Results tagged ‘ Juan Uribe ’
It’s set. Dodgers will face off the St Louis Cardinals in the NLCS. Both teams had tough challenges and gotten through them which proved them to be worthy of getting to this stage. The changes in the League Championship Series, Instead of a 5 game series we now have a 7 game series in a 2-3-2 format. Last round in the NLDS the Dodgers faced the Braves where they manage to eliminate Atlanta in 5 games. This allowed the Dodgers to get the extra days rest they needed and wait to see who their opponent would be in the NLCS. Now we have our teams but what are the matchups looking like between the two teams. Lets preview our NLCS Series between St Louis and Los Angeles.
The Cardinals pitching staff is no joke when you look at the names but during Postseason it’s a tail of the Bullpen and Starting pitching. Starting pitching wise the Cardinals have a decent staff posting a 3.42 ERA during the regular season. Postseason wise starters are pitching a 3.38 ERA. It’s not a deadly rotation but the Cardinals starters are no joke. St Louis Ace Adam Wainwright has been pitching great in the 2 games he started in the Postseason, pitching a 1.13 ERA. In game 5 of the NLDS vs Pittsburgh he pitched a complete game in the win. In his only start vs the Dodgers Wainwright gave up 7 hits and 3 Earned Runs in a game where he was given the loss. Joe Kelly, who will be starting game 1, has been lights out the past two months going 9-2 with a ERA of 2.06. Game three vs the Pirates he gave up 5 hits and 2 Earned Runs in a 5-3 loss. Kelly has also pitched 2 games against the Dodgers as well with only one of them being a start (5-1 win on Aug 6th in St Louis) and the other as a bullpen appearance in the 5-3 loss in Los Angeles. Another guy we can’t forget is Micheal Wacha. For those who aren’t familiar Wacha is the rookie who No hit the Washington Nationals through 8 innings and went 7 innings without giving up a hit against the Pirates in Game 4 of the NLDS. Wacha hasn’t faced the Dodgers this season but he will present a great challenge for Dodger batters. When you look at the St Louis bullpen you’ll see a different story. St Louis bullpen have pitched a 2.45 ERA this postseason giving up 4 runs with 3 of them being earned. During the regular season this bullpen pitched a 3.45 ERA with a 20-19 record and 44 saves. As a staff the St Louis has had trouble with Dodger batters in the 7 game they have played in the regular season, pitching a 4.21 ERA against Los Angeles.
The Dodgers on the other hand go into the NLCS with a good rotation but questions in their bullpen. Los Angeles is pitching a 3.09 ERA this postseason. Dodger starters this postseason pitch a 2.73 ERA from their 3 that played in the NLDS against the Braves. With this being a 7 game series the Dodgers will now have to use all 4 of their pitchers. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly announced that Zack Greinke would start Game 1 in St Louis. Greinke started Game 2 of the NLDS against the Braves and had a solid outing against the Braves but the run support just wasn’t there for him. Greinke made a start against the Cardinals back on August 5th in St Louis. In that game he went 6 innings giving up 8 hits 2 earned runs and had 4 strikeouts in the win against St Louis (3-2 Win). Clayton Kershaw, who will be starting Game 2, has continued his dominance in his two starts in the Postseason pitching a 0.69 ERA with 18 Strikeouts. Kershaw however has had trouble against the Cardinals doping both starts he made against St Louis, Pitching a 4.15 ERA against St Louis and giving up 13 hits (The most against a team outside the NL West.). Game 3 will have to be decided between Rickey Nolasco and Hyun Jin Ryu. Nolasco was expected to start Game 4 of the NLDS until the choice was made to go with Kershaw in the closeout game. Ryu started Game 3 of the NLDS and was very shaky in his start giving up 6 hits and 4 earned runs through 3 innings. Both pitchers have started against the Cardinals and has had success. Ryu in his only start gave up 5 hits, 1 run, and had 7 strikeouts in the win at St Louis where Nolasco in his two starts pitches a 0.75 ERA against St Louis. When it comes to the bullpen the Dodgers will have to be on their A game. With JP Howell, Brian Wilson, and Kenley Jansen pitching well you think things will be alright..right? Well anyone outside of that has struggled, giving up hits and putting the team in bad positions to work with or giving up runs. Left off the roster for the NLCS is Chris Capuano and Paco Rodriguez while Edinson Volquez and Carlos Marmol are in. That leaves JP Howell as the only LHP in the pen. The Dodgers pitching staff against St Louis has had a lot of success, Pitching a 3.05 ERA against Cardinal batters.
