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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
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April 25 Open Chat: Green Comes Home
2005-04-25 17:21
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Tonight's Game

If Shawn Green homers - which he hasn't done on the road this season - does he give away his batting gloves to a front-row fan at Dodger Stadium?

Hee Seop Choi at first base, Jose Valentin at third, Jason Grabowski in left for the Dodgers. Koyie Hill is catching for Arizona.

Update: In the bottom of the eighth inning, Grabowski took a called strike three on a pitch that appeared inches inside. I'd complain, except twice earlier in the game, Choi took called strikes at the same spot. At first, this seemed like injustice - now, it just looks like a failure for the Dodgers to adjust.

In the bottom of the sixth, Lowe came up to bat with the bases empty, one out, and the Dodgers trailing 3-1. Instinctively, I felt it was the right decision to let him bat. Eleven outs to go, Lowe's pitch count homonymically low. But trying to put the result aside - Lowe makes out, then gives up a run in the next inning - the more I think about it, the more I continue to think that the Dodgers should be aggressive with pinch hitters. The bullpen is too deep to shy away from.

Obviously, I see the argument for leaving Lowe in, because that was my original thought. But you basically need a shutout seventh and eighth inning to justify the move - you need to feel that Lowe is going to do better than the relievers would - and the odds might be against it.

Comments (100)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2005-04-25 18:50:23
1.   Spageticus
I have a question regarding Green's largesse: Since most (all) of the seats behind the dugouts are season passes, did the former Greenie give his gloves to the same few kids (esp. in 2001-2002)? I mean, he couldn't have been too discerning, right?
2005-04-25 19:01:29
2.   Bob Timmermann
Having some eels for dinner tonight. I noticed my cans of eel do have expiration dates on them.

One of them was in 2002.

I threw that can out. Another was in 2004. That went in the trash. I'm having one with a 2005 date on it.

I hope it's some good eel!

2005-04-25 19:04:20
3.   Jim Hitchcock
Hope it doesn't take as long to digest as it did to ingest...
2005-04-25 19:13:22
4.   Bob Timmermann
Mmm, that was some good eel. I had it with mozarella cheese.
2005-04-25 19:16:32
5.   Vic
Mozzarella could make even bottom-feeding suction eel taste divine.

In other news, it'd be nice if Derek Lowe could get an out or two. Luckily, Groundout Green is at the plate.

2005-04-25 19:16:55
6.   Jim Hitchcock
Hear it tastes like freshwater rattlesnake.
2005-04-25 19:18:08
7.   Dodgerkid
Any cheering for Green?
2005-04-25 19:18:51
8.   Vic
Sounded like a smattering consisting of equal amounts of boos and cheers for Green.
2005-04-25 19:21:11
9.   Ben P
That comebacker was the first pitch Lowe has been able to keep down. Not a great sign for Mr. Groundball.
2005-04-25 19:24:06
10.   Bob Timmermann
Lowe didn't have a 5.42 ERA last year for nothing.
2005-04-25 19:26:16
11.   Steve
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
2005-04-25 19:26:44
12.   Bob Timmermann
While the DBacks have started out fairly well this year and tonight, they still have Quentin McCracken starting on their team.

Quentin McCracken!

2005-04-25 19:28:21
13.   Jim Hitchcock
What is up with that backstop ad board...why isn't it centered?
2005-04-25 19:33:16
14.   Ben P
I always liked McCracken because he has a name that would make for a good character on a cheesy cop show. "Damnit McCracken! You play this case by the book or you'll be writing parking tickets!"
2005-04-25 19:35:16
15.   Identity Crisis
Can somebody give me the score? I'm stuck at school w/o a sound card :)
2005-04-25 19:36:33
16.   Bob Timmermann
It's 3-0 AZ.
2005-04-25 19:42:20
17.   Identity Crisis
=/ Thanks.
2005-04-25 19:49:47
18.   kngoworld
Thats the Green we know and love!
2005-04-25 19:55:50
19.   Bob Timmermann
Sean Lowe will not be the hitting hero tonight either.
2005-04-25 19:58:25
20.   Bob Timmermann
San Diego is off to a 3-1 lead over the Giants at SBC tonight.
2005-04-25 20:06:08
21.   Vic
Wow...easiest Aflac Trivia Question ever.
2005-04-25 20:07:16
22.   kngoworld
What was it please?
2005-04-25 20:08:03
23.   Vic
Derek Lowe is one of three pitchers who have had seasons of 20 wins and 40 saves -- name the other two.
2005-04-25 20:08:25
24.   Vic
Go Drew!
2005-04-25 20:08:45
25.   Bob Timmermann
Name the two pitchers, other than Derek Lowe (whom I called Sean for some reason), with 20 wins in a season and 40 saves in a season (obvioulsly not the same season).
2005-04-25 20:09:30
26.   Vishal
yeah, the aflac trivia question was wayyy easy.

choi was right; that wasn't a strike.

woo, drew!!

