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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
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Power and Efficiency
2007-07-16 22:21
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Here's an antidote for not leaving runners on base: three-run home runs.

The Dodgers had two of them tonight, which was quite lovely.

Anyway, it doesn't always work so well, but it turns out that tonight's game marked the first time in almost exactly nine years that the Dodgers scored 10 runs or more while leaving only one runner on base, according to Baseball-Reference.com.

Home runs in that game? Gary Sheffield, Raul Mondesi, Matt Luke and Tripp Cromer. Luke's was a two-run game-winner in the eighth inning, after Sheffield tied things with a two-run shot on his own.

The only runner left on base tonight was Nomar Garciaparra in the first inning. In 1998, it was Tom Prince in the third.

Much went well tonight, lads.

Comments (99)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-07-16 22:29:54
1.   Marty
Don't call me lad.
2007-07-16 22:30:29
2.   Bob Timmermann
"What do the call you back in Los Angeles, lad?"
2007-07-16 22:33:33
3.   Greg Brock
Dodgers hit two three-run homers and I miss it.

"I can't believe it"

2007-07-16 22:35:39
4.   Marty
3 You are also missing Godfather II (your favorite) on AMC
2007-07-16 22:36:08
5.   NorCalDodger
I couldn't see Penny actually pitch; could only check in once in a while on GameDay. For those of you who did see him, how lights-out was he? (This being his first start of the second half against a pretty good hitting team, I'm naturally concerned.)
2007-07-16 22:37:27
6.   Eric Stephen
The last person to call me lad was Dennis DeYoung. Then me and Tommy Shaw kicked him out of the band.

I missed most of the game but got to hear Kemp's HR sail out of the park on radio.

2007-07-16 22:37:53
7.   Bob Timmermann
I think May 10, 2006 was the last time the Dodgers had 2 3-run homers in a game.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/LAN/LAN200605100.shtml

2007-07-16 22:37:55
8.   Jon Weisman
5 - Some commenters at the start of the game were very nervous about how he looked, but by the end he seemed pretty sharp.
2007-07-16 22:38:01
9.   Greg Brock
4 My AMC has Easy Rider on right now.

You know, Marty...We blew it.

2007-07-16 22:39:54
10.   Jon Weisman
In that 1998 game, Dave Mlicki allowed seven runs in 3 2/3 innings but escaped with a no-decision. The Dodgers rallied from an 8-3 deficit after five.
2007-07-16 22:39:59
11.   Marty
You must be back in that southern backwater. I still have GFII. ER is next.
2007-07-16 22:41:05
12.   Jon Weisman
Cromer's homer (hey - it rhymes) was his first and only hit that season.
2007-07-16 22:41:47
13.   NorCalDodger
Thanks Jon,

'Tis my first time on this board. Best Dodgers fanblog I've seen, and I'm looking forward to being a part of this fine community.

2007-07-16 22:41:50
14.   bhsportsguy
Almost all of the offensive improvement is due to an increase in batting average. I'm sure a lot has been luck, but perhaps they are seeing more pitches per PA (haven't seen the data) allowing them to get better pitches to hit.

They are averaging 3 more plate appearances a game than they were before.

The "Murray" Dodgers had a .305 BABIP. The "Mueller" Dodgers have a .362 BABIP

2007-07-16 22:41:54
15.   Jon Weisman
Yet he finished the season with a 113 OPS+.
2007-07-16 22:42:30
16.   Jon Weisman
Cromer's loners: In three different seasons, Cromer had exactly one hit.
2007-07-16 22:43:07
17.   Jon Weisman
13 - Welcome. And, good night.
2007-07-16 22:43:08
18.   NorCalDodger
So would you chalk up Penny's early-game struggles as rust (I don't count that 9 pitch perfect All-Star inning to be much of a workload)?
2007-07-16 22:44:06
19.   underdog
Penny definitely got better as the game wore on. He was shaky early but as Jon said he just got sharper and sharper.

I watched most of the game on fast forward after pausing MLBTV so I could watch some of "Factory Girl" on DVD (eh; mixed review) but sure were a lot of highlights in this game. Great to see the Bison continue to stampede.

