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About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

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
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
8) making the same point over and over again
9) typing "no-hitter" or "perfect game" to describe either in progress
10) being annoyed by the existence of this list
11) commenting under the obvious influence
12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

Hey, Wait a Minute: Jones Is Dodgers' Hottest Hitter
2008-04-21 13:41
by Jon Weisman

Believe it or not, chalk it up as a reflection of the team or not, but Andruw Jones leads the Dodgers in OPS for the past seven days. His 1.119 surpasses even Rafael Furcal's 1.109. Jeff Kent is at .974 and another early season slumper, Russell Martin is close behind at .964.

Unfortunately for the Dodgers, this coincided with a 3-for-23, zero-walk slump by James Loney, as well as a combined .536 OPS from third basemen Blake DeWitt and Nomar Garciaparra.

Jones has seven strikeouts in his past 23 plate appearances, including three on Sunday, but he also has had two singles, two doubles, a triple, a homer and four walks. It's a reminder (that we often advance on behalf of a player like Matt Kemp) not to focus completely on how a batter makes an out. Just because he can look awful at certain times doesn't mean he's awful all the time.

What this means for the future, I don't know. Hopefully, good things.

* * *

The Dodgers have scored exactly one run in three consecutive games. The Los Angeles Dodger record is five games, by the 1968 team from May 10-14. Second on that list: the 1968 Dodgers, who followed their record-setting streak with a four-game streak May 18-20. Here are their run totals for the entire 12-game period: 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 3, 0, 6, 1, 1, 1, 1. They had three 1-0 victories in that time, two won by Don Drysdale and the other in the 12th inning by Mudcat Grant in relief of Don Sutton.

Trivia: Who hit the only home run for the Dodgers during that 12-game drought?
(Hint: I've metioned his name on this site recently.)

* * *

Something else I didn't know: Wes Parker batted leadoff for the Dodgers more than 100 times. Have I ever mentioned how much I love

* * *

Dodgers at Reds, 4:10 p.m.

Comments (346)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-04-21 13:50:52
1.   bhsportsguy
Jon has done all the work to answer that question, just a click away, so to speak.
2008-04-21 13:53:02
2.   trainwreck
When we did our season predictions, I felt we would start slow. I still believe we will start to click in a month when LaRoche returns and I think we call up the Minotaur.
2008-04-21 13:53:12
3.   Daniel Zappala
I think some people are being a little harsh on Tony Jackson. See my comment after Jon's NPUT in the previous thread.
2008-04-21 13:55:08
4.   dzzrtRatt
It's probably not Joe Thurston, Steve Garvey or Ray Milland.

Jim Gilliam?

2008-04-21 13:55:29
5.   Bill Crain
This stat tells me way less about Andruw's recent performance than it does about the limitations of OPS. OBP and SLG stated separately are far more useful. If you're going to combine them they ought to be multiplied instead of added.

I'm not even touching the issue of how much more heavily OBP should be weighted.

2008-04-21 13:58:16
6.   underdog
3 Probably were being too hard on Jackson, especially since he adds that caveat, as you mention. But re point #2) Chin-lung Hu is not quite "wasting away" - he's getting some pretty decent playing time subbing, especially for Jeff Kent. Could argue that Delwyn Young is wasting away more, but there's nowhere else to put him. And as for point 3) I really don't think there are 15 other teams interested in Juan Castro, but, again, at least he includes a hedge.
2008-04-21 14:00:11
7.   Xeifrank
I see Tony Jackson wants us to get Juan Castro so Hu can get playing time in the minors. vr, Xei
2008-04-21 14:01:24
8.   Jon Weisman
5 - Jones' OBP in the period is .435, second on the team behind Furcal. His slugging is .684, first on the team. I don't deny that OPS is a quick and dirty stat with a fundamental flaw, but the first part of your comment is off-target - his OPS is not misleading.
2008-04-21 14:01:37
9.   Marty
I think we should get Raul Castro.
2008-04-21 14:03:54
10.   Xeifrank
5/8. I don't see the problem, especially when we are looking at such small sample sizes. The usage of OPS is not the problem and the small sample size is just something Jon is having fun with and using to make a point. vr, Xei
2008-04-21 14:05:17
11.   heato
From ItD...

Furcal, SS
Martin, C
Nomar, 3B
Kent, 2B
Ethier, LF
Kemp, RF
Loney, 1B
Jones, CF
Penny, P

2008-04-21 14:06:26
12.   trainwreck
I get the sense that Joe Torre plays a lot of Jenga.
2008-04-21 14:06:49
13.   Xeifrank
11. Thanks. :)
Jones hitting 8th and Nomar 3rd. Not that batting order makes much of a difference, but those two stand out.
vr, Xei
2008-04-21 14:07:00
14.   Daniel Zappala
6 I agree -- the discussion we should be having is whether it is better to have Hu in the majors, with limited playing time, or in the minors, but with a very poor utility infielder. Jackson has not just one but three or four caveats in his blog posting, and I think the previous thread was overreacting way too much.
2008-04-21 14:07:03
15.   fanerman
Uh-oh. Look who's hitting 3rd.
2008-04-21 14:09:07
16.   D4P
If Nomar told Torre he's ready to bat third, who's to say otherwise...?
2008-04-21 14:09:34
17.   Daniel Zappala
11 If batting order doesn't matter much, then the only quibble is DeWitt/Nomar, and that's a minor battle right now. The rest of the offense just needs to hit more. I'm not going to be worried about the 3B battle until LaRoche is healthy.
2008-04-21 14:10:31
18.   Marty
Torre does seem to treat his lineups like he's playing pick-up-stix.
2008-04-21 14:11:23
19.   Jon Weisman
12 - I don't know if that comment makes sense, but it made me laugh.
2008-04-21 14:11:49
20.   Doctor
"Torre said the constantly changing lineups aren't a reflection on this team, as he did the same when managing the New York Yankees.

"I did a lot of changing around," he said. "Maybe that's why I'm not there anymore. Not that I'm starting to talk about it, maybe I screwed it up.""

- the guy sounds broken down, i hope that was just a wierd quote.

2008-04-21 14:13:06
21.   Ken Noe
He just doesn't look ready to me but...oh what the heck, I'll bat him third tonight.
2008-04-21 14:14:09
22.   Disabled List
I'd just as soon add Fidel Castro to the roster.
2008-04-21 14:14:24
23.   underdog
Where people are batting in the order today is less important to me than the fact that, except for Nomar, that is exactly the line-up I want out there. If that line-up can't hit in Cincy, then they are really in a prolonged and mysterious funk.

Well, as Cher said in "Moonstruck" after she slapped Nicolas Cage, "SNAP OUT OF IT!"

(That will be the only time I ever quote Cher here or anywhere.)

2008-04-21 14:14:24
24.   bhsportsguy
20 I believe Joe is joking around.
2008-04-21 14:15:19
25.   blue22
15 - Nevermind 3rd, look who's 8th!!!
2008-04-21 14:15:45
26.   Daniel Zappala
21 If only the order of the paragraphs in a paper or chapters in a book didn't matter...
2008-04-21 14:15:48
27.   Bill Crain
Okay, what I'm really saying is that it's my impression that Andruw swung at everything until it reached the point that no one would throw him a strike. I think he clearly adjusted to that by laying off everything that wasn't fat. As a result, OBP jumped off the chart because of a very uncharacteristic walk rate. SLG, on the other hand, is more like Andruw of old.

Not to denigrate his recent performance, cause that's how you're supposed to hit, after all. But I think he's very soon gonna start seeing a lot more stuff aimed at the paint. Now, that's all just my observation, and it may not be correct. But for the stat to acquire the power of language it has to reflect the reality of the game. This case, I don't think OPS does it very well.

2008-04-21 14:16:12
28.   wronghanded
No spring training and less than 100% health make Nomar the perfect candidate to bat #3
2008-04-21 14:16:48
29.   Jon Weisman
9 - Fidel's a free agent now, right?
2008-04-21 14:16:59
30.   Eric Stephen
12 ,19
I think the comment fits, in this way: Torre is taking a piece from the bottom of the lineup (Nomar) and putting it near the top, in hopes that the lineup won't crumble. :)
2008-04-21 14:17:06
31.   Jon Weisman
22 - Dang it!
2008-04-21 14:17:16
32.   LogikReader
Xei, what is the "scoring more than 1 run" probability, according to your resources?
2008-04-21 14:19:27
33.   blue22
27 - I'm following you on Andruw's seasonal trend so far - first few games, nothing but flailing away at offspeed down and away...adjustment made, stop swinging at that junk, walks go he seems overmatched by fastballs since he's not "expecting" them though he's hit a few balls well. Next adjustment is to hammer fastballs while continuing to lay off the junk away (which would be a nice trick, I guess).