The Cardinals have been known as a consistent hitting team and their ability to score runs is nothing to take lightly at all. During the regular season the Cardinals were in 3rd the NL in runs scored. The reason for that is how they’re able to hit with RISP (Runners In Scoring Position), batting .333 which is a NL best. Postseason however the Cardinals go into their series with the Dodgers batting .209. Looking at players like Pete Kozma, Matt Holiday, Yadier Molina , Matt Adams, and Carlos Beltran you don’t have room to sleep against them but one player you have to watch for is David Freese and Matt Carpenter. While both players are batting low averages in Postseason they’re still dangerous hitters in October and can strike in big moments that can shift momentum. The Cardinals also have some flaws with their batting that could haunt them in this series and that’s the inability of St Louis being able to hit against Left Handed Pitching. St Louis bats .238 against LHP which favors the Dodgers as they have two LHP in their rotation (Clayton Kershaw and Hyun Jin Ryu). Against the Dodgers St Louis struggled during the 7 game regular season series only batting .237. While they have struggled swinging the bat St Louis can strike at anytime which makes them a pretty scary team.
The Dodgers have been really lighting it up in the Postseason with their hitting .333 in their last series. Being led by guys like Yasiel Puig, Carl Crawford, Hanley Ramirez, and Adrian Gonzalez the Dodgers have really been hitting. If you look at this team going into the NLCS things could really swing in their favor. The Cardinals have no Left Hand Pitcher in their rotation which is great for guys like Carl Crawford (Struggled against LHP this season.). Another thing you can look at is the return of Andre Ethier. Andre didn’t start a game in the NLDS due to an ankle injury but pinched hit in certain situations when he was needed. Speaking of Hanley Ramirez he has been hitting the ball really good as well. In the NLDS against the Braves Hanley hit 6 extra bases in the series which was key for Los Angeles. Another guy who has been hitting well is Juan Uribe. Uribe is hitting .375 in the Postseason with 2 HR and 4 RBI’s. One of his home runs was the 8th inning shot that lifted the Dodgers to the NLCS. Los Angeles bat .280 against the Cardinals in the 7 game regular season series and that’s without Hanley Ramirez.
As stated many times the Dodgers and Cardinals met 7 times during the regular season with the Dodgers taking the regular season series 4-3. When it comes to postseason these teams have seen a lot of each other in the NLDS. Last two postseason meetings the Dodgers faced the Cardinals in the 2004 and 2009 NLDS with both teams splitting one each(Dodgers in 2009 and Cardinals in 2004). Last time these two teams met in the NLCS was back in 1985 when it was moved to 7 Games. The Cardinals won the series 4-2.
If you look at this matchup on paper it’s really evenly matched. The Dodgers are going in with hot bats and two aces starting games One and Two while the Cardinals go in with a rotation that has been pretty good and a Lineup that can strike at anytime. Cardinals are a fundamentally sound team and has been here before (3rd Straight NLCS appearance) but the Dodgers also have a veteran team while making their first NLCS appearance since 2009. I believe it will com down to who can be consistent and the Bullen. This series can go either way.
Dodgers in 6
The Dodgers have completed the second step. Last night the Dodgers advanced to their 10th NLCS in franchise history by defeating the Atlanta Braves in the NLDS 3-1. This was going to be a tough series one way or another as the Dodgers started off the NLDS in Atlanta where they split 2 games with the Braves coming back to Los Angeles. In L.A. the Dodgers would finish up the series dominating Game 3 and pulling out some heroics by Juan Uribe and Carl Crawford’s 2 Homer night. Now before I go any further I have to say hats off to the Atlanta Braves. They’re a tough team and no doubt look for them to be back in the postseason next year.