2007-07-16 22:46:07
20.   Greg Brock
16 So...He's like the Cowsills?
2007-07-16 22:46:41
21.   Bob Timmermann
Cromer went on the DL that year when Eric Young was activated about a minute before a game with the Mets started. Wilton Guerrero was supposed to lead off, but he got traded. So Young batted in his place and Cromer was DLed.

It was really weird.

2007-07-16 22:47:10
22.   Marty
It's not often you see a Cowsills reference. Well done.
2007-07-16 22:47:29
23.   Eric Stephen
14 BH, where did you get the BABIP split data? Thanks for the info. I was only using BB-Ref gamelogs for the other data, and didn't have the BABIP data.
2007-07-16 22:47:59
24.   bhsportsguy
14 Last year, the Dodgers BABIP was .332 for the whole season.
2007-07-16 22:48:40
25.   underdog
Didn't Tripp Cromer go on to play for the Reds a bit? I had to root for a guy named Tripp.
2007-07-16 22:49:08
26.   Greg Brock
22 Well, Marty. I knew
(I knew I knew I knew I knew)
It would make you happy
(happy happy)
2007-07-16 22:49:16
27.   natepurcell
Steve Phillips on Sportscenter thinks the Dodger should add Jermaine Dye at the trade deadline.
2007-07-16 22:49:20
28.   NorCalDodger
Sorry, not much of a sabermetric guy. What's BABIP? A sort of adjusted batting average?
2007-07-16 22:50:04
29.   fanerman
13 Welcome NorCalDodger. Where are you in NorCal? I'm in Berkeley.
2007-07-16 22:50:33
30.   Eric Stephen
27 To paraphrase John Kruk, and in one of the few times I have agreed with him, "this is why [Steve Phillips] is {on Baseball Tonight] and not a GM anymore."
2007-07-16 22:50:59
31.   Eric Stephen
BABIP = Batting Average on Balls in Play
2007-07-16 22:51:08
32.   Bob Timmermann
25
That was Tripp's brother D.T.
2007-07-16 22:52:04
33.   Eric Stephen
28 To expand, from Baseball-Reference.com:

"BAbip - Batting Average on balls in play: measures what happens when the player puts the ball in play on the field. This is typically consistent for pitchers, but will vary wildly between batters.: (H-HR)/ (AB - SO - HR + SF) "

2007-07-16 22:53:11
34.   Greg Brock
27 Steve Phillips thinks Clemens gets poor run support because his teammates are in awe of him, and they try less because they don't need to score as much.

Baseball Tonight needs to be Ravitch, Hershiser, and Gammons. Maybe throw in a little Brian Kinney for the stathead crowd. But that show has become unwatchable.

2007-07-16 22:53:56
35.   underdog
Ah yes, David Thomas Cromer. Tripp - or Roy Bunyan (III) - Cromer played briefly for Houston afterwards. But that was about it.
2007-07-16 22:55:21
36.   underdog
Whose idea was it to cast Hayden Christensen as a Bob Dylan clone in this movie? Sheesh. Mistake.

34 I agree, although Ravitch gets on my nerves sometimes, too. But yeah, I can hardly watch BT when the other guys are on.

2007-07-16 22:56:04
37.   Eric Stephen
I'm not a big Ravetch fan. It seems to me he thinks every home run was hit off a mistake pitch. "Hang 'em and bang 'em."
2007-07-16 22:56:51
38.   bhsportsguy
23 Sorry my numbers were off, forgot to subtract HRs.

Murray's pupils: .288 BABIP
Mueller's pupils: .344 BABIP

2006 Dodgers (Murray's team): .310 BABIP

2007-07-16 22:58:52
39.   Greg Brock
36 When EY is on with Vina, I just punch myself in the face for three minutes instead.

Fernando Vina:

That guy is a hitter
That guy can hit
That guy is a heck of a player
That guy can really swing the bat
That guy is a monster

Thanks, Fernando. That, my friends, is analysis.