But I'm not sure how that invalidates the usage of OPS here.

2008-04-21 14:19:53
34.   Xeifrank
32. hmmmm, good question. I don't calculate stuff like that but I am re-running my sim based on the Nomar jump in the lineup.
vr, Xei
2008-04-21 14:19:56
35.   D4P
I'd just as soon drop Juan Pierre from the roster
2008-04-21 14:25:11
36.   fanerman
27 He's also hitting .316. The only argument I see about OPS not telling the entire picture is that Andruw also has 7 strikeouts in 19 AB (plus 4 walks), drawing whatever conclusions you can about someone striking out a lot. It's one thing to say that his performance may not be sustainable, but I'm not sure how you can say that OPS doesn't tell the entire picture here. Jon wasn't arguing that Andruw can sustain this for an entire season. All he's saying (I think) is just that Andruw's hit the ball well for the last week, and OPS seems to indicate that more or less.
2008-04-21 14:26:01
37.   Kevin Lewis

I just read the chapter on batting order in "Baseball Between the Numbers". Didn't Bill James argue for batting your worst obp guy 3rd and the rest doesn't matter? If so, Nomar is a great pick for batting 3rd.

2008-04-21 14:27:53
38.   Jon Weisman
27 - I think it reflects pretty accurately that Andruw has in reality been much more productive than people are giving him credit for.

Nothing personal - really, I don't want this to have anything but a conversational tone - but are you looking at his numbers at all before you write your comments?

In his career, Jones has walked in 10 percent of his plate appearances. In the past week, Jones has walked in 17 percent of his plate appearances. Basically, Jones walked 1.5 times more last week than you'd expect.

Your comment suggests that his OPS increase was tied up in an uncharacteristic jump in his walk rate. This couldn't be much farther from the truth.

There are two separate issues here. One is the merits of OPS, which no one is really arguing. The other is the discussion of Jones' performance on the past week, and what I'm seeing is exactly what I'm kinda fighting against - forming conclusions based on inaccurate impressions.

It's not like I haven't seen Jones flailing at a lot of pitches. But the fact is, over the past week, he's been taking enough pitches to improve his walk rate slightly, while also making good contact with the pitches he has swung at. He has not been a good hitter over the past week - he's been great. We can try to rationalize to fit into the collective 2008 image of him flailing at everything, but isn't it more accurate to note that, at least until Sunday, he had really snapped out of his slump?

2008-04-21 14:28:10
39.   Eric Enders
23 If you want to escape the stigma of quoting Cher, you could just say you were quoting John Patrick Shanley.
2008-04-21 14:29:27
40.   Xeifrank
37. We are talking a small number of runs per game (as in small fractions) to be gained by proper batting order. There are many studies/models out there about batting order and the runs they generate. It's an area of study that needs more refinement imo. vr, Xei
2008-04-21 14:34:39
41.   Eric Enders
Most of that is spot on, but I'm not quite ready to proclaim that Jones has snapped out of his slump. His walks are probably a result of scouting reports -- for the first 10 games, the word was out that he was swinging at almost literally everything, and that you didn't have to throw him strikes to get him out. So pitchers started to throw him nothing remotely resembling strikes. To his credit, he adjusted, and turned those bad pitches into walks. Now that he's doing that, the pitchers will adjust back, and start throwing him better pitches. Whether he actually starts hitting those better pitches will tell us if he's out of his slump or not.
2008-04-21 14:34:56
42.   Eric Enders
That was supposed to refer to 38.
2008-04-21 14:35:11
43.   Michael D
I really hope this isn't the start of another bat Nomar 3rd half the year death march.

I know it's early but the fact that we're in last place and behind the Giants which we all like point and laugh at is just crushing my soul right now.

2008-04-21 14:35:26
44.   Marty
Torre hasn't gone all LaRussa on us yet though.
2008-04-21 14:36:19
45.   Bob Timmermann
28 is what Dodger Thoughts would be like if we were all working in the hotel from "The Shining". Just repeat it over and over.

Red Rum!

2008-04-21 14:38:12
46.   Xeifrank
45. Hey, that's not fair. History chat or Movie chat. Pick one! You can't do both. :)
vr, Xei
2008-04-21 14:38:15
47.   cargill06
nomar hitting 3rd what a monstrousity.
2008-04-21 14:38:54
48.   Eric Enders
Does the fact that batting order doesn't matter excuse Torre? I mean, it's fairly certain that he thinks the batting order matters, and yet here he is batting his worst hitter third. Regardless of the impact that has or doesn't have, it's hard to fathom the thought process which leads to batting Nomar third, and it raises the possibility that other, more important decisions may be made with the same nonsensicality.
2008-04-21 14:39:05
49.   D4P
I'm just glad that no one is trying to argue that Andruw's HR indicates that his year+ long slump is over.
2008-04-21 14:40:21
50.   Bob Timmermann
I guess Xeifrank doesn't want to join the permanent staff.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-04-21 14:41:24
51.   Marty
Pulp Fiction if Shakespeare wrote it:

2008-04-21 14:42:58
52.   Sushirabbit
Rough weekend. Now I leave Tivo in the twisted Gods of Selig's hands (I'm technically in reds territory but Sports South carries it-- speaking of, does Vin still goto Cincy?)

I will be trying to teach my young one not to pull the ball.

3 Dog Night is as underrated now as ABBA was before that Musical. Somebody write a musical on 'em, quick. Hutton's a LA dude with Irish heritage, too!

Anybody here involved with the Motorhead record?

Don't forget to have some tires handy to burn tomorrow. (<- spoken in Andrew voice)

2008-04-21 14:43:30
53.   Eric Enders
51 That's fantastic. My favorite:
J: English, base knave, dost thou speak it?
B: Aye!
J: Then hearken to my words and answer them!
Describe to me Marsellus Wallace!
2008-04-21 14:43:45
54.   Bill Crain
No, it really is just OPS I'm complaining about. I'm not reaching any conclusions at all. I'm saying there are none yet to reach.

I think the only place we differ is that I would say 10% to 17% is a really significant increase in walk rate--or would be, if the sample size weren't uselessly small--and that increase is pretty closely reflective of what I thought I was watching.

As I said, I'm not knocking his performance; he's reacting exactly the way you're supposed to.

2008-04-21 14:44:17
55.   underdog
39 Good point! I wanted people to visualize the scene but I do like to credit those screenwriters. I'll never refer to Cher again unless it's from her character in "Stuck On You."

My only defense of Nomar batting third is that maybe he's just trying to get him going? I don't know, maybe he feels more comfortable there, psychologically? Otherwise I don't really get it either. I know we don't want to rush Andy LR, but I sure do hope to see him starting in a month.

2008-04-21 14:45:31
56.   Bob Timmermann
Vin doesn't do Cincinnati. Just the NL West and Anaheim.
2008-04-21 14:46:30
57.   Jon Weisman
48 - I'm sure it's the get-him-going, jump-start a slumping hitter theory. Dubious, of course.

41 - "Now that he's doing that, the pitchers will adjust back, and start throwing him better pitches."

I'm not convinced Jones is completely out of his slump - though I'm guessing he's done batting .100. But I'm not sure about this one statement. Is the theory that Jones has only been seeing pitches miles out of the strike zone or fastballs down the middle, that pitchers have gone out of their way not to throw him anything in between? I suppose it's possible, but it seems pretty unfair as theories go. And in any case, at least he's hit the fastballs. I'm sure Furcal has hit a fastball or two as well.

I don't really want to be the site's regular Jones defender, but I don't see why we can't give the guy some credit when credit is due.

