Monday, April 7, 2008

The Dodgers: One Week In

Barely a week into the 2008 Major League Baseball season and my Dodgers are 4-2, having taken 2-of-3 from the Giants (at home) and the Padres (at Petco).

Here’s what I’m liking:

- The defense of Andruw Jones. Him and his 10 Gold Gloves have already proved valuable out in center. I breathe much easier knowing that he’s out there instead of Pierre (he of the mad hustle but the anemic arm).

- Hiroki Kuroda, who was absolutely brilliant in his MLB debut on Friday, giving up three this and only one run in a 7-1 Dodger victory. He exhibited excellent control and a few absolutely filthy pitches. I can’t wait to watch him do his thing for the rest of the year.

Kuroda: ready to rock the Ravine.

- A 100% healthy Rafael Furcal. You can absolutely see the difference and it’s incredibly heartening. His range defensively has improved and he’s already had at least three or four fantastic defensive plays this year.

- A staff 1.70 ERA, the lowest in the Majors. Our pitching has pulled us through tough spots so far, and we have a very solid 1-4 rotation. Our bullpen, a weakness in recent years past, has thus far held strong (such a positive sign).

- Blake DeWitt. Third base (and their default choice to fill the hole) was suspect at the beginning of the season. But DeWitt has been solid at the plate – three runs and five hits in 18 at-bats – and even better defensively. He showed up to play and hopefully will continue trying to make Torre think long and hard about getting rid of him once Nomar and LaRoche return.

Here’s what I’m not liking:

- Our .229 team batting average as a team, the fourth worst in the Majors. Jones, Martin and Kent (among others) are all off to sluggish starts, and for a team not really known for their power and amazing run production even when they’re ON…this is troubling.

Peavy: One scary mo-fo.

- A continuing inability to beat top pitchers. Our only loss to San Diego came when we put our ace (Penny) up against theirs (reigning Cy Young award winner Jake Peavy). Peavy made every single person in that lineup look absolutely silly. As LA Daily News beat reporter Tony Jackson points out, “Since the start of last season, the No. 1 starters for the Rockies, Padres and Diamondbacks -- Jeff Francis, Jake Peavy and Brandon Webb, respectively -- are now a combined 11-0 with a 1.71 ERA in 14 starts against the Dodgers, who are 1-13 in those 14 games.” They’ll never go away, so we have to find a way to beat No. 1 starters…especially in our own division.

Here’s a big question mark:

- Torre. He’s got the biggest spotlight in town shining on him right now, and a ton of questions hanging over his head. It’s hard to say anything one way or another about his managerial skills a mere one week in. Two months from now, I may be saying the same thing. It’s really hard to say. There’s not much to call in to question and, conversely, there’s not a lot to praise to the heavens (thus far). I’ll say that I’m very comfortable with him at the helm; hopeful but not unrealistic. He doesn’t quite know our team completely yet, but he knows the game inside out. I trust in his experience and his skill, and I’m very interested to watch how much (if any) of an AL managerial style he tries to bring into an NL world.

1 comment:

danielletbd said...

I know this has nothing to do with baseball, but I totally wish I lived overseas right now 'cause Leona Lewis is the best IDOL ever!!!! Have you heard her US release? It's Amazing!