2007-07-16 23:01:01
40.   Eric Stephen
39 For a long stretch of time, every BBTN Eric Young was on would show highlights of him against a current player during EY's "analysis". It got old real quick.
2007-07-16 23:02:25
41.   Bob Timmermann
J.R. Henderson lives!

And he's now Japanese!

http://tinyurl.com/35apa5

2007-07-16 23:03:11
42.   NorCalDodger
fanerman, I'm in Berkeley as well.

Does anyone find it amusing that when we send out the third worst starter of ther series (Hendrickson), the Phillies throw out a pitcher with an ERA of almost twice that of our NBA pitcher?

2007-07-16 23:04:45
43.   Sushirabbit
I thought Penny looked OK at first, the strike zone was delayed by about 15 minutes at the airport.

And wow does Kent have a quick swing!

Juan Pierre! (I have to give him credit tonight and the last few games.) Juan Pierre?!? Juan Pierre!

2007-07-16 23:18:48
44.   NorCalDodger
Hey, an important question.

Why doesn't the KFWB 980 website broadcast the radio play-by-play?

2007-07-16 23:23:59
45.   Bob Timmermann
44
Because MLB.com owns the exclusive rights to all online streaming broadcasts of baseball games.
2007-07-16 23:32:03
46.   NorCalDodger
I see. Anyway for an out-of-town fan like me to be able to follow a game without staring at GameDay?
2007-07-16 23:39:59
47.   still bevens
46 Gameday audio has all the radio broadcasts via mlb.com. Its only $10 which aint bad. I pony up the money to listen to the games when Im at the office and during spring training when nothing is on TV. Its worth it.
2007-07-16 23:45:21
48.   natepurcell
Gurnick has edited his Q&A column. it doesn't say promoted to AA anymore.
2007-07-17 00:03:54
49.   Greg Brock
48 BH was just telling me about the Minotaur rumors. I guess it hasn't happened.

I want The Minotaur in Jacksonville!

2007-07-17 00:11:41
50.   Andrew Shimmin
49- I want one start at San Bernardino. After that he can go to Jacksonville, but I want that start. What did I ever do to Flanders that he should deny me this?
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-07-17 00:30:22
51.   natepurcell
TJ on the asking price of Dotel...

For now, though, the Royals probably are asking for either Russell Martin, Matt Kemp or James Loney,

what a joke.

2007-07-17 00:30:31
52.   Jimi Shelter
I also have a radio question. I'm driving to St. George, Utah on Wednesday. Anyone know of a radio station in Nevada I might pick up for the day game? (I know, I'm dreaming.) Thanks!
2007-07-17 01:02:02
53.   The Rabbits Rarely Loose
For now, though, the Royals probably are asking for either Russell Martin, Matt Kemp or James Loney,

what a joke.

that reminds me of D.Wells for Kemp last year.......

2007-07-17 01:10:10
54.   natepurcell
http://www.kansascity.com/sports/royals/story/192744.html

more Dodgers/Dotel talk.