2008-04-21 14:46:32
58.   MollyKnight
The Jenga comment absolutely makes sense.
2008-04-21 14:47:21
59.   Bill Crain
Yeah, that's exactly what I think I've been seeing.
2008-04-21 14:48:09
60.   NWdodger
38-Jones has a problem being competitive during each at bat. He is one of the best at turning mistakes into runs however good pitchers have found him to be an easy out recently. Strike outs or pop ups with runners in scoring position have been a major issue for this team. I'd rather see a line out double play than one of Nomar's pop ups in foul territory with someone on third.
2008-04-21 14:48:49
61.   Jon Weisman
54 - I hear what you're saying. But if Jones had walked in 10 percent of his plate appearances last week, his OBP would be .361 and his OPS would be 1.045, which I think we would all take.
2008-04-21 14:49:02
62.   wronghanded
45 redrum indeed!
2008-04-21 14:51:54
63.   DodgerOkie88
Hi all.

Not sure if this has been said, but is Jones a 3 true outcomes type of player?

2008-04-21 14:52:24
64.   Bill Crain
pitchers have gone out of their way not to throw him anything in between

I'd say it's not even a theory at this point, more of an hypothesis.

But, yes, that's what it's looked like to date. And yes, he has nailed the fastballs. No question credit is due.

2008-04-21 14:53:05
65.   underdog
I was thinking we could start calling Nomar Slappy McPop instead and then call Pierre Dribbly McForceout.
2008-04-21 14:55:12
66.   Jon Weisman
58 - I guess I don't get it because isn't Jenga about pulling things out of a stack? How does that relate to sticking Nomar third or whatever?

60 - So what I'm hearing from you guys is that Jones only hits easy pitches, while all the other Dodger hitters get hard pitches, so when they get hits (if they get hits), those are for real.

I'm sorry, I'm just not following the logic.

2008-04-21 14:57:19
67.   Jon Weisman
If even an abysmally slumping Jones has forced pitchers to throw enough fastballs for him to slug .684, I think that must bode well somehow. But I guess we'll see.
2008-04-21 14:58:39
68.   wronghanded
66 In Jenga you pull pieces out of the lower part of the tower and stack them in a higher position, making the once higher pieces positioned lower.
2008-04-21 14:59:11
69.   Daniel Zappala
66 All the pieces are the same, so the order in which you stack them doesn't matter.
2008-04-21 15:04:36
70.   Eric Enders
66 , 67 I'm not trying to make this theory complicated and involved. I'm just saying, it seems obvious from watching his at-bats this past week that pitchers are going out of their way to give Jones breaking pitches that are two feet outside and in the dirt. I don't see any of the other Dodgers being pitched that way.

Sometimes, the pitch is not two feet outside, and he hits it real hard.

2008-04-21 15:05:30
71.   El Lay Dave
65 JP is the Fielder's Cherce.
2008-04-21 15:05:50
72.   Gen3Blue
The Dodgers line-up as put up in 12 from ITD. But for one thing, it makes sense if you consider the current status of each player.(for instance you would like to see Loney higher, but he seems baffled in the last few games) But Nomar third!! What on earth is that about!
2008-04-21 15:07:41
73.   Bill Crain
1.045? Sure, I'll take that. But I'll still be complaining that, by itself, it didn't tell me very much about what actually happened. :-)

I'll really be happy if Andruw draws 100 walks, but I'm more comfortable hoping for 40 homers.

2008-04-21 15:08:06
74.   El Lay Dave
51 Man, and there is even to something even, uh, more, and still in progress.
2008-04-21 15:11:01
75.   ToyCannon
Nomar has an OPS of 364 when batting 8th. That is right, 364!!!
2008-04-21 15:13:52
76.   fanerman
51 Hilarious!
2008-04-21 15:15:27
77.   Jon Weisman
70 - Right. I agree. He's gotten a lot of balls, and he's jumped on some mistakes. But it's not as if the mistakes will stop coming, or that any hitter in baseball doesn't benefit from mistakes.

I guess what it boils down to is the suggestion that Jones has gotten easier pitches to hit than other batters - even though he's been swinging at everything.

2008-04-21 15:18:34
78.   El Lay Dave
74 ... there is a link to something ... sheesh.
2008-04-21 15:19:24
79.   JoeyP
Penny should give Druw plenty of protection.
2008-04-21 15:19:57
80.   Jon Weisman
And how does this all relate to Matt Kemp, whom I adore, but who is more of a free-swinger than Jones?
2008-04-21 15:21:03
81.   bhsportsguy
All the stats and observations lead me to the conclusion that a "perfect storm" of events is taking place right now on the Dodgers.

1. Nearly everyone is pressing. Outside of Furcal, who has been playing well since ST, and maybe Ethier and Kent, all the rest of the players are trying to do too much. Whether its contract related, pride, inexperience or whatever, the fact that this team just can't hit when someone is on base has to be somewhat related to trying to do things that they are not capbable of doing right now.
2. I'm worried about Matt Kemp. Not because of the daily game of whether or not he plays, its his approaches at the plate. Maybe its fitting square peg into a round hole but he seems to try and pull everything, he gets behind in the count (some believe because he's not getting any calls) but that usually leads to a ground ball to the left side, often rolling over on an outside pitch. He has to start working counts and getting pitches to drive rather than defensive swings that lead to ground balls.
3. Is Russell overdue for his slump now? Maybe, but lets wait another month or so to call that conclusion.
4. Jones' struggles overshadows dark hole at 3B. Despite "The Solution's" fine play in the field and good plate discipline, the fact remains that the Dodgers need better production there. Personally I think the solution is starting his rehab assignment but the Dodgers won't win unless that is fixed in the next few months.
5. Starters have pitch with better command, shorter innings. For the last week or so, the pattern has been for starters to have one bad inning that blows up the game, plus none have lasted into the 7th in over a week.
6. The Dodgers won't win if Saito and Broxton go 4-5 games without meaningful appearances.

I know this stuff isn't that revealing but is a collection of what I have seen over the first 3 weeks of the season.

2008-04-21 15:22:11
82.   bhsportsguy
2 Square peg/round hole comment is aimed at the Dodgers trying to take more pitches this year.
2008-04-21 15:22:24
83.   El Lay Dave
Andruw Jones hasn't batted eighth since 1998, when was 21 years old.
2008-04-21 15:24:30
84.   JoeyP
Its just strange that the Dodgers have tried to take more pitches this year, but the more pitches havent resulted in the team walking more.

Pierre, Kemp, and Kent have combined for 5 walks on the entire season.

2008-04-21 15:28:14
85.   overkill94
You guys are forgetting about Nomar's prior success against Matt Belisle. How could you not put the guy with the 1.000 OPS in the third spot?

What's that you say? It was a single in two at-bats? Never mind then.

2008-04-21 15:28:47
86.   fanerman
74 I will be keeping an eye on that.
2008-04-21 15:30:16
87.   JoeyP
Obviously Martin/Druw will improve.
Furcal will get worse.

Kent, Loney, Ethier, Pierre are hitting about where I think they will for the entire season.

If the offense is to improve, Kemp's going to have to get hot (take walks), and LaRoche needs to come back with power at 3b.

If those things dont happen, you're looking at a .500 team that will finish 10 games or so out of 1st place IMO. Replacing the 5th starter with Kershaw by June could give the team a bump of +5 over .500 I think.

2008-04-21 15:31:41
88.   silverwidow
Have we played the Mariners since that crazy brawl in 2000?
2008-04-21 15:31:59
89.   KG16
48 - I'm sorry, how is it that batting order doesn't matter? I've heard this a few times and it makes absolutely no sense to me.

The higher a player is in the batting order, the more plate appearances he will have. That's been the complaint that we've all had about Pierre, right? He was hitting too high in the order and getting too many ABs in high leverage situations.

2008-04-21 15:32:22
90.   regfairfield
Kershaw would have to be the best pitcher in baseball to do that.
2008-04-21 15:32:24
91.   Jon Weisman
81 - Pretty much in agreement there. I think the one-bad-inning aspect has been a key part of the start of the season.
2008-04-21 15:32:25
92.   skybluestoday
Whoops, didn't see there was new stuff.

LAT'd from last thread:

RE: 333

I never quite got that "Dark Side of the Rainbow" thing -- it seemed awfully arbitrary. Back in film school I used to put on the gunfight-in-the-snowstorm climax from "McCabe & Mrs. Miller" backed with Pink Floyd's "Echoes."

That seemed to work just as well -- maybe even better, with better source material on both fronts.

Editing is like that.

