First observation, Josh Beckett will make a good 5th starter. If the Dodgers are going to rely on him to be a number 3 or 4 starter in the rotation, that will not portend for good things in the future.
Second, Dee Gordon is a game changer. His speed was on full display on his dribbler to Brandon Hicks that was bobbled by Hicks because he knew he couldn’t waste time getting rid of the ball. Sometimes it’s hard to quantify the value of speed, but not with Gordon. He needs to play as long as he is reaching base at a .350 OBP clip.
Third, this platoon in the outfield is maddening. I like all four guys but this won’t work out long-term. Something needs to be done to shuffle the deck and come up with a plan. Whether that is a trade, or the Dodgers wait for that impending injury to a group that has shown they are brittle. I just think it’s a poor dynamic that lends itself to rumbling and frustration in the clubhouse which is not a good thing. Right now things are fine, but how long will that last?
Fourth, the Giants will be here for the duration. San Francisco isn’t going anywhere. As long as the Giants stay healthy the Dodgers will have to fight them off all season long. They are too good, too seasoned to expect them to fade just because the Dodgers full complement is healthy. As stated before in this blog, I still feel the Dodgers are better, but the Giants “believe” they are better. And, they have the hardware to back-up the argument.
Fifth, Don Mattingly continues to befuddle. As supportive as I am of the Dodgers skipper, his decisions are sometimes mind-boggling. Leaving Josh Beckett in the game in the 5th was a head-scratcher. He presumably left Beckett in the game because he wanted his veteran right-hander to be eligible for the win. I saw Tommy Lasorda do that once with Fernando Valenzuela, with the emphasis on ONCE. When you are sentimental about individual players and their stats in this “team” game it will always back-fire on you. Mattingly needs to think team before Beckett’s win numbers. I didn’t like the move leaving an obviously tiring Beckett with the bags drunk.
Sixth, What do we do with Brandon League? Clearly his confidence is shot. As down as the Dodger fan base is on League, I am not one of them. While I don’t like the results, virtually every time he takes the mound, his stuff is ridiculous. We always hear that organizations have more patience with a guy who has good “stuff” and we are seeing it with League. He has a power sinker, throws a nasty heavy ball, his ball runs and sinks but he just can’t locate. And, right now that is a major problem. I hate sending Paco Rodriguez down to the minors because of finances, but that is what we are having to do. At some point, the Dodgers are going to have to pay League to go away if he can’t get anyone out. The game of baseball doesn’t care how much money you make if you can’t get hitters out consistently.
Seventh, if I hear a Giant fan complain about Dodger fans leaving early again I am going to hurl. Did you see how empty AT & T was last night at the end of the 12-inning game with the Giants. I would say half of the 42 thousand were still there. It’s the biggest misnomer that Dodger fans leave early on a more consistent basis then other fan bases. It’s malarkey. Last night for the umpteenth time we saw the visual evidence.
Enjoy Giants/Dodgers tonight !