Baseball Toaster Dodger Thoughts
Monthly archives: September 2002


Barry, Barry, Barry. What to
2002-09-18 11:35
by Jon Weisman

Barry, Barry, Barry. What to do about Barry - that's the big question these days. (That, and will the Dodgers have any starting pitching remaining by the end of the season?)

I don't think you can adopt a universal rule for whether you pitch to Barry Bonds or not. I do agree that when in doubt, you should probably walk him. But before you decide to walk him at any moment the game is in doubt, even with the bases empty or the bases full, you have to consider the hidden cost of walking him intentionally. Not only does it obviously insure an extra runner on base that can now score on a double, but it also insures that Barry will keep coming up sooner and sooner. Also, it does seem to be hard for pitchers to settle down and execute their pitches to the next hitter after throwing Barry four wide ones.

But he is just something. He has come as close to simply mastering the game of baseball as any hitter I've ever seen. Seeing him at the plate is like watching Calvin Murphy at the free-throw line - it just looks automatic. Believe what you want about steroids and the like, but there is no accounting for how well he sees the ball and times his swing other than pure greatness.

He's still overrated as an defensive player, though!

After Hideo Nomo threw 132
2002-09-13 08:56
by Jon Weisman

After Hideo Nomo threw 132 pitches in the Dodgers' victory over San Francisco on Wednesday, players, coaches and reporters raved at his toughness. In response to the concept that throwing more than 120 pitches in a game has increasingly been proven to have a potentially harmful effect, these people all cited the fact that Nomo had exceeded the mark in Japan often, including a 191-pitch, 16-walk complete game. What they don't seem to remember is that Nomo's arm then went dead in the late-1990s, causing him to be released by the Dodgers and later by the Cubs.

I can't be the judge of whether this one-time pushing of Nomo will have a harmful effect, but I would feel better if the people closer to him were at least cognizant of the risk. The harm won't come in the game he throws the 132 pitches - it would come after.

So, are the Dodgers going
2002-09-10 13:01
by Jon Weisman

So, are the Dodgers going to be the kind of team that can withstand two head injuries, one of them major, and make the playoffs after seeing a 4 1/2-game lead in the wild card eliminated in about a week? Can they make the playoffs when forced to use injured millionaires, long relievers and/or minor-league pitchers in the starting rotation?

I have to say, I'm curious to find out. It's very interesting to me.

It has to be said that the hitting has been very shaky. Paul Lo Duca is not getting on base much at all, and his value on offense has dropped to an Eric Karros level, which isn't good. In Lo Duca's defense (literally and figuratively), he plays a much more important defensive position than Karros does. So it was tough to take last night when the Dodgers managed to score five runs, only to have the usually reliable pitching give up six. I cried out in frustration when Lo Duca's bid for a ninth-inning, game-tying single barely found the glove of Jeff Kent.

But I'm not depressed, yet...

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