Last night many Dodger fans as well as the players celebrated this win and should. Yes is was advancing to the next round but for this team to really face adversity and momentum being shifted to the Braves side, The team found a way to pull it off. Fellow Dodger fans you should be proud of what the team is doing this far and the potential of this team right now because if things keep up a bigger reward will be coming for us. While this is a great feat this only means that another step has to be complete in order to get where this franchise needs to get. Nothing is set and stone yet and we know that this team will be all business once Friday gets here.
For right now the Dodgers will once again play the waiting game to find out who their opponent will be in the NLCS. Wednesday the Pirates and Cardinals will play a decisive Game 5 in St Louis. This also means the Dodgers will wait and see if they’ll start off the NLCS at home or on the road. If you’re loss the scenarios goes like this. If the Cardinals win Game 5 then the Dodgers will start Game One and Two (Friday and Saturday) in St Louis (Cardinals have the best record in the NL). However if the Pirates win Game 5 then the Dodgers will host the first two games of the NLCS (Pirates are the Wildcard team.) Times have not been announced as of yet but all NLCS games will be shown on TBS. Also if you are lost about the postseason Schedule make sure to check it out the Dodger website for Dates and Times so you can plan accordingly.
Last night the Dodgers defeated the Padres 3-2 thanks to Juan Uribe’s home run in the 8th Inning. While the Dodgers managed to grab the win their victory was overshadowed by what took place in the 6th inning. The Dodgers were up 2-1 with Greinke pitching and Carlos Quentin at bat. If you saw the game or watched the video above then you have a good idea where it went from there. Greinke threw a pitch where it hit Carlos Quentin. Quentin charged the mound and from there it went. Benches cleared and tempers flared as things really got heated between the Dodgers and Padres. Matt Kemp came from center field to charge into the pile to protect his pitcher. After a few minutes things kind of settled down on the field. Zack Greinke was taken off the field due to injury from a hit he took from Carlos Quentin but things picked up once again when Jerry Harriston Jr charged towards the Padres dugout. Things were really heating up between the two teams. Lets go ahead and fast forward to after the game. The Dodgers win 3-2 but many are awaiting the update on Zack Greinke. Vin Scully gives those who are watching at home the update that Zack Greinke had a fractured Left Collarbone in the scrum.
On my twitter account many fellow Dodger fans were upset about the whole thing with Carlos Quentin and it’s safe to say he has become public enemy #1 in Dodgertown. I saw some say that Greinke was at fault here. Many different opinions about it last night and today. Well here’s my take on it. I fail to see how Zack was in the wrong for the whole thing. Carlos Quentin claims the whole thing was not an accident by Grenkie and many San Diego media outlets along with others agreed. Two things they fail to realise was that it was a one run game (2-1) and it was the bottom of the 6th inning. Another thing people don’t realise is that Quentin gets hit by pitches a lot. Not cause pitchers don’t like him but because he crowds the plate when batting so why charge the mound now when you’ve been hit so many times from crowding the plate. I get Greinkie and Quentin have had history before but honestly was Zack waiting 4 years just to hit him again? That don’t make sense at all. Quentin makes a great point, All of this could have been avoided. It could have if he just took his base in a calm manner like before.
Now what about Jerry Harriston and Matt Kemp? We know Harriston wasn’t happy and charged towards the Padres dugout because a player from the Padres was joking about Greinke’s injury. That really made Harriston upset and he let them know how upset he was. Kemp on the other hand was ejected along with Harriston. Why was Matt ejected was beyond me. We saw him charge from the outfield to the pile but who wasn’t in that pile??? Apparently Kemp may have bumped an umpire through the whole thing and that was the cause for the ejection. He also was saying a few things as well. After the game Kemp and Quentin had a few words for each other outside of the stadium where they were both held back by teammates and police. Kemp told Quentin “We’ll see B***h”.
