Hey, it’s not the first half anymore! It’s also not the beginning of the second half! So where are we. What are we doing.
The game’s are on late this week, which means probably a west coast swing. It seems we’re invading Los Angeles, where things for the Dodgers have been going better than okay, but not great lately. They’ve got all those good players who got injured but are now returning. Which sounds like a story we all know very well, only this one’s being told in bright blue.
We have here Mike Petriello of Mike Scioscia’s Tragic Illness to make us smile with some responses to a series of violent inquiries, one of which was kind of just a threat I made. Also, he works at Fangraphs, so you know he’s smart.
So, just a friendly warning, stay away from Cole Hamels. That’s not really a question, I guess. More of a threat from the internet. Why don’t you stay the hell away from Cole Hamels? There we go.
Oh, we will… for the rest of the season. But then in the winter, with tons of dirty, dirty new ownership money to throw around while you wonder if Ruben Amaro will give $35m to Brian Fuentes and somehow extend Ryan Howard’s contract further? Then he’s ours, all ours. *rubs hands together like a Bond villain*
The Dodgers and Phillies lost potent 1-2 punches in their order with Kemp/Ethier and Utley/Howard all hitting the DL for substantial stretches. All have returned to crackling fanfare, but neither team has enjoyed a very successful run in the past few weeks. How long will it be before these returning stars are fueling manic, frantic playoff runs? Remember you can only answer in a way that insinuates both teams will be making the playoffs.
The Dodgers have the built in benefit of playing in the NL West, where no one seems to want to win, while the Phillies in one of the tougher divisions in baseball. So good luck with that. I don’t ever want to count out a team that still has Hamels, Roy Halladay, & Cliff Lee – even if he doesn’t “know how to win”, of course, and getting Utley back is nice.
On the other hand, last I checked, you’re still on pace for 90 losses with an aging team. To summarize, see you in hell, Matt Stairs.
The Dodgers just hosted a “bloggers’ night” in which writers from the internet were invited to the stadium for a tour and a game and free food and a Q&A session with the GM. How do you get an organization to respect you at least once a year, or at least get removed from their black list which you are on because of a ridiculous “misunderstanding” about “breaking into” Shane Victorino’s house?
Say what you will about the Dodgers – and I have, many times – but they have always been ahead of the curve when it comes to reaching out to bloggers, dating back to when former PR head Josh Rawitch was still there. Any organization who doesn’t realize how big social media is right now for their fans is really doing it wrong.
Speaking of misunderstandings, when I was a kid, I used to go to Phillies games at the Vet and get autographs afterwards, and one time I gave a card to Todd Zeile and asked him to sign it. He refused. I asked why. He replied, “because I’m Mickey Morandini.”
The Phillies biggest offensive advantage is that sometimes opposing starting pitchers will make three or four terrible starts before admitting to an injury. If we can get into that window of completely vulnerability, we can score enough times to outrun our own bullpen. How does Chad Billingsley’s removal from the rotation affect the Dodgers?
Wait, are you really linking people to FoxNews.com to get information on baseball? I’m not even sure I knew they had a sports section. How many of yesterday’s five Dodger errors did they attribute to Barack Obama?
As for Billingsley, it hurts a lot more than you’d think. His ERA and W/L record are both poor, leading to many fans almost cheering his injury, but we know better than to trust stats like that. He’s striking out more and walking fewer than ever – 29/5 K/BB over his last few starts – and I wish I knew exactly why the results weren’t there.
His BABIP has been out of control lately, which is part of it, and sometimes he’s fantastic for 5 innings and then allows 4 runs in a row in the sixth, but either way, it’s not good that he’s gone. It’s especially not good since the Dodgers were already searching for pitching before this, and being rich, desperate, and led by Ned Colletti is no way to go through life.
There is more than the Dodgers’ obsession with Cole Hamels–seriously back off–at play in their search for pitching stability. Word has it they’ve got an offer out there for Ryan Dempster. Is this a good thing or a bad thing or just some thing?
It was a good thing when it was “hey, we could stand to improve our rotation and he seems like a nice guy to have.” Now that they really, really need another starter and Dempster’s ERA is absurdly low and completely unsustainable, this seems like the kind of situation that ends with the Cubs taking Zach Lee, Kenley Jansen, Joc Pederson, and the collected histories of Jackie Robinson & Sandy Koufax.
The Incredible Padres Double-Dash from Saturday’s ninth inning, combined with the five errors on Sunday, were not the most morale-boosting, I imagine. How do you judge this team’s ability to pick itself up after such gutting performances? Because the Phillies, they cannot do it.
That was… pretty bad. I know a great way to get over it, though. Pack James Loney, Juan Uribe, & Adam Kennedy into a rocketship and send them directly into the sun. Makes me smile just thinking about it