2007-07-17 01:22:56
55.   Eric Enders
52 The Dodgers radio affiliate in Las Vegas is KSFN 1140 AM. Depending on which part of Utah you're going to, you might also be able to pick up games on the Gallup, NM affiliate (1230 AM).
2007-07-17 05:49:10
56.   Andrew Shimmin
When did the theory of bullpens become that one closer was insufficient? The Dodgers have two fantastic relief pitchers, and even that's not enough?
2007-07-17 06:30:36
57.   D4P
56
Of what was that apropos...?
2007-07-17 06:41:21
58.   jtrichey
Someone on another board I frequent that was at the game says that it looked like Penny intentionally did not get loose before the game. Just some tosses in the outfield but not the strenuous bullpen work. Speculated that this was so he would be able to go deeper in the game. The results on the field would match that theory, but that seems like an awfully risky thing to do, esp vs the Phillies. What do you think of that strategy?
2007-07-17 07:48:48
59.   Andrew Shimmin
Maybe it's just idle chatter, but just hearing about a pursuit of Dotel (I don't believe Colletti would entertain giving up Kemp or Loney or LaRoche for him, but even Young is too much for my taste) or Otsuka or Gagne is bizarre to me. I don't get trying to find a replacement seventh inning pitcher for Billingsley. I don't get it in principle, and I don't get it in practice, given that Billingsley came in to pitch just the seventh inning five times total. Can't we have a seventh inning by committee situation? Or, what's Elmer Dessens up to? This is about the time of the year when Colletti's thoughts turn to him. Something free or nothing at all.
2007-07-17 08:01:33
60.   D4P
How nice of ESPN to have their main photo be of the Yankees, with a caption letting me know that "The Yankees are 4-1 since the All-Star break. But just 46-44 overall."
2007-07-17 08:03:25
61.   NPB
I was at the game, and while the three-run homers were awesome and exciting (and it was pretty easy to call Kemp's even before he stepped up to the plate), what impressed me most was the Dodgers' singles hitting. Those little grandma flares into the outfield are no accident. Mueller has done something with these guys. They are GUIDING the balls. Other that the homers, and possibly Nomar's double, there were no hard hits. Pierre seems to be especially benefitting.
2007-07-17 08:07:00
62.   ToyCannon
The best relief pitcher for the Royals has been Joakim Soria who at the age of 18 was Dodger property in 2002. He didn't pitch again in the minors until last year when he shows up 4 years later as property of the Padres who lost him to the Royals in the Rule 5 draft last year.
2007-07-17 08:08:16
63.   D4P
Just listened to Vin's call of Kemp's HR:

"Whoops! Matt Kemp LOWERS the boom!"

2007-07-17 08:35:13
64.   Sushirabbit
63, yeah I was watching that and Kent. I get where I'm kind of focusing on one or two guys, Martin (and Pierre) and then Kent does that and I realize I'd forgotten how good his swing is. Ethier, too.

So, if Hendrickson has a great night tonight (say, 2 ER over 7) does that mean he's better? I'm thinking he has it in him and that maybe he IS improving... but like Pierre and Tomko it's hard to have much confidence.

2007-07-17 08:37:52
65.   D4P
64
When someone hasn't been very good for most/all of their career, I don't interpret a sudden hot streak to mean that they've suddenly "figured it out". Most players (good and bad) have relative hot and cold streaks, and it's incumbent upon Management to understand that and act accordingly.

I'm not convinced that our Management possesses such understanding.

2007-07-17 08:49:31
66.   still bevens
65 How do you feel about Beimel then? Has he just been lucky for a season and a half? Im not being critical, I'm just curious. His numbers aren't amazing, but his move to first and his uncanny ability to induce comebackers seems to have added something to his recent success at an old(er) age.
2007-07-17 08:58:48
67.   D4P
66
Funny you should ask. I just looked at Beimel's stats, and the biggest change in recent years seems to be that he's not walking as many batters as he used to. Coincidentally, there's an article on Dodgers.com about how he's more confident now and challenges hitters more than in the past.
2007-07-17 09:01:30
68.   FirstMohican
"...and his uncanny ability to induce comebackers"

Steiner???

2007-07-17 09:02:22
69.   Sushirabbit
64, I'm with you, I'm glad we had Hendrickson, though, because he's done a decent job where Schmidt, Wolf and Kuo have been injured and not so great. Only Bills has done better with at least 60 IP. And it's hard to believe but Seanez is right there with Billingsley. (Shuddders)
2007-07-17 09:03:32
70.   Jimi Shelter
52 The Dodgers radio affiliate in Las Vegas is KSFN 1140 AM.

Great. Thanks!

2007-07-17 09:04:10
71.   CanuckDodger
Like I have said before, I don't think we should be looking to bring in another player, or players, through trade. And the notion that we need another "name" reliever is just silly. But I am starting to warm to the idea of a Dotel-for-Delwyn trade, just as long as we give up ONLY Delwyn Young. And really, it has nothing to do with what we would be getting.