It’s unclear whether Kemp, Harriston, and Quentin will be suspended for their actions Thursday night. MLB was looking into it today and Matt Kemp is in today’s line-up for their game against the Diamondbacks in Arizona. We know none of the Dodgers players and fans are happy about this. Don Mattingly was obviously upset and called for Quentin to be suspended until Greinke can play again. I honestly agree with Don Mattingly because it was uncalled for and a bonehead move that got a player injured. These two teams play on Monday at Dodger Stadium so things could get interesting. Right now I just hope the Dodgers focus is on Arizona this weekend and not looking forward to Monday.
Throughout Spring Training there’s been a lot of stories and players that has impressed but as of right now nobody is lighting it up like Yasiel Puig. Many scouts who have followed Puig made note that he has power and speed but was raw and needed more coaching. While playing for the Arizona Rookie League and Class A Rancho Cucamonga Puig batted .354 in 82 At Bats hitting 5 Home Runs and 15 RBI’s. This spring many Dodger fans didn’t really know what to expect from the 22 Year Old Outfielder. Yasiel have impressed many players, fans, and coaches with his play. I was even impressed how the way he played. Don Mattingly compared him to Bo Jackson with his speed and power and for a player built like that who can blame him. During Spring Training Puig is batting .547 with 3 Home Runs, 11 RBI’s, and an On Base Percentage (OBP) of .527. Right now he have a lot of people talking about a spot on the 25 man roster. Now should he have a spot on the 25 man roster? That is a great question and something that should be looked at.
The Dodgers already have 3 outfielders that will play every day. Carl Crawford at Left, Matt Kemp in Center, and Andre Ethier in Right but it’s a fourth outfielder that the Dodgers could use. I’ve always stressed that a bat off the bench could help. Los Angeles have two utility players in Schumaker and Harriston Jr. I don’t think anyone trust Uribe and with Hanley out for 8 weeks that opens up a spot. Likely Ellian Herrera will get called up come opening day but why not look into bringing Yasiel Puig? With him playing the way he is Puig is doing everything he can to get on the roster and having him come in as the 4th outfielder off the bench would be ideal but there will be a time that he will become day to day. Right now some see Puig challenging Carl Crawford or Andre Ethier for one of their spots and that can’t be any further from the truth. As good as Puig is Crawford and Ethier have their positions locked unless otherwise.
It’s up in the air right now weather if Puig will make the Opening Day Roster or not. With Hanley out for 8 weeks that brings the possibility of him being called up come April 1st and I can see it happening. If not then the likely place will be Double A Chattanooga to have more At Bats and coaching. What do I think of Puig? I honestly think he’s ready for the MLB. Based off what I have seen this kid can flat out play but the issue has been room on the roster. The Dodgers have proven players on the initial roster and they can’t have too many outfielders on the team. Puig will be called up this season and pending on others things will start for the Dodgers but this year isn’t that year in my opinion. In the end Puig should have a spot on the 25 man roster but if there’s no room then it won’t hurt for him to be in Double A.
The Pitchers are now out the way in our 2013 Preview so now the REAL fun begins. As we continue on with the 2013 Preview we’ll take a look at the Infield. This was an area where the Dodgers really needed help at last season when it came to batting. The production wasn’t all there for them when the summer hit but the Dodgers basically did their work to bring in the likes of Hanley Ramirez and Adrian Gonzalez. Luis Cruz also stepped up and became a hidden gem last season as well. This season not much needs to be done and production is expected to be better. Lets take a look at the Dodgers infield.