2005-04-25 20:09:45
27.   kngoworld
YAY! Kragen Home Run Inning
2005-04-25 20:09:56
28.   tomA
sweetest swing in the league
2005-04-25 20:15:26
29.   Bob Timmermann
I have a copy of the new Sporting News baseball record book. There is a list of all the pitchers who struck out the side on 9 pitches. There are a lot of big strikeout guys on the list (Grove, Koufax, Spahn, Gibson, Guidry).

But in 1997, Mike Magnante did it.

And in 2002, Brian Lawrence did it.

Koufax is the last Dodger to pull off the feat back in 1964 against the Reds on April 18. It was in the 3rd inning, so I assume that the pitcher was one of the victims.

2005-04-25 20:18:51
30.   Vishal
when drew stumbled against the concrete and then paused before throwing the ball in, was i the only one to immediately worry about his knee?
2005-04-25 20:20:18
31.   tomA
i think there were a lot of held breaths
2005-04-25 20:20:28
32.   joekings
that was the first thought i had.
2005-04-25 20:22:39
33.   tomA
you don't have to run him
2005-04-25 20:23:25
34.   tomA
or you could just stop in the middle
2005-04-25 20:25:19
35.   Vishal
is it just me, or does milton bradley have the worst luck on basepaths of anyone you've ever seen? he's got good speed, but he's always forced out or the ball is hit ahead of him or something.
2005-04-25 20:27:03
36.   joekings
good old green.
2005-04-25 20:28:08
37.   Bob Timmermann
In the Holy War between "Small Ball" and "Money ball", aka Chicago vs. Oakland, it's 0-0 in the 6th.
2005-04-25 20:31:45
38.   Sam DC
So, if Grabowoski gets a hit leading off the bottom of the sixth, do you hit for Lowe? Assuming he get's through the top of the sixth pretty easily, that's a tough call. He's only thrown like 60 pitches, and he can hit some. Still, I go for the runs now. I don't recall the bullpen being too overloaded of late, and there's an off day coming soon.

Side note -- been offline for the past few days and have only skimmed the old threads. But I gotta say, Bob, you'll never just be "that Ghame Over guy." Sure, folks'll recall you coined the term, but it's more like people recall that John Kennedy's the guy who said "Ich Bin Ein Berliner." I mean, we all loved that line (or at least learning about it), but we remember him for some other things too.

2005-04-25 20:35:16
39.   Bob Timmermann
Ich Bin Ein Yhencier!
2005-04-25 20:36:00
40.   Sam DC
I see we got past Grabowski's fly out and Lowe's subsequent at bat in the time it took me to write that last post -- consider it a thought experiment.
2005-04-25 20:37:34
41.   Bob Timmermann
Games can go by quickly if both pitchers throw a lot of strikes.
2005-04-25 20:41:24
42.   tomA
uglier stance: counsell or nakamura?
2005-04-25 20:41:47
43.   Ben P
Choi has hit the ball solidly to center twice now in three at-bats. I really think he's about to break out. Nice to see some competent defense at first too after some of the adventures have had there this year.
2005-04-25 20:42:27
44.   Vic
I've always hated Counsell's stance, but man, Nori's makes you wonder how he ever managed to be a consistently productive hitter in Japan.
2005-04-25 20:43:51
45.   Bob Timmermann
In Oakland, the Small Ball White Sox have gone ahead 2-0 on a homer by Chris Widger.

Who is not dead apparently.