2008-04-21 15:32:28
93.   Bill Crain
The pitches seemed to be getting further and further off the plate. Then, Jones very noticeably stopped swinging. Like the lightbulb went on.

Nothing like this is going on with Kemp. This seems like an outlier, a very extreme example of the normal battle over the strike zone, so extreme that it has been visible on TV.

I think it's just an interesting phenomenon--doesn't relate to anything. But who knows? We don't even have enough numbers yet to be sure it's really happening.

2008-04-21 15:34:09
94.   CodyS
81 I think this comes from Torre taking a flat-out lazy and entitled approach to his job, not preparing AT ALL before the first day of spring training. Couple this with the crazy spring training, and you get Torre clueless about the players, the players clueless about their roles. Spring Training was spent (not even) sorting out who plays where and when. Players did not get a chance to be comfortable and get ready for the season. But the season has started, and here we are. A guy like Kent, he can legitimately blow off spring training, but most other guys could use a warm-up month without worrying too much about how their performance in that month will affect their future.
2008-04-21 15:35:02
95.   Daniel Zappala
90 Yeah, and ... ? He's not the minotaur for nothing.
2008-04-21 15:35:51
96.   Bluebleeder87
11 Joe Torre still remembers the BoSox Nomar...
2008-04-21 15:36:52
97.   Bob Timmermann
The Mariners came to L.A. in 2006 and won 2 of 3.
2008-04-21 15:37:09
98.   Gen3Blue
As contrasted with a player with no power, Jones, even in a slump,seems to be perceived as so dangerous that he still has some value as pitchers occasionally walk him or make mistakes. It seems as if he should be able to figure it out.
2008-04-21 15:37:38
99.   Jon Weisman
89 - That wasn't my complaint with Pierre, and I took pains last year to say it. It's not that your logic is wrong, but the impact of that logic is minimal, according to a number of studies and our friend Xeifrank.

Getting the right players in the lineup is paramount. Everything else is gravy.

2008-04-21 15:41:06
100.   Marty
That would be gravy on the cake.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-04-21 15:42:31
101.   bhsportsguy
94 I agree that the 3-stop tour was unsettling but outside of Jones and Kemp taking a week away from the other guys, Martin, Loney, Ethier, Dewitt, Furcal and all of the pitchers stayed and played under the supervision of the coaching staff (and Tommy).

And I am just not buying into the players not knowing their roles, the guys that are playing now were the guys that were in the lineup for most of spring training outside of Kent and Nomar.

I just think that there is general frustration for the poor start and people start looking for answers when there may not be any except for this is baseball where you fail a lot more than you succeed. Unfortunately for the Dodgers, almost everyone picked this time to fail.

Patience is the key word for the next few weeks.

2008-04-21 15:43:01
102.   trainwreck
I would not really expect Kemp to take more walks.
2008-04-21 15:44:16
103.   silverwidow
LaRoche will provide Minotaur with some DEFENSE during his next start.
2008-04-21 15:44:19
104.   Xeifrank
89. Just what 99 said. It matters, but matters very little. You may see some impact over a 162 game season, but very little in a game. Like Jon said, it's important that the right people play. Of course, off days are needed and people get hurt, that is understandable.

I ran the simulator again with the new lineup. Dodgers win expectancy went from 51.50% to 50.67%, slightly outside of the margin of error (1 stdv). vr, Xei

2008-04-21 15:44:29
105.   KG16
99 - well, that makes little sense to me, but I've more important things to worry about at present
2008-04-21 15:45:06
106.   Icaros

"Echoes" played to the ending sequence of Kubrick's 2001 is my favorite.

2008-04-21 15:45:58
107.   Jon Weisman
Bottom line: Last week, when Jones was pitched outside, he took, and when he was pitched over the plate, he hammered the ball exceptionally, despite the strikeouts. He flamed out in a few big-at bats, but the contrast in approach between last week and how he was in the first week or two is very apparent.

He's been a different hitter, and isn't that the crux of this whole debate? A week ago, some were calling for him to be benched or somehow deployed to the minors. Jones has shown he can still adjust. I find that to be quite important. As Sunday indicates, he'll still have his bad games - and as I defend him, he'll probably go 0 for 5 tonight - but the fact that we've now seen him adapt to circumstances, I think is very relevant.

2008-04-21 15:46:02
108.   El Lay Dave
84 They are walking a little more this season; SSSW, of course.

2007: 12.29 PA/BB (or .081 BB/PA)
2008: 10.45 PA/BB (or .096 BB/PA)

The 2007 Dodgers walked 511 times in 6282 PAs; this year's rate would yield 601 walks, instead. (I have no idea if that's a meaningful increase though.)

2008-04-21 15:46:11
109.   Jon Weisman
100 - You got it!
2008-04-21 15:47:57
110.   bhsportsguy
108 I am sure that 90 more baserunners mean something. I'll let the math people figure that out.
2008-04-21 15:48:32
111.   bhsportsguy
108 Of course, if they get less hits, that might make it a moot point.
2008-04-21 15:51:15
112.   regfairfield
108 About 30 runs or three wins using linear weights.
2008-04-21 15:55:09
113.   El Lay Dave
112 Is that assuming the walks replace outs, hits, or a weighting of both, maybe based on league average BA?

110 -111 I almost wrote something like, "might depend on if the walks are replacing outs or hits."

2008-04-21 15:55:36
114.   Bob Timmermann
The LA Dodgers team record for walks in a season is 668 by the 2000 squad. Sheffield had 101 and Green had 90.

The Brooklyn record is 732 by the 1947 team. Reese walked 104 times, Stanky 103, Walker 97, Robinson 74, and Reiser 68.

2008-04-21 15:55:38
115.   Eric Enders
Re: Differences between Kemp and Andruw. I tend to disagree that Kemp is the freer swinger of the two.

I haven't noticed Kemp swinging at the types of unhittable pitches Andruw does. When Kemp gets pitches like that, he generally lets them go. But he doesn't get very many pitches like that.

The pitches Kemp is swinging and missing on seem to be of the variety that are almost, but not quite, strikes, whereas Jones has had moments when he would probably swing at a pitch even if it was intentionally aimed at the Durham Bull.

One reason Kemp seems to be all screwed up is that someone seems to have advised him to always take the first pitch. Taking more pitches is fine advice in theory, but it only works if you're taking the bad ones and swinging at the good ones. Almost every first pitch that Kemp takes results in strike one, meaning he starts out most of his plate appearances at an 0-1 disadvantage. Sample size caveats apply, but so far this year Kemp has had an 0-1 count in 58% of his plate appearances. Last year, this number was 42%.

2008-04-21 15:55:50
116.   wronghanded
92 Have Dark Side paused immediately after you push play on the CD. Right when the lion roars for a second time (its a little roar if I remember correctly) push play on the CD again. Some pretty cool stuff ensues:

Dorothy screaming during the tornado in unison with the soul singers in track 1

Money plays when Dorothy arrives in Oz and the movie goes to color, the munchkins march to the beat

Black and Blue: pans back and forth between the Wicked Witch and Dorothy during the chorus....Black, black, black (shows witch) and blue, blue, blue (shows Dorothy)

The Lunatic is on the Grass: Dorothy is introduced to the scarecrow during this song, he dances around like he's rockin out to Floyd.

I'm sure that I'm not remembering it all but it's worth a try, I really enjoyed it.

2008-04-21 15:57:24
117.   silverwidow
Which wins more games: An offensive juggernaut or hardcore pitching and defense? The caveat is that each has what the other does not.
2008-04-21 16:00:15
118.   Jon Weisman
This has been a good discussion. For those who occasionally spout that DT readers just fall in line with whatever I say, let's remeber this thread.
2008-04-21 16:01:07
119.   Andrew Shimmin
That sounded like a DT shout out from Steiner, "It was a Lost Weekend for the Dodgers. . ."
2008-04-21 16:01:11
120.   Bob Timmermann
That question is highly dependent upon the type of park the team plays in and how close the competition is.
The 1894 Boston Braves scored the most runs in one season ever: 1220.

They finished in third place, 8 games out.