2012 Review- Going into last season the Dodgers were lacking production from the Infield big time but at the start of the 2012 Season James Loney, Mark Ellis, Dee Gordon, and even Juan Uribe were producing in the early part. AJ Ellis was also making his case that season even finding himself in the discussion for the NL All-Star team. Once the summer came things took a turn south. Mark Ellis ended up missing time due to a leg injury suffered in the first Cardinals series, Juan Uribe and Jame Loney weren’t producing very good at all, Dee Gordon was struggling hitting and defensively. So many things happened where it hurt the Dodgers in games but Stan Kasten and Ned Coletti weren’t going to sit back and wait till winter meetings. In the heat of a NL West Race the Dodgers worked to make moves and managed to strike gold through Trade and call ups. Luis Cruz came up from Triple A and didn’t disappoint when given the chance. He was a huge spark in the Dodgers season come the second half. Another huge trade was the Dodgers acquiring Hanley Ramirez from the Miami Marlins after they had a fire sale. Hanley’s numbers went up along with his production causing Dee to be sent down to Triple A for more coaching. In late August the Dodgers also struck with another blockbuster deal this time with the Boston Red Soxs that sent Adrian Gonzalez, Nick Punto, Josh Beckett, and Carl Crawford to L.A. and James Loney, Jerry Sands, and Ruby De La Rosa to Boston. After that the Dodgers still struggled until they heated up for a little bit until elimination but they showed a lot of promise.
offseason Not much was done in the Off-season because it was done over the summer. Dodgers traded for utility player Skip Shoumaker from the Cardinals in the off-season. Another addition made was the hire of hitting coach Mark McGwire who helped the Cardinals become one of the Top offenses in the NL. McGwire will have the task of helping a loaded Dodger line up this coming season.
Utility Skip Shumaker- Shumaker who was brought to the Dodgers via Trade from the St Louis Cardinals. While Shumaker will likely see time in the outfield it isn’t hard to see him play some second base or anything If Injuries hit. This was the only addition made but it is a solid one at that. In St Louis Skip was batting .279 with 1 HR and 28 RBI’s so he may not be the home run threat but he does make contact and get on base.
3 Questions to be Answered
1) Will Luis Cruz repeat his 2012 Season?- This has to be the main and key question right here. Will Cruz repeat what he did in the 2013 Season? Last season Cruz came out of nowhere and had a very good season for the Dodgers to where he will be starting at 3rd Base this coming season. Batting .297 with 6 HR and 40 RBI’s Cruz brought energy to the Dodgers and fans fell in love with him. Defensively he brought it as well at 3rd Base. This year there will be expectations from him. If he can repeat what he did last season consistently then he will be fine. Cruz have been working hard but the results is something we will see. If not then we could see Jerry Hairston Jr or Juan Uribe at 3rd.
2) Will Hanley have some success at shortstop?- Another question that many are wondering and that’s Hanley Ramirez and Shortstop. During the Caribbean World Series Hanley not only struggled batting but struggled defensively at 3rd base. Last season before he came to the Dodgers the Marlins moved him to 3rd base for defensive reasons. Hanley will be at shortstop and is willing to get it to work defensively which is a great sign. If he can step up then Hanley will be there for most of the season but I won’t be a bit surprised if he gets moved to third and Cruz goes to shortstop the moment he struggles.
3) AJ Ellis bound to produce again?- Last year some were high on AJ Ellis and he didn’t disappoint at all. He was one of the top players in the NL in terms of OBP (On Base Percentage). Defensively AJ was average and he needs work on blocking the plate better. This is another key at the bottom of the line up. Ellis needs to get on base in order for the team to have further success. AJ I believe will have a good 2013 season but he will have to A- Stay Healthy and B- Do a better job at blocking the plate.
Players to Watch For
Utl Jerry Hariston Jr- Jerry Hariston Jr is another utility player the Dodgers have and he was really solid last season at 3rd Base and Left Field. I have him as a player to watch because he is a veteran player who the Dodgers will need to step up. A healthy Hairston Jr will be a solid one. In 2012 Hariston was batting .273 with most At Bats coming from him being at 3rd base before the All-Star break but due to Injury Hariston had to have season ending surgery. 2013 he will be a player to keep an eye on.
2B Mark Ellis- Another player who contributed very well for the Dodgers and is a key player as well. Ellis is a guy who you can put at 2nd in the order and rely on him to get on base to set it up for Matt Kemp or whoever at the 3 spot. While there has been some people wanting him to lead off Ellis is fine at the 2 spot in the line-up. Defensively he can also bring it as well just as long as he is healthy.