Ever since Young was moved from 2B to an outfield corner, I have known that Delwyn has no chance of ever being a starter in a Dodger line-up. And yet, I think Delwyn is exactly the kind of minor league sleeper that a non-contending team should allow 500 AB's (at league minimum) just to see what he can do. As far as Young being a bench player for the Dodgers, I don't think that would work. He is too streaky a hitter to be effective in a pinch hitting role, and he is no defensive specialist. No, Young has to start, and it won't be with us, so I want him to get a shot on a sad sack team without much in the way of better options. The Royals would fit the bill perfectly.

2007-07-17 09:05:34
72.   Sushirabbit
Sorry, That's based on ERA+ at Baseball Reference.com . . . So . . . take that for what it's worth.
2007-07-17 09:06:37
73.   Retire 55
Hello fellow Berkeleyites!

We should really have a designated Dodgers bar in Berkeley/the East Bay. The way red sox fans tend to take over a bar in every city west of Denver.

2007-07-17 09:15:53
74.   Sushirabbit
Ah well, 2007 so far:
Pitcher / IP / ERA+

Penny / 123.7 / 188
Lowe / 133 / 144
Billingsley / 60.7 / 134
Hendrickson / 80.3 / 112
Wolf / 102.7 / 93
Tomko / 72 / 75

Broxton / 47 / 163
Seanez / 42.3 / 147

courtesy baseball-reference.com
http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/LAD/2007.shtml

Not that that tells us much other than to maybe worry about Seanez being signed for 3 years. :-)

2007-07-17 09:17:12
75.   underdog
73 Are San Franciscan Dodger fans invited? ;-)

63 I was laughing too hard during that call to type anything here about it. Vin was telling an off topic anecdote, had lost his place, was recovering right when Kemp lowered the boom. And Vin said, "Whooops!" That's all. Priceless.

I wouldn't mind acquiring Dotel, because I think the Dodgers could use a little more depth in the pen (but couldn't Meloan provide that? I guess they want "veteran-ness"...) But agree, they shouldn't give up much to get him. I guess teams figure, it can't hurt to ask for the moon, but really... Kemp? Loney? C'mon. Too bad we can't still trade them Mitch Jones.

2007-07-17 09:17:59
76.   blue22
61 - But if they're not hitting the ball hard, does that necessarily bode well for the future? To me, the best indicator for continued hitting success is line drive %. Bloopers and "ground balls with eyes" tend to become outs more often than not.
2007-07-17 09:19:18
77.   NorCal-Dodger
13 Ok...originality with your blog screen name....but I'm glad I've 'dashed' to it first.

;-)

2007-07-17 09:19:29
78.   D4P
Could KC use another centerfielder...?
2007-07-17 09:21:20
79.   Samuel
73

Are Berkeley alums who are residing in the South Bay invited too?

2007-07-17 09:26:46
80.   fanerman
79, 73
I'm actually a Berkeley alum, too. I'm just hanging around Berkeley awhile longer.
2007-07-17 09:28:42
81.   blue22
Some combo of Tomko, Hendrickson, Wolf, Kuo, and/or Houlton is going to have to fill two rotation spots for the rest of the year. That's more worrisome to me than who to add to the group of Saito, Broxton, Beimel, and Seanez coming out of the pen.
2007-07-17 09:29:29
82.   regfairfield
So we're trying to improve the one part of the team that doesn't have glaring flaws?
2007-07-17 09:34:23
83.   fanerman
Actually I've been having some separation anxiety with Vin. Is there a way to be able to listen in on the games while being out of SoCal? What's the cheapest way?
2007-07-17 09:36:13
84.   Samuel
83

Find a friend with an MLB.tv account. That's how I survived the last two years in Berkeley.

2007-07-17 09:36:22
85.   Kevin Lewis
Well, time in the AMPM Pavilion was well spent. I don't think I would do it again, but it was worth the experience. I am concerned about the jumbo-tron giving James Loney the nickname "J-Lo". Someone needs to be fired over that one.
2007-07-17 09:38:02
86.   D4P
83
MLB audio is only 14.95 per season. The TV version is much more expensive. The drawback with audio is you only get Vin for the first 3 innings, then have to suffer through at least 5.5 innings of Steinday.
2007-07-17 09:50:29
87.   underdog
It's true, I think the Dodgers still need to be focused on figuring out the back end of the starting rotation more than the bullpen.