2008-04-21 16:01:33
121.   LogikReader

The hardcore pitching and defense wins more games. Example: the 2003 Dodgers, and they did not have anything close to an offensive juggernaut

2008-04-21 16:02:00
122.   Bluebleeder87
I'm gonna be bummed if our "Ace" doesn't get us a W.
2008-04-21 16:02:35
123.   LogikReader
Example of the former from 117 : the Texas Rangers or even the Greatest Offense of All Time&trade
2008-04-21 16:02:37
124.   bhsportsguy
117 I am not sure it is that easy a question, the 2003 Dodgers led the league in pitching but could not score. The Phillies have had the best offense in the NL the last couple of years but it took an historic collapse by the Mets for them to win the division.

Boston had one of the top offenses but also lead the league in pitching.

I would say, I guess having a good offense is more fun but its hard to win 7-5 everynight.

2008-04-21 16:02:55
125.   regfairfield
117 The pitching one. A team that scores 700 runs and allows 600 has a better pythagorean than one than scores 1000 and allows 900.
2008-04-21 16:04:52
126.   Xeifrank
125 is right. If you have a team that scores and allows 700 runs per game. You gain more wins by preventing X number of runs than you gain by scoring X number of runs, by the pythagorean stated in 125.
vr, Xei
2008-04-21 16:05:31
127.   wronghanded
118 I think it has been a good day in general, a lot of debate including: Loney and Kemp's upside, the effectiveness of Billingsley, Torre's managment of the roster, Druw's slump or lack there of. Some good stuff, point and counterpoint a lot of which is subjective IMO.
2008-04-21 16:06:28
128.   Xeifrank
118. Yes, tg the previous thread was killed.
vr, Xei
2008-04-21 16:06:55
129.   Bluebleeder87
if we're gonna get out of a slump one would think this is the park to do it.
2008-04-21 16:07:54
130.   bhsportsguy
128 Not a big fan of American Revolution talk.
2008-04-21 16:09:52
131.   El Lay Dave
128 You were the first commenter I thought of when I saw that Jon's entire post was a movie clip.
2008-04-21 16:10:11
132.   Eric Enders
117 Neither style wins more games. The team that has better players win more games.

Nobody ever won a baseball game by playing a certain style. Teams win baseball games by having good players make good plays. The style of play is, in my view, completely irrelevant. You just need good baseball players. It really is that simple.

Look at the Rockies. In the O'Dowd era, they have tinkered with every style of play under the sun. Small ball, defense, high-priced pitching, sluggardly sluggers. None of it worked, until they got a bunch guys on their team that could actually play baseball. Then they won the pennant.

The more one focuses on a style of play being a reason for winning, the further removed one gets from reality. Teams have won World Series with outstanding pitching (1965 Dodgers), extraordinary defense (1914 Braves), incredible hitting (1955 Dodgers), well-rounded teams with no superstars (1998 Yankees), and teams consisting of a couple of superstars plus a bunch of spare parts (1988 Dodgers). You can win with any style.

2008-04-21 16:10:41
133.   fracule
Just a side note pertaining to Jon's original entry.
Don Drysdale was granted a 14-12 record in 1968.
That was a reward for posting a career low 2.15 ERA.
Odalis Perez, you are so uncrummulent.
2008-04-21 16:10:47
134.   Jon Weisman
No other takers on the trivia question?
2008-04-21 16:11:10
135.   madmac
99 104 I'm curious if there are numbers that show how well a player hits when hitting from different spots in the lineup. I suppose there are too many other factors to really make those numbers meaningfull though.

All I know is that in RBI Baseball I would always give my leadoff guy the highest avg. and most speed and no power, with the #2 being similar. #3 good avg, ok speed, but with more power. #4 and #5 guys had no speed so so avg, but had the highest in power. everyone else was even. I could always generate a lot of runs with that configuration.

2008-04-21 16:11:33
136.   Xeifrank
130. I'm a fan. Just not on my favorite baseball blog. :)
131. Yes, I figured that was the case. I made it about 10 seconds into the clip. :)

Go Dodgers!

vr, Xei

2008-04-21 16:11:46
137.   Bluebleeder87
I think I like Furcal when he is healthy.
2008-04-21 16:11:46
138.   Icaros
Pay Raffy!
2008-04-21 16:12:09
139.   Andrew Shimmin
Furry is an animal.
2008-04-21 16:12:15
140.   bhsportsguy
Raffy does what the Dodgers do well, hit with no one base.

But its another leadoff home run for Furcal.

2008-04-21 16:12:24
141.   Eric Enders
134 Did anybody guess Drysdale? I'll guess Drysdale.
2008-04-21 16:13:02
142.   eusmus
I love Matt Belisle
2008-04-21 16:13:35
143.   bhsportsguy
So the team did have a team meeting today.
2008-04-21 16:13:38
144.   Bluebleeder87
I really like it! this is what we needed!!
2008-04-21 16:14:02
145.   bhsportsguy
Mudcat Grant, but I cheated.
2008-04-21 16:14:17
146.   Jon Weisman
Bats, if you've ever wondered
Wondered whatever became of me
We're living on the air in Cincinnati …
2008-04-21 16:14:30
147.   bhsportsguy
Can we score more than one run this inning?
2008-04-21 16:14:35
148.   LogikReader
2008-04-21 16:14:57
149.   bhsportsguy
146 Anything for a Jan Smithers reference.
2008-04-21 16:14:59
150.   Jim Hitchcock
Okay, so the Dodgers have hit Slurpee Status for the first time in years (7-11), but they're about to get hot, in fact, that their new mantra could very well be:

Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun

Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2008-04-21 16:15:02
151.   El Lay Dave
134 I looked it up and was pleased. (I would have wrongly guessed Len Gabrielson, who I knew led the team with a paltry 10.)
2008-04-21 16:15:07
152.   Jon Weisman
Opposite field fun!
2008-04-21 16:15:23
153.   micktissue
Jon, thanks for the perspective on Rudolf and the great clip yesterday. It seems to me Milland is the Dodgers or the other way around even. Given time and treatment the boys will be alright.
2008-04-21 16:15:54
154.   Bluebleeder87

Eusmus, when ever I see your name it reminds me of the movie Osmosis Jones© (2001)

2008-04-21 16:15:57
155.   Bill Crain
That agrees with my impression of Kemp's at-bats. When Kemp makes the appropriate adjustment, you'll see a rise in OPS. When you see that rise, then, to the extent OPS is of any value as a stat, you'll know the adjustment has been made.

To properly understand what has or has not been going on with Andruw, I think you need to look a little closer. If he could sustain his current walk rate that would constitute a whole new level of performance. 17% for 650 PAs = 110; a little too much to hope for. Myself, I'd be happy with the 64,82,70 he put up in 2005-07.

2008-04-21 16:16:28
156.   Jim Hitchcock
Hmmm, that's weird. I posted the above before reading the the thread and spotting the Floyd references.
2008-04-21 16:16:54
157.   Frip
Rick Monday has a nice rich voice and very pleasant manner, too bad he's such a doofis. Otherwise he's got all the tools of a great announcer.
2008-04-21 16:17:04
158.   LogikReader
It would be such a cruel joke if this was the only run the Dodgers scored the whole game.
2008-04-21 16:17:35
159.   bhsportsguy
157 What's the score?
2008-04-21 16:18:13
160.   Bluebleeder87
Matt Belisle is a former reliever (won the starting 5th spot this year) I'm thinking he's gonna run out of gas quick.
2008-04-21 16:18:37
161.   Jon Weisman
155 - I wasn't suggesting that Jones was going to increase his walk rate to 17 percent. I was saying that I don't think it's fair to call his walk rate over the past week uncharacteristically high when all he did was draw basically one extra walk than he normally would have.
2008-04-21 16:19:19
162.   dzzrtRatt
I like this lineup. When Kent comes to bat, there are a lot of good hitters behind him.
2008-04-21 16:19:47
163.   underdog
In and out of the game due to meetings and such, but it's nice to see the Dodgers in the first inning have already equaled their average for the Atlanta series. Hope there's more a-coming!

Let's go Bison!

2008-04-21 16:20:05
164.   Bill Crain
So it's over? Oh, man, I'm missing the first inning. I got to learn to write and edit faster...
2008-04-21 16:20:22
165.   eusmus
3 straight sliders... not pretty
2008-04-21 16:20:23
166.   dzzrtRatt
Well at least Penny will be pitching with a lead.
2008-04-21 16:20:24
167.   underdog
2008-04-21 16:21:27
168.   Bill Crain
Yeah, but that's just sample size. Can I call it and say we've reached agreement?
2008-04-21 16:22:11
169.   scareduck
51 - that's hilarious!