Overview: This group has A LOT of talent starting wise and you can say on the bench as well. You can expect guys like Adrian Gonzalez, Mark Ellis and Hanley to produce with the bat. Defensively the left side is going to need some work just by the looks but I am sure they will have it together. These guys will only have so much time in the Spring due to the World baseball Classic (Cruz and Gonzalez Team Mexico and Hanley- Dominican Republic) but they have time to work individually.
On Deck for the 2013 Dodgers Preview: Outfield
It’s back to work for the Boys in Blue now that the All-Star Break is over it’s time to resume where the Dodgers left off. The 1st half of the season started great with the Dodgers having the best record in MLB and a good lead in the NL West only to take a turn for the worse when the Injuries began to stock pile, offense disappeared, and a slump happened. The Dodgers went into the break finding themselves a half game over the Giants and the Diamondbacks not too far off also the Dodgers find themselves 7 games over .500. Makes you say yikes the Slump did a lot of damage. However there’s help with Matt Kemp Andre Ethier and Mark Ellis Back in the line up the offense will have less pressure off. While there’s some solutions theres also plenty of questions to be answered that plague the Dodgers.
One question that many will ask is the Trade Deadline and what the Dodgers will do. The Dodgers need to address starting pitching help, LHP help, and add another bat to the corner position to help the Dodgers. We’ve heard so much about the Dodgers intrest with the Cubs on getting Matt Garza or Ryan Dempster which is a sign but with teams like the Brewers and Phillies being possible sellers it could be something if Cole Hammels or Zack Grenkee is available. Dodgers will likely have to give up prospects but to get players like that the Dodgers have to be cautious on the asking prices of these teams. Likely the Cubs and Brewers will not have high asking prices. As far as a bat the Dodgers have been real aggressive on trying to land a bat and missed twice. Missed out on Kevin Youkillis to the White Sox and Carlos Lee Vetoed a trade to LA only to land in Miami. The Dodgers could be aggressive again for a bat again but weather they strike gold or not is a question. It’s obvious this team wants to win THIS YEAR. A bat to the 1st and 3rd Base position looks to be a area as Juan Uribe and James Loney have been under performing at this point to make a solid contribution to help but the emergence of Eillian Herrara has been huge to the LF 3rd base position.
Another issue is the health and performance of the Dodgers again. The Injuries played a huge part in the wheels falling off in that slump that cost them that huge lead. What scares me personally is will key players stay healthy? Injuries happen but on slaught of injuries will be very bad to The Dodgers in the dog days. The performance of certain Dodgers will also be in mind like starting pitchers Chad Billingsley and Clayton Kershaw. Will they be able to get it together to make a big run into September October? Billingsley’s meltdowns has been really bad in games and Kershaw hasn’t played like his usual Cy Young self. If they can pull through the the Dodgers will be dangerous. Another is the team itself. Will they bring it together to once again be the team that had the MLB talking? It all starts with the team but there’s no doubt Management and Mattingley will have this team ready to do battle.
All in All the Dodgers are in first place and will resume the season to keep that lead. But it won’t be easy. They start off with San Diego at home then go into a series at Dodger stadium with the Phillies. The same team that they swept in Philadelphia. After that a road trip in New York with the Mets then travel to ST Louis to play the Cardinals then conclude the road trip in San Fran against the hated giants in what could be a pivotal series in the NL West so the Dodgers have their work cut out. The 2nd Half is under way and the Boys in Blue have work to do.
Your Los Angeles Dodgers are 29-13 which is a MLB Best, 1st Place in the NL West, Playing really good baseball with Matt Kemp, Jerry Hariston, Juan Rivera, Mark Ellis, and Juan Uribe. The Dodgers are getting all types of production from everyone this season at this point. The Dodgers even Swept the Defending World Series Champion St Louis Cardinals with a dangerous line up. Yet the Dodgers still have not received any National media attention. It seems like no matter what obstacles the Dodgers over come it gets little to no notice. Why is that? It’s beyond me but whatever it is I don’t like it but at the same time I do. Last year the Dodgers were in the headlines for all of the wrong reasons. Bankruptcy, Frank McCourt Draining the franchise, Losing, Brain Stow beatings. It seems like the Dodgers and it’s fan base couldn’t get a break. Come winter meetings the Dodgers only big move was Extending Matt Kemps contract while another team in Anaheim was making big moves signing Abert Pujols and CJ Wilson. Came the start of the Season Dodgers had new Owners in Magic Johnson, Stan Kasten, and Mark Walter and great display of baseball but national recognition hasn’t been all that.