2005-04-25 20:47:25
46.   Bob Timmermann
The Giants and Padres are tied at 3-3 in the 6th.
2005-04-25 20:48:04
47.   Vic
...and across the bay, elder statesmen Omar Vizquel and J.T. Snow have helped the Giants knot their tilt with the Padres at 3-3.
2005-04-25 20:48:13
48.   DepoBall
just tuned in to gameday; seems like lowe's done ok, and we've only got 1 man LOB; so vasquez is pitching that good?
2005-04-25 20:49:23
49.   Ben P
Great relay by Izturis.
2005-04-25 20:49:31
50.   Bob Timmermann
Vazquez is pitching extremely well. Lowe really hasn't been all that bad. He just had a shaky start.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2005-04-25 20:49:35
51.   joekings
bradley planned that, boot the ball to make gonzales try to score then nail him at the plate.
2005-04-25 20:50:24
52.   kngoworld
Genius!
2005-04-25 20:54:19
53.   Bob Timmermann
Padres back ahead of the Giants 4-3.
2005-04-25 20:54:28
54.   Sam DC
Just to clear up a loose end re my #38 above, I misread the pitchcount when first writing that comment -- Lowe had actually thrown 76 pitches through 6. Also, sorry about that "get's"
2005-04-25 20:56:58
55.   Vic
Kent for King!
2005-04-25 20:57:09
56.   joekings
what an at-bat by kent.
2005-04-25 20:58:02
57.   kngoworld
Kent has an EYE
2005-04-25 20:58:38
58.   Sushirabbit
here we go again
2005-04-25 20:58:51
59.   Bob Timmermann
RIP: Earl Wilson
2005-04-25 20:59:45
60.   Ben P
Cora would have fouled off seven more pitches before the homer.
2005-04-25 21:00:19
61.   Bob Timmermann
5-3 Padres now.
2005-04-25 21:05:24
62.   Sushirabbit
I might actually be in bed before midnight central standard time. :-)
2005-04-25 21:06:24
63.   Im So Blue
Wow! That was a quick Wunsch. Only 9 pitches.
2005-04-25 21:07:46
64.   Im So Blue
Make that 8 pitches.
2005-04-25 21:08:00
65.   Bob Timmermann
Since Wednesday's game is a sellout, I've decided that I don't want to hassle with going to the game.

If anybody wants two seats in Section 19 in the Blue for $20 (for the pair) and you work Downtown, please raise your hand.

2005-04-25 21:08:49
66.   kngoworld
Poor Phillips
2005-04-25 21:13:58
67.   Vic
Question: Do you think the Dodgers' sound man dies a little inside every time a Dodger hitter draws a base on balls and they make him play the "I walk a lonely road" snippet from "Boulevard of Broken Dreams"?
2005-04-25 21:14:25
68.   kngoworld
Lets do this boys!
2005-04-25 21:14:33
69.   Bob Timmermann
And why is Saenz pinch hitting here?
2005-04-25 21:15:30
70.   joekings
poor choi
2005-04-25 21:15:37
71.   Sam DC
"He has become such an artist with the bat." -- Charlie Steiner re See-zar.

No Choi?

2005-04-25 21:16:00
72.   KAYVMON
Vin just said it, "professional at bat"
2005-04-25 21:17:36
73.   tomA
saenz should hand out business cards every time he comes to bat
2005-04-25 21:17:48
74.   KAYVMON
If I was Vazquez, I would throw Saenz a hanging slider.
2005-04-25 21:18:01
75.   joekings
choi could have done that.
2005-04-25 21:18:11
76.   tomA
very professional
2005-04-25 21:18:55
77.   kngoworld
Its ok, Its all ok. We have the big bats coming up in the ninth.
2005-04-25 21:18:58
78.   Bob Timmermann
But Choi was actually making good contact against Vazquez. And he wasn't coming off the bench. He would have been facing Vazquez for the fourth time.

I'm puzzled. Someone needs to have a blog about Jim Tracy's faults!

2005-04-25 21:20:12
79.   Vishal
choi had three good at-bats against vazquez tonight, and his strikeout was on a ball. pulling him to put in a righty... gah.
2005-04-25 21:20:13
80.   Ben P
Really, that made no sense. Why start Choi at all against Vazquez if you're going to pinch-hit for him when Vazquez is on his 107th pitch?
2005-04-25 21:22:23
81.   Bob Timmermann
And I ate eels tonight in honor of Hee Seop!

Or does he like eels?

2005-04-25 21:24:20
82.   Screwgie
Why doesn't Tracy just start Saenz? If he has no faith in Choi in that situation against a righthander, and he thinks Saenz can do more damage, wouldn't it make more sense just to let Saenz get four or five at bats against Vasquez during this game?

Baffling.

2005-04-25 21:28:04
83.   Bob Timmermann
Break up the White Sox! They win again, 6-0 over Oakland.

The pride of Kennedy High, Jon Garland, with the shutout.

2005-04-25 21:28:44
84.   Ben P
Was a lefty warming up in the D-Backs bullpen? My only thought is that Tracy figured they would bring in a lefty to face Choi, so he sent in Saenz in hopes they would leave the "tiring" Vazquez in.
2005-04-25 21:30:49
85.   joekings
what kind of closer needs a LOOGY to get the first out of the inning for him???
2005-04-25 21:31:08
86.   tomA
eels are not a huge part of korean cuisine (though not unheard of).
2005-04-25 21:31:43
87.   tomA
maybe hee seop likes japanese food?
2005-04-25 21:32:50
88.   tomA
is derek lowe going to be this year's odalis (no run support)?
2005-04-25 21:47:34
89.   Bob Timmermann
So nobody wants to go to Fleece Blanket Night Wednesday?
2005-04-25 21:50:39
90.   capdodger
Ben P:

I think that they did have a LOOGY warming in the pen, but I still don't see why Tracy pulled Choi back first. If he was determined to pinch hit in that situation, let the Snakes make the first move then call Choi back. Send Saenz up to face the sidearming lefty.