129 - only if the Dodgers can solo homer the Reds to death.

2008-04-21 16:22:57
170.   bhsportsguy
The Dodgers go 2-2 with bases empty and 0-3 with a walk with RISP.
2008-04-21 16:24:48
171.   Marty
Brandon Phillips wears his hat Pierre style in his Gameday photo.
2008-04-21 16:25:07
172.   Jon Weisman
168 - Sure.

170 - Thanks, Tony :)

2008-04-21 16:26:05
173.   micktissue
I'm late to the trivia game (Mudcat Grant) and I cheated too 145 but what was cool in looking over the Retrosheet pages was seeing and then remembering that Rocky Colovito was a Dodger at one time (for 40 games in 1968). I probably went to a game then.

I too love Baseball Reference and Retrosheet.

2008-04-21 16:26:44
174.   skybluestoday
RE: 156

I'm gonna guess that "Set the Controls" would probably work pretty well for the lightshow climax of "2001" as well, hallucinogens notwithstanding.

2008-04-21 16:26:44
175.   bhsportsguy
Jon, that's pretty cool if Steiner did use "Lost Weekend" referenc.
2008-04-21 16:28:05
176.   El Lay Dave
170 Didn't even advance the runner from second with no out, per conventional wisdom. On-line sources state that Nomar "lined to second", so at least he went the other way?
2008-04-21 16:31:12
177.   Linkmeister
I happened across a copy of Bronx Banter's Alex Beith's book "Stepping Up" at the library the other day. It's a biography of Curt Flood, apparently the first one ever written, which astonishes me.

Other than the typical failings of small presses (typos, mostly) it's pretty good so far (p. 50).

Oh, is there a game going on? Good for Furcal!

2008-04-21 16:31:36
178.   Jon Weisman
175 - Well, I wouldn't assume he used it because of me - I mean, I'm sure the thought of the Atlanta series being a lost weekend occured to a lot of people.

If it was because of me, though, I hope he mentions the URL in the broadcast tonight!

2008-04-21 16:34:05
179.   Jon Weisman
Mudcat Grant homered six times in his career.
2008-04-21 16:34:06
180.   ToyCannon
I hate lead off home runs as much as I hate kick off return touch downs on the first play. Expectations are set high and then crushed leaving a young adult vulnerable to misery of the world.

Basically I've never trusted the lead off home run ever since Lopes hit one in game six of the 78 series.

2008-04-21 16:34:18
181.   Bob Timmermann
Curt Flood wrote an autobiography in 1973.
2008-04-21 16:35:32
182.   Xeifrank
181. What was it about.? :)
vr, Xei
2008-04-21 16:36:02
183.   bhsportsguy
Yeah, a hit with a RISP. Figures.
2008-04-21 16:36:37
184.   El Lay Dave
A hit with RISP! ;)
2008-04-21 16:36:45
185.   Andrew Shimmin
182- 236 pages.
2008-04-21 16:37:07
186.   Jim Hitchcock
175 You'll get no argument from me, though `Echoes' is still my favorite.

Of course, I named my parrot `Seamus', after the track on Meddle, so I'm a bit biased.

2008-04-21 16:37:17
187.   bhsportsguy
185 You are a just full of punchlines today.
2008-04-21 16:37:17
188.   D4P
Furcal is OPSing 1.210 for the season, but only 1.174 in April.
2008-04-21 16:37:30
189.   Linkmeister
181 Well, there's a distinction between the two genres, no? Self-bias v. supposed objectivity.
2008-04-21 16:38:37
190.   DodgerOkie88
188. season started in March
2008-04-21 16:39:02
191.   Bob Timmermann
I'm more impressed that he looked up the catalog record and got the correct number of pages.
2008-04-21 16:40:36
192.   Bluebleeder87
Did Steiner just say Russell Simmons (instead of Russell Martin) just now!?!?!
2008-04-21 16:40:58
193.   Icaros

And I'm impressed that you double-checked his work.

2008-04-21 16:41:04
194.   Andrew Shimmin
Full of something, anyway.
2008-04-21 16:41:43
195.   DXMachina
It's been awhile. What's the plural of run?
2008-04-21 16:42:04
196.   Andrew Shimmin
Amazon counted the pages. I didn't even have to spell Curt Flood correctly.
2008-04-21 16:42:09
197.   D4P
I'm impressed that Nomar took four consecutive pitches.
2008-04-21 16:42:38
198.   bhsportsguy

Its a single but we'll take it.

2008-04-21 16:42:42
199.   madmac
2008-04-21 16:43:08
200.   Jon Weisman
From the press notes: The Dodger record for March/April OBP is .543 by Ron Cey in 1977.

Furcal is now at .506.

Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2008-04-21 16:43:36
201.   dzzrtRatt
Boy, if you're Charlie Steine, a hit by Nomar is far more exciting than a hit by anybody else.

Maybe it's his name. NO-mar might be more fun to say than Furcal. But if Kent gets a hit here, I'm sure Steiner's reaction will be about 1/4 what it was for Nomar's single.

2008-04-21 16:43:43
202.   Jon Weisman
195 - Happiness, with two esses.
2008-04-21 16:44:07
203.   dzzrtRatt
That's Steiner, not Steine.
2008-04-21 16:44:24
204.   Xeifrank
WE: 77% per fangraphs.
vr, Xei
2008-04-21 16:44:29
205.   ToyCannon
Nomar breaks the binary code
2008-04-21 16:44:37
206.   D4P
Gameday does not know how to react to Nomar driving in a run.
2008-04-21 16:44:41
207.   bhsportsguy
200 That's when it began to bug me that Garvey got all the ink.
2008-04-21 16:45:48
208.   ToyCannon
Top of the lineup is 5 for 6. That will get it done.
2008-04-21 16:47:25
209.   bhsportsguy
46 pitches in the first 2 innings, also more fly balls tonight.
2008-04-21 16:47:45
210.   scareduck
173 -

I've just given up on new Gameday. It keeps locking up. MLBAM seems determined to make everything bigger and worse every year. I wonder how much money MLBAM got from Microsoft to settle on their godawful Silverfish technology for video distribution.

2008-04-21 16:47:49
211.   fanerman
hits with RISP!!!!
2008-04-21 16:48:12
212.   D4P
Cincinnati: Where former Dodger catchers go to perform much better than they did with the Dodgers.
2008-04-21 16:48:30
213.   scareduck
201 - my wife hates it when I say "Nomah" with the faux chowda accent.
2008-04-21 16:49:15
214.   bhsportsguy
210 Anything that Andrew and Bob both agree on, well its like Lex Luthor and Superman joining forces to fight General Zod.
2008-04-21 16:51:21
215.   Icaros
I prefer CBS Gamecenter.
2008-04-21 16:51:39
216.   Ken Noe
213 There's another way? And yes, the new Gameday is bad bad bad.
2008-04-21 16:52:21
217.   Icaros
...or GameCenter.
2008-04-21 16:52:28
218.   Gen3Blue
My announcer has it that Penny used to throw hard but has a tricky sinker now.
Penny just threw 93 and he was ultra surprised. Of course if he combines 92 with no conrol it won't be pretty----wow Penny seems to have lost it all of a sudden!
2008-04-21 16:53:51
219.   Gen3Blue
I fear something is wrong with Penny.
2008-04-21 16:54:32
220.   Jon Weisman
216 - Do you guys use my above link at all?
2008-04-21 16:54:34
221.   Xeifrank
218. Well, atleast the pitcher is up.
vr, Xei
2008-04-21 16:55:18
222.   Icaros