Sometimes not having that National spotlight on you isn’t always a bad thing if you think of it. Right now the Dodgers have the best record in the MLB but is also staying quiet. As you see teams with the most pressure are usually teams like the Yankees, Red Soxs, or even now the Rangers where if one minor thing can become big news for you. The Dodgers having a big media spotlight just adds pressure to them to win. With the Starting Pitching playing well, Bullpen getting it together, and Everyone stepping up for the Dodgers it seems like things are going pretty well. So not having that national exposure isn’t always a bad thing when it comes to the play on the field. Just as good as it is to fly under the radar comes that respect.
As of now the Dodgers may have the top spot on a lot of Power Rankings but there’s others who talk more about other teams more than the Dodgers. How is it that Collin Cowheard can go on his show as with a straight face say the Cardinals are the best team in the MLB. The Dodgers swept the Cardinals in a competitive series but a Sweep is a Sweep. I’ve also heard many say the Texas Rangers are the best team which you can argue but comes this argument on why the Dodgers don’t get that recognition is the Schedule. Dodgers have played teams like San Deigo, Pittsburgh, Houston, Cubs, Rockies. Well let me kill the arguement that it’s hard to beat teams the way the Dodgers do in Baseball regardless of the teams and not to mention the Dodgers have hung around in games vs Atlanta and was robbed in two straight games vs Milwalkee. Not only that but Swept the Washington nationals and St Louis Cardinals as well as come back from a 6-1 defecit on the Road against Arizona to continue a 6 game winning streak without Matt Kemp. Want to talk about other stuff? the Bullpen is getting better and the Starting Pitching staff like Chris Capuano, Ted Lilly, Clayton Kershaw (Defending Cy Young Award winner), and at times Chad Billingsley playing very very well. So the Dodgers should have that notice from the media that the Dodgers are something special. Now its not how you start but how you finish and the Dodgers have to keep this good play up once June July and September October hit.
As long as the Dodgers keep winning then all is well but most Dodger fans have to be some what frustrated that they’re being OVERLOOKED by the national baseball media. Does it bother me? Some what but the Dodgers are 30-13. As long as they complete the season in October with a World Series back in Los Angeles then Im fine and happy. Dodgers playing great baseball and I love it how they’re doing it!!
Its About that Time to fill out your Ballots!! We’re about 3 Months away from the Midsummer Classic and this year it’s being hosted in Kansas City Missouri (Royals). Yesterday the Ballots were released for the fans to Vote for the Starters in the All-Star game and many on the Ballot are well worthy while others you wonder why they’re on there. For the Dodgers the Ballot consisted of James Loney, Matt kemp, Andre Ethier, Juan Rivera, Juan Uribe, AJ Ellis, Dee Gordon, and Mark Ellis. Yeah Pretty much the Starting Line up for the Dodgers. There are others who are on the Ballot who have been there before and others who are putting up really good numbers. Now In my honest opinion its kind of early to vote right now seeing the season started a few weeks ago but It never hurts to Vote right now.
I took the liberty of voting early because Voting just once doesn’t hurt. So far my NL Picks are basiclly What I think will be the picks come the Announcements. Many people may agree many may disagree but It’s a good discusion.
1B- Joey Votto (Reds)
2B- Aaron Hill (D-Backs)
SS- Starlin Castro (Cubs)
3B- David Freese (Cardnials)
c- AJ Ellis (Dodgers)
OF- Matt Kemp (Dodgers) Andre Ethier (Dodgers) and Micheal Cuddyer (Rockies)
This isn’t final as there may be some guys who show me that they deserve to be a Starter in the All-Star game. For my AL People no need to worry I kept a close eye and so far the AL Infield is almost a Detroit Tiger dominated one with Prince Fielder, Miguel Cabrerra, and Alex Avila. If Derrick Jetter continues his play then watch for him to be a starter as well. It’s Still early so theirs enough time to vote. Remember fans you can only vote up to 25 times but take time to see who’s really worthy to go.
