, but he is a shell of his former self. After missing nearly two years because of shoulder problems, Schmidt has made two unimpressive starts as he tries to remake himself into a finesse pitcher.

You know, most of this has been just me making fun of Fraley’s ill-informed opinions, but here he’s just factually wrong. Nice to see he’s just wiped the memories of Hiroki Kuroda’s two excellent outings last October (12.1 IP, 2 ER) off the face of the earth. Good to see this guy collects a paycheck.

Right-hander Hiroki Kuroda, the opening-day starter, has also been ineffective since missing nearly two months because of a strained oblique muscle. He is 2-5 with a 4.85 ERA for 10 starts since returning.

Kuroda has actually lowered his WHIP, allowed fewer hits, and has struck out more in 2009 as compared to 2008. He’s had some hard-luck games, but he’s going to be just fine.

That leaves left-hander Randy Wolf, who has never pitched an inning in the postseason. Wolf is the club’s hard-luck pitcher of the season. The Dodgers have had seven blown saves behind Wolf.

And that is Wolf’s fault… how, exactly? Randy’s been solid this season, tied for the league lead in games started, and if his record doesn’t reflect his effectiveness, well that’s just because WINS DON’T MEAN A GODDAMN THING FOR A PITCHER.

It’s a stretch to count on the bad-karma pitcher in the playoffs. It’s a stretch for the Dodgers to count on any of their starting pitchers in the playoffs.

So now we can’t count on Randy Wolf because he’s offended the sun god Ra and has “bad karma”, or something equally ridiculous. We can’t count on Clayton Kershaw even though he’s awesome because… I’m not even sure why. We can’t count on Hiroki Kuroda because he’s never pitched in the postseason, except that he has. We can’t count on Chad Billingsley because he’s been slumping, which is the only halfway plausible point, but he’s got enough history here that you of course count on him.

No, the only thing you really can’t count on is Gerry Fraley to write an informed article. Look, I’m not against the idea of getting Roy Halladay, if it’s for the right price. The fact that the Phillies had to give up zero members of their major league club and none of their top 4 prospects might drag down Halladay’s price, so if we can do it for a package along the lines of Elbert/Bell/DeJesus/Lambo, hell, I’m in. But it’s just crazy to take the idea that the Cardinals pitching shut down the struggling Dodgers offense, and make it out to be that the Dodgers couldn’t hit because they can’t pitch. Even though they can.