2008-04-21 16:55:57
223.   DodgerOkie88
220. pretty much all the time.
2008-04-21 16:56:11
224.   Bob Timmermann
I did today. I like last year's Gameday better than this year because it all fits in my browser window better.
2008-04-21 16:57:04
225.   Gen3Blue
I'm not usually very observant, but it looked like suddenly Penny's delivery changed quite a bit. Hope I'm wrong.
2008-04-21 16:57:42
226.   scareduck
220 - I didn't like that incarnation of Gameday, either. It seems all we can hope for with MLBAM is that they don't screw us up too badly from year to year.
2008-04-21 16:58:03
227.   Linkmeister
220 Yours is the one I use, and it does lock up occasionally. I didn't get the first five pitches to Kent because it stayed with Nomar's "in play, run(s)."
2008-04-21 16:58:12
228.   Ken Noe
220 Sometimes--once this year--but I'm usually watching MLB.TV if I'm watching at all.
2008-04-21 16:58:33
229.   scareduck
226 - CSTV has a better gameday tracker.
2008-04-21 16:58:39
230.   Gen3Blue
224 I concur. There seems to be data I want to see hanging off almost every border.
2008-04-21 16:59:03
231.   El Lay Dave
220 No, but only because Gameday doesn't work through our firewall here.
2008-04-21 16:59:06
232.   Ken Noe
227 Nothing locks up my computer like the official Dodger site.
2008-04-21 16:59:46
233.   bhsportsguy
Nice hitting by Mr. Kemp.
2008-04-21 16:59:47
234.   fanerman
That's why they call him The Bison!!!
2008-04-21 16:59:58
235.   scareduck
This Kemp guy is uncoachable. They need to package him and this Kershaw kid to Florida for Luis Gonzalez.
2008-04-21 17:00:06
236.   Bluebleeder87
You know, I'm not against Nomar starting over La Roche (obviously right now cause he is hurt) but once La Roche comes back I'm gonna have the Ethier mentality in that if La Roche out performs Nomar LET THE BETTER PLAYER PLAY, I'll definitely have issues with upper-management if they don't TRUST THE KIDS to take us to the promised land,

Go Kemp!

2008-04-21 17:00:47
237.   fanerman
220 It feels more computer intensive, so I normally go for cbs.sportsline or yahoo or fangraphs.
2008-04-21 17:00:51
238.   MollyKnight
Are we going for another 11-runner tonight?
2008-04-21 17:01:06
239.   fanerman
2008-04-21 17:01:08
240.   scareduck
"Whatever it was in that hour and a half from Atlanta, the Dodgers found their hitting shoes ...." Rick, it's called lousy pitching.
2008-04-21 17:01:34
241.   Bob Timmermann
Someone needs to teach them what it means to be a big leaguer.
2008-04-21 17:01:40
242.   ToyCannon
I love it when two weak outs can score two runs. I also hate it when it happens.
2008-04-21 17:01:42
243.   Bluebleeder87

Nah dude, he just doesn't like the way the balls were rubbed, he's had that issue in the past...

2008-04-21 17:03:07
244.   Jon Weisman
ToyCannon is very conflicted these days.
2008-04-21 17:03:10
245.   ToyCannon
Wasn't like we were facing the feared Atlanta rotation over the weekend. Not to mention what should be the shakiest bullpen in the East.
2008-04-21 17:03:22
246.   Jim Hitchcock
Gameday completely dropped out Loney's at bat...though it did post the two runs.
2008-04-21 17:03:34
247.   Andrew Shimmin
Then put your little hand in mine
There ain't no hill or mountain we can't climb. . .
2008-04-21 17:04:52
248.   Neal Pollack
Good hitting against a bad pitcher today. The Dodgers are 0-6 against the Braves and D'Backs, and competitive against everyone else. Loney really shouldn't be trying to steal.

Those are my extremely original and potent observations today.

2008-04-21 17:05:00
249.   Bluebleeder87

He's requested new baseballs at least 2twice in this game already.

2008-04-21 17:05:16
250.   Ken Noe
241 I'll get the trash can.
Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2008-04-21 17:06:18
251.   Jim Hitchcock
Wow, then it had Jones striking out for the first out followed by Penny grounding out for the third out.

I think Gameday is on Pink Floyd.

2008-04-21 17:06:54
252.   fanerman
248 It was supposed to be a hit and run, according to the announcers. Penny missed.
2008-04-21 17:07:22
253.   Bob Timmermann
Loney was caught stealing for the second out.
2008-04-21 17:07:39
254.   Jon Weisman
251 - I feel like I've noticed some of the hiccups (lost plays, freezes, etc.) on every Gamecast-type program.
2008-04-21 17:08:02
255.   Jim Hitchcock
Oh, never mind. Missed the Loney caught stealing.
2008-04-21 17:08:52
256.   bhsportsguy
Poor Penny, having a stretch of foulitis.
2008-04-21 17:09:17
257.   El Lay Dave
252 Hit and run with Loney running and a pitcher hitting is getting a little greedy, I think.

254 I notice them on yahoo, cbs sportsline etc. not infrequently.

2008-04-21 17:09:37
258.   imperabo
Regarding the Loney steal attempt, it meant that the Dodgers best hitter (Furcal) would either come up with a man on second or a chance to leadoff the next inning with no outs. Makes sense to me.
2008-04-21 17:09:47
259.   scareduck
254 - but so far, anyway, in my experience Yahoo Gamechannel is much more stable than new Gameday, especially the 2008 version.
2008-04-21 17:10:35
260.   MollyKnight
I can provide the play-by-play as soon as my cable comes back in. Until then I'll be imagining what it will be like when James Loney successfully steals a base this year.
2008-04-21 17:11:32
261.   scareduck
I Freel Free.
2008-04-21 17:11:45
262.   ToyCannon
Then I'm off to Yahoo
2008-04-21 17:11:58
263.   D4P
"We're down 5 runs, so the last thing we need is to clog up the bases."
2008-04-21 17:12:08
264.   Icaros
I feel like that's the first time I've ever seen the Dodgers catch Freel stealing.

Of course, I was at the game where he stole five in LA.

2008-04-21 17:12:26
265.   fanerman
Ryan Freel caught stealing.
2008-04-21 17:12:41
266.   MollyKnight
Annnnd, we're back! Loney was only about by three feet, as opposed to his usual ten on a busted hit-'n-run.

Penny isn't hitting his spots at all.

2008-04-21 17:13:14
267.   bhsportsguy
264 Ahh, Jason Phillips memories.
2008-04-21 17:13:46
268.   bhsportsguy
260 No more "PopeVision" today?
2008-04-21 17:13:58
269.   MollyKnight
Announcers pointing out that Penny has 230 career starts and only 3 complete games. They say he's on pace to go six tonight.
2008-04-21 17:14:10
270.   Gen3Blue
I'm not sure why Loney tries to steal quite a bit, but it doesn't seem to be a great idea. I hope it isn't coming from the dugout.
2008-04-21 17:14:23
271.   Jim Hitchcock
Hah! Ryan Freel stole 2nd and third to win the game at the Suffering Bruin/Adam Dunn scouting trip back in what, '04?

Payback at last!

2008-04-21 17:15:05
272.   Bluebleeder87
Penny was having a conversation with one of the blues, I wonder what it has to do with.
2008-04-21 17:15:14
273.   Jim Hitchcock
264 Dang. Icaros beat me my plenty.
2008-04-21 17:15:23
274.   Icaros

Yes, and the next day he took over first base full time, effectively benching Choi.

Those were monumental DT times.

2008-04-21 17:15:36
275.   MollyKnight
260-No, I think he went home.

They showed the papal mass on NINE channels here. I couldn't believe it.

2008-04-21 17:15:42
276.   Ken Noe
269 Is that Jeff Brantley going on and on?
2008-04-21 17:15:42
277.   fanerman
270 It was a hit and run, so, it must have come from the dugout.
2008-04-21 17:16:10
278.   Gen3Blue
269 They have a point that he isn't efficient, but if he keeps going like the last few years, no complaints make sense.
2008-04-21 17:16:12
279.   bhsportsguy
270 I'm sure it came from the dugout, the only Dodgers with green lights are probably Pierre, Furcal and perhaps Martin, possibly Kemp but doubtful.
2008-04-21 17:16:42
280.   El Lay Dave
270 I would guess they are all busted hit-and-runs called from the dugout.
2008-04-21 17:17:07
281.   micktissue
Just wondering if they freel they can steal on Penny or Martin there. I mean, down by 5 runs and you're the lead off guy and you get on - stealing is sort of against the grain isn't it?
2008-04-21 17:17:10
282.   scareduck
271 - 2005:

2008-04-21 17:18:02
283.   El Lay Dave
275 Pope Benedict is aspiring to be omnipresent, like his creator.
2008-04-21 17:18:04
284.   D4P
stealing is sort of against the grain isn't it?