As Spring Training comes to a close and Opening Day approaches It’s time that we take a look into the Dodgers Spring Training. Filled with some good play, bad play, Bad weather, Hot weather, Ties, magical ownerships The Dodgers wrapping up Spring Training in Arizona before heading to Anaheim to play the Angels in the Freeway Series. The Dodgers went on to have a 14-13 Record in Spring Training with a few ties. Watching the games that we’re televised on TV I would have to say there were somethings that have impressed me and some that didn’t impress me but all in all Spring Training have given us a taste of whats to come. Lets go ahead and Recap Spring Training in Arizona.
Who Impressed-There were a few Players this Spring that really impressed me. One who stood out the most was Andre Ethier and Dee Gordon. Ethier who is coming off Knee Surgery and a not so good 2011 Season managed to Play this spring with many questions that appears to be answered for right now. Ethier played like the Ethier that we all know and is showing the potential for a monster season. Dee Gordon exploded into the Major League scene with his amazing speed but his issue has been hitting at the Major League Level. During Spring Training Leading off Dee has been able to hit into the Gaps and Successful bunting by taking advantage of his speed. Stealing Bases as well has been a huge success this spring as well. Clayton Kershaw and Matt Kemp have also showed how they can look to improve on their Monster Season from 2011. Any worry so far of them disapointing have not shown so far. Juan Rivera, Nathian Eovaldi, and Kenley Jansen have also pitched in with stellar showings as well which give Dodger fans something to look forward too.
Who Disapointed- While some impressed there have been a few that really disapointed me this Spring Training. Juan Uribe who had a disapointing 2011 Season had a lot to prove to people. During the Spring Uribe really have not shown that things will get better for the season. Uribe who is on the Opening Day Line up will have to produce this season. Another set of players that have disapointed me have been Chad Billingsley and Ted Lily. Billingsley who has been in the All-Star game a very good pitcher has found himself imploading in the middle of games giving up runs and beat up by batters. During the Spring it seemed like we were getting a repeat of the 2011 Season as Billingsley went through his mid game breakdowns that would hurt the team. Ted Lily also had issues with pitching last season giving up multipul home runs in games which really put the Dodgers in a bad position as well. In the Spring Ted Lily had also had the same isssue as well as getting bases stolen off of him. Lily is starting the Season on the DL due to Neck stiffness issues which sidelined him for the rest of Spring training.
One Year under Mattingley’s Belt- Last Season Don Mattingley did a pretty good job managing the team dispite off the field issues with the Franchise ownership. Keeping the teams focus on the field play good ball has been one heck of an effort by Mattingley. This season he will look to apply somethings that he learned from last season and apply it to become even better. The potential is really briht for Mattingley to become a very Good Manager. The players respect and play hard for him and the Fans love him.
Big heart Factor- I can’t count how many times this team has been down late in games and stormed back to either take the lead or tie the game. The Dodgers have showed that other teams that games aren’t over until the final out and have stormed back a few times thanks to late game heroics. This team can fight and weather they apply it to the Season. If so then they can really be something when down in games.
Storyline of Spring Training- One way or another The Dodgers Ownership situation would dominate the headlines and most of the time it wasn’t positive. This Time It was Magical. April 27th would be a day where the Los Angeles Dodgers would open another new chapter in Dodger Baseball. Magic Johnson, Stan Kasten, Mark Wither and co Were approved by MLB and Former Owner Frank McCourt as they bought the Dodgers for 2.15 Billion. The new Ownership group was a sign and start of whats to be a Bright future for Dodger Baseball and the City of Los Angeles as they look to restore the luster back into one of Baseballs most historic franchises. This is something all Dodger fans can really low towards as this is the start of a brand new and Magical Era in Not only Dodgers baseball but MLB it’s self.