Odd decisions from Tracy, indeed. FJT shall be a fun read.

2005-04-25 21:55:00
91.   LAT
Just got back from the game. Can someone explain to me why as the night went on people were loudly booing Shawn Green. Did Vin acknowledge this booing on TV or Stiener on the radio? I thought it was unwarrented but I am biased. In 2001 the guy hits 49 hrs, in 2002 42. I know he was a bust last year but to boo him seemed harsh. Hell Mota got a kinder reception upon his return. This from fans who would rather toss beach balls and do the wave.
2005-04-25 22:04:55
92.   Bob Timmermann
Vin said that there was "a mixture of cheers and boos". He said it was expected of a good player who leaves and comes back home.
2005-04-25 22:20:25
93.   LAT
I was sitting in the 3rd row in the new blue seats just past first base (not dugout seats) The seats are awful. 1st base coach is directly in your way looking at the batters box. The seats are also below grade. $70 face. I was told people are already returning them in droves. Anyway, Plaschke was in the area interviewing people about how lousy the seats were. I guess if he can't rail on the team he'll get after the stadium. He would be right about the seats but he sure is looking for reasons to rip the Dodgers.
2005-04-25 23:01:38
94.   the OZ
If I were sitting in those seats and Plaschke asked me why I thought they were lousy, my answer might be, "beacuse there's a lousy hack LA Times writer that hangs around them, bothering me so he can write an agenda piece without adhering to paragraph structure."

Lousy, indeed.

2005-04-25 23:59:27
95.   bigcpa
I was at the game- the Green reaction was 75/25 boos and came off very low class. Seemed like an uninformed clueless bunch tonight. I would love to get a hold of turnstile attendance for these midweek games. 37,000 paid... there were about 22,000 there for first pitch.

Great defense tonight especially Valentin making two Beltre-esque plays. I'm sure Plaschke was in the men's room.

With Vazquez starting 0-1 on just about everyone I would like to have seem some first pitch hacking the 2nd time through the order. Bradley had a first pitch single and that was it. And I agree Choi was due for a rope in the 8th. Tracy has met his nemesis.

2005-04-26 00:38:17
96.   Langhorne
I just returned from Chavez Ravine. My first game of the season. It's hard to win on five hits. The new stadium changes didn't bother me too much. The ads on the wall are tacky. I was up in the reserve section behind home plate. The ad ribbon isn't intrusive from there but I'd imagine if you were sitting up either line across from it it would be distracting. I see by the comments that there is some question as to the decision to pinch hit for Choi. I agree. But a bigger question for me is what the Sam Hill was Grabowski doing in the starting line-up. This is why I sometimes think of Tracy as a high school coach. It's nice that he wants to give everyone a chance to play but at some point you've got to pick you best eight players and play them. And Grabowski ain't one of them. He's a distant third on the depth chart behind Repko and Ledee. I just don't understand not giving your team the best possible chance to win. Great defense tonight, no bats.
2005-04-26 00:58:26
97.   Langhorne
And another thing, if Lowe isn't going to learn how to bunt he'd better at least run full out to first. I don't think I've ever seen a double play on a sacrifice bunt attempt that wasn't caught on the fly. After getting Grabowski at second they could have thrown the ball around the horn and still gotten Lowe at first by five feet. I'll forgive a lot of things but not hustling isn't one of them.
2005-04-26 01:10:43
98.   Jim Hitchcock
Langhorne, Ledee didn't start because of what was reported as a `sore side'. But I would have liked to see Repko started against a righty. Give the guy ashot at it.
2005-04-26 01:14:37
99.   Blue Crew
So where was Repko? I know Ledee has been gimping a little, but Repko has looked good.

I agree with Langhorne regarding not hustling. A lot of pitchers take it easy running down to first, but come on Lowe. You're down, and need runners on base and you take it easy.

There should never be a any slump when it comes to hustling.

BC

2005-04-26 03:13:05
100.   GoBears
Geez, I'd hate for us to break our streak of 100-comment game threads. That'd be terrible. Lowe was really confusing tonight. Sorta like Fernando used to be - awful in the 1st, and solid thereafter. And, like the rest of you, I couldn't believe it when Choi was pulled for Saenz against the starter. He hit the ball well twice, once to the wall, and struck out on a bad call the 3rd time. There'd better be news that he had a hangnail or something, or else Tracy has some 'splainin to do.

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