On the other hand, hey, now that they have Odalis Perez, maybe KC needs a Brett Tomko to round out their rotation.

2007-07-17 09:50:41
88.   blue22
82 - Are you saying the rotation doesn't have glaring flaws? Just trying to understand what you're saying there...
2007-07-17 09:55:17
89.   D4P
88
He's saying that

1. the bullpen is the only part of the team that doesn't have glaring flaws
2. we're trying to improve it
3. we're dumb for trying to improve it instead of improving the parts of the team with glaring flaws

2007-07-17 10:04:00
90.   blue22
89 - Thanks. I couldn't tell if he was responding to my post right above. It would be easier and cheaper to add an arm to the pen, but the overall impact to the team would be probably be minimal.

I was looking at Jose Contreras as a possible trade option, but he's still under contract until 2009 at $10M per. Probably wouldn't take a whole lot to get him, but he comes with a lot of baggage.

2007-07-17 10:05:54
91.   regfairfield
89 I put absolutely no faith in Rosenthal, but if the Dodgers want a reliever, I would hope they'd try out Meloan first.
2007-07-17 10:06:18
92.   regfairfield
90 No, that was just a general musing not directed at you.
2007-07-17 10:08:05
93.   twerp
There's been talk here--some by me--of maybe reacquiring Gagne if he'd agree to a role other than closer. He's not the force he was, but he's still effective and his experience and savvy would be very welcome. And talk about energizing the Dodger fan base, even though many of them wouldn't understand why he wasn't closing...

But it came to me--and should have earlier--that his contract has incentives that are bound to include things like number of saves. So he hardly can agree to nullify his contract and not close. (Even if he were amenable to something different--yeah, right--Boras wouldn't go for it.)

Duh. Double duh, maybe even triple. {dons dunce cap, takes spot in corner}

2007-07-17 10:09:00
94.   Jon Weisman
I'm almost done with a post about the bullpen ... stand by.
2007-07-17 10:16:10
95.   ToyCannon
I don't think he's dumb for trying to improve it for the following reason. It will be easier to find a high quality RP then a starting pitcher. Other then Millwood/Bush I don't see one possible SP who is better then what we have for the price that is available. So we will have to live with the rotation options that we currently have, which means we will only be getting about 5 innings 2/5 of the time. Thus it would behoove us to make the bullpen bulletproof. If we can lock down games from the 6th inning on it can only help. Just because it is a strength today does not mean it will be a strength tomorrow if we leave it alone. Meloan could very well be the answer so I'm not advocating a trade but I am advocating getting bullpen help however necessary. Without Billingsley and Tsao and the drop in production due to the impending injury to Seanez I don't see the bullpen as that much of a strength for the middle inning work that is going to be needed as we hit Aug/Sept. Doesn't anyone remember last Sept when the bullpen was just completely worn down because the rotation couldn't pitch deep into games?
2007-07-17 10:20:52
96.   DXMachina
I don't get the fixation on the bullpen, either. I have to admit I'm surprised that Seanez has done so well, but the only guy out there that makes me cringe when he comes in is Tomko. And even he's better than a couple of the guys who were out there last year.

The problem with trying to find a decent starter is that everyone else is looking, too. Maybe the idea of looking for bullpen help is that it gives Grady extra options should one of the back end starters melt down early in a game. If that's the reasoning, and if Meloan is ready, why go outside the organization?

2007-07-17 10:22:39
97.   DXMachina
Or what ToyCannon said. :)
2007-07-17 10:23:01
98.   Jon Weisman
95 - Your comment would be perfect for my new post up top.
2007-07-17 10:24:07
99.   regfairfield
95 True, but this is the bullpen we're talking about. Unless we're getting a true lights out arm, how much of a difference can one pitcher make in 20 innings versus a guy like Eric Hull?

According to VORP, the difference between Saito and Seanez at this point is only six runs, I imagine the gap between Dotel and Hull would be even less over the course of two months, even without counting the general randomness of middle relief.

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