Not if you oppose base-clogging.

2008-04-21 17:18:25
285.   ToyCannon
I think from May to November, the 2005 season was the worse season I've endured as a Dodger fan. Things went from silly good to bad so fast and for so long.
2008-04-21 17:18:26
286.   MollyKnight
Furcal's April average the last three seasons:
2006: .198
2007: .203
2008: .408

And, extra base hits during that span:
2006: 2
2007: 3
2008: 13

2008-04-21 17:18:54
287.   El Lay Dave
56 pitches for Penny through three; thank you Dusty for running into an out down 5-0.
2008-04-21 17:19:20
288.   fanerman
285 Indeed. That's why the start of 2008 has not bothered me very much.
2008-04-21 17:19:23
289.   scareduck
282 - I should add that I believe ddger, who I believe is posting these days under the moniker coachjpark (or something like that) -- I gave up on getting you your sunglasses back.
2008-04-21 17:19:42
290.   fanerman
Russell Martin, 3 for 3! Finally on the right side of .200. Hopefully to stay.
2008-04-21 17:19:44
291.   El Lay Dave
Martin now 3-3; this is only the 4th inning.
2008-04-21 17:20:21
292.   MollyKnight
Aflac Trivia: Who are the only two pitchers in MLB history to throw a no-hitter in the season they won the Cy Young award?
2008-04-21 17:22:41
293.   ToyCannon
Dandy Sandy and somebody else
2008-04-21 17:22:41
294.   Icaros

Randy Johnson and Koufax?

2008-04-21 17:23:08
295.   ToyCannon
2008-04-21 17:23:45
296.   bhsportsguy
292 I kind of cheated to confirm but my initial thought was Koufax and Lamar Hoyt, and I think that is right.
2008-04-21 17:24:45
297.   Andrew Shimmin
I'd boo the Pope. Politicians, American Idol contestants, royalty, and the Pope.
2008-04-21 17:25:09
298.   Marty
Koufax is one
2008-04-21 17:26:15
299.   Bob Timmermann
LaMarr Hoyt actually did throw a 1-hitter in 1984 and he didn't give up a hit until the 7th.
2008-04-21 17:27:33
300.   MollyKnight
The Reds' announcers guessed Koufax and Hershiser. But I do not think Hershiser ever had a no-no.
Show/Hide Comments 301-350
2008-04-21 17:27:45
301.   Bob Timmermann
You have the right color shirt now to wear when booing the Pope.
2008-04-21 17:28:10
302.   Marty
Nolan Ryan?
2008-04-21 17:28:58
303.   Bob Timmermann
It's unusual that they asked an AFLAC question that had an answer that didn't involve both teams.
2008-04-21 17:29:26
304.   Bob Timmermann
Go over to Nolan Ryan's house sometime and ask to see his Cy Young Award collection.

It won't take long.

2008-04-21 17:29:56
305.   Dave60
Vida Blue?
2008-04-21 17:30:36
306.   El Lay Dave
Exactly 18 pitch/inning average for Penny this game.
2008-04-21 17:30:51
307.   Ken Noe
Mike Scott, they say.
2008-04-21 17:31:29
308.   imperabo
304 And you won't remember the answer, cause he'll bean you with a fastball for being a smartass.
2008-04-21 17:31:30
309.   Bob Timmermann
Scott pitched a no-hitter to clinch the NL West for the Astros against the Giants in 1986.
2008-04-21 17:31:53
310.   MollyKnight
Encarnacion saves an extra base hit but can't pull the ball from his mitt to throw Kent out.
2008-04-21 17:32:03
311.   ToyCannon
A Jones get the headlines from Jon and is now the only regular without a hit.
2008-04-21 17:33:26
312.   ToyCannon
I have no recollection of Mike Scott ever winning a Cy Young. I do remember him matching up against Fernando in 81 when they both had torrid starts to the season.
2008-04-21 17:33:58
313.   imperabo
Error due to wardrobe malfunction.
2008-04-21 17:34:13
314.   MollyKnight
Yep, Mike Scott and Sandy Koufax.

Base hit by Ethier to left center.

2008-04-21 17:34:39
315.   ToyCannon
Eleven hits
2008-04-21 17:34:42
316.   bhsportsguy
In an alternate universe, the Astros vs. Angels played in the 1986 World Series and Bobby Grich was the MVP.
2008-04-21 17:36:37
317.   underdog
I keep checking in and out and in of this game and keep saying "Belisle is still in there??"

I hope the Dodgers get some more insurance runs, but, yeah, if they win 11-0, that doesn't seem to bode well for the rest of the week does it. I'll take 8!

2008-04-21 17:36:39
318.   MollyKnight
Wow. Kemp hammers a breaking ball off the wall. We love to see that.
2008-04-21 17:36:53
319.   MollyKnight
Bye bye Belisle.
2008-04-21 17:36:54
320.   fanerman
Yay another 2B by The Bison.
2008-04-21 17:37:04
321.   Andrew Shimmin
Cincinnatians are more inclusive with their lists of people they'd boo.
2008-04-21 17:37:11
322.   underdog
Okay, the Bison stampedes Belisle out of there at last.
2008-04-21 17:37:26
323.   bhsportsguy
I am trying to understand why they would throw sliders to Kemp in his first at bat and now throw him fast balls his second and third times through. I'll take it but its puzzlement.
2008-04-21 17:38:00
324.   Jon Weisman
Where are the Old Schoolers who can brag about the Dodgers having four .300 hitters in their lineup?
2008-04-21 17:38:13
325.   underdog
323 - If by puzzlement you mean "really dense" then I agree with you.
2008-04-21 17:38:25
326.   Marty
Bison's OPS up to .805
2008-04-21 17:38:52
327.   Jon Weisman
311 - Yeah, it'd be nice to see him redeem me. Maybe against the lefty ...
2008-04-21 17:39:15
328.   bhsportsguy
323 I was going for Rodgers and Hammerstein references.
2008-04-21 17:39:50
329.   Andrew Shimmin
282- Icaros looks tougher than I would have expected. Maybe I should do a better job of minding my manners.
2008-04-21 17:40:03
330.   Bob Hendley
Cincy announcers not too bad. Said some intelligent things about JP (can't steal first base) and Nomar (extending his contract, not a good idea). They even knew who threw the one-hitter against Sandy's perfect game.
2008-04-21 17:40:13
331.   D4P
I am trying to understand why they would throw sliders to Kemp in his first at bat and now throw him fast balls his second and third times through. I'll take it but its puzzlement

Hey: Dusty Baker guided the Giants to the World Series that one time.

2008-04-21 17:41:26
332.   MollyKnight
At this rate, Sammy will record 7.5 saves this season.
2008-04-21 17:42:19
333.   MollyKnight
300-Agreed. Every team I hearmakes the DBacks guys seem that much worse.

Ugh. Bad Bison baserunning. (TM)

2008-04-21 17:42:26
334.   natepurcell
That catcher went to the Ron school of catching.
2008-04-21 17:43:21
335.   Gen3Blue
Hey---Andruw gets on base again. He must have a good OPS.
2008-04-21 17:43:23
336.   MollyKnight
Penny shoots the gap in right-center. Nice.
2008-04-21 17:43:41
337.   bhsportsguy
334 The squat?
2008-04-21 17:43:48
338.   El Lay Dave
Packrat? Flatbush?
2008-04-21 17:44:33
339.   El Lay Dave
337 The Gary C. !
2008-04-21 17:44:59
340.   Icaros

It's easy to look tough when you have the Karate Kid runner-up standing behind you.

2008-04-21 17:46:00
341.   Ken Noe
330 I like the Brennamans, although I prefer the elder. Thom is certainly superior to Jack Buck's son though. Joe Buck makes my teeth hurt.
2008-04-21 17:46:36
342.   D4P
You seem to have lost some weight since that photo...
2008-04-21 17:47:25
343.   Marty
342 I know you weren't talking to me.
2008-04-21 17:48:45
344.   Ken Noe
Houston up 7-1 on the Pads in the second.
2008-04-21 17:49:45
345.   Jon Weisman
NPUT. Closing this thread.
2008-04-21 17:50:44
346.   Gen3Blue
Second view of Encar's hit I'm not sure it was fair. With Penny's velocity down all night I would pull him now!

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