Sunday, April 08, 2007


Series Recap—Dodgers at San Francisco

4/6: Dodgers 2, Giants 1

I'm skeptical about Brad Penny. If you had asked me last weekend who would be the first Dodger pitcher to pitch into the eighth inning of a game this season, well, I don't know who I would've picked, but it wouldn't have been Penny. He's looked so bad since last year's All-Star game that going into Friday night's game I was just hoping he'd get through five innings only down a couple three runs. He pitched way better than I expected. He only struck out one, but he only walked one. He gave up ten hits, but he scattered them effectively, inducing some double plays to take care of the resulting runners. He also had lots of help from the Jints, who kept running on Russell Martin and Ramon Martinez and losing. I'm still skeptical, but it was a good first step.

The Dodger offense continued to struggle, but got lucky when Matt Kemp scored on a busted play that the Giants managed to botch.

4/7: Dodgers 4, Giants 1

Derek Lowe pitched like Derek Lowe, and Russ Ortiz pitched like Russ Ortiz. If you can't beat Russ Ortiz, who can you beat?

4/8: Dodgers 10, Giants 4

Randy Wolf survived two shaky innings by the thinnest of threads, then settled in and shut down the Giants. Meanwhile, the Dodgers teed off on the Hundred and Twenty-Six Dollar Man, and Luis Gonzalez confounded all expectations by hitting two homers in the rout.

The Gonzo and Pierre Show

One of them is named for a muppet, the other one looks like a muppet, and they both have been fielding with the manual dexterity of muppets. Every day has pretty much seen the same schtick from two thirds of the outfield—misjudged or dropped balls followed by poor throws. Gonzo, at least, has been hitting well, but Pierre has been a bad caricature of himself so far, exagerrating all of his worst traits as a player. I know he'll regress to the mean eventually, but it's a tough listen right now. The only silver lining so far is that the Giants have similar problems of their own, as evidenced today when Jeff Kent went first to third on a weak single hit to Bonds.


Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. In 182 previous at bats with three different major league teams over the last three years, Wilson Valdez hit .209/.250/.291. Now, after going 6 for 10 with a double and a triple in his first two games as a Dodger, some otherwise sensible folk are touting him as a potential savior, as if he somehow just learned how to hit at age 29. Small sample size much? Sorry, but I was fooled two years ago by Oscar Robles. I'll enjoy it while it lasts, but I'm not biting again.

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