Monday, April 25, 2011

Dodgers Progress Report

Record: 12-11. 2nd place in the NL West, 3.0 games behind Colorado.

The Good:
- Kemp and Ethier are just tearing the cover off the ball right now, Kemp 2nd in the league in average, and Ethier with a 21 game hitting streak. These guys have been the Dodgers offense so far this year, but we need more.
- Juan Uribe finally remembered how to hit this week. Good to see him relaxed and hitting the ball for some power too.
- The Defense: Often an overlooked part of the game, our defense has been solid so far this year, making some big plays to save runs, and not committing blunders in the field. Barajas has done a great job throwing out runners, considering how atrocious our pitchers outside of Kershaw are at holding on runners.
- 7 Quality Starts in the past 8 games from our starters. That's just what this team, and its overworked bullpen needed.
- Jamey Carroll: What can I say this guy does it all! Gets on base at a great clip, works his walks, plays 3 positions and plays them well, and hustles his ass off providing some solid veteran leadership to this team.

The Bad:
- Ted Lilly and his wild inconsistency. His strikeout numbers are way down, and he's just hanging way too many pitches up in the zone.
- 3 everyday players (Sands, Loney, and Barajas) hitting below the Mendoza line. Left field and our refusal to resign Scott Podsednik is going to be the death of us. Right now the guys hitting after Kemp and Ethier are like a plague to this lineup. For a team with little power, we have to be able to string hits together better, although we did this weekend. Awesome!

The Ugly:
- The abomination that is our bullpen. Here are the ugly stats: 3 guys with an ERA over 9.50, only one RP (McDougal) with an ERA under 3.00, 12 HR's allowed (so one every other game).
- James Loney forgot how to hit. His OBP is at a pathetic .191, and his SLG % is a meager .211, with only 2 extra base hits in 90 at-bats! DISGRACEFUL! He's pulling everything, making weak to no contact, and isn't anywhere close to the hitter that he should be. He's been absolute dead weight, and the rally killer to end all rally killers.
- Plate Discipline: Ok I'm not expecting this team to have 4 30HR hitters, but when you don't hit for power, you better damn well work your walks, and we sure as fuck are not! I've never seen a more undisciplined group of hitters than these guys. So many times a pitcher has been wild and nowhere near the plate, and we chase 2-0 or 3-1 pitches WAY the fuck out of the strike zone.
- BUNTING!!! HOLY FUCK! Is there anything easier in baseball than to lay down a sacrifice bunt? Well not if your the Dodgers, and many a rally have been squashed because someone didn't get the bunt down, got 2 strikes on them and then GIDP.

Overall: Given our nightmare schedule the first 3 weeks, I'm satisfied with where we are. Need to get Loney going, and more production out of the bottom of the order, and more importantly, we need to get this bullpen in order. Still with a solid staff, and 2 monsters in the middle of the order, this team has the studs to get on a roll if the supporting cast picks up the slack.

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