April 16, 2014

Notes from the Couch…

This week was a pretty busy week…had to prepare for a garage sale we had on Saturday and Sunday, therefore, not much time was available to catch the Dodger games on TV…I did, however, see a few things…

Joe Torre is amazing…
Last Thursday…2 outs, bottom of the 8th in St. Louis…game tied, 3-3…man on 3rd…Hong-Chih Kuo on the mound…he just struck out Ryan Ludwick…the fastball was working…next batter, Albert Pujols…Joe Torre comes to the mound…usually, Joe makes a pitching change, but instead, there was a conversation…pitch to Pujols or walk him intentionally?…we got our answer 4 pitches later – the intentional walk…so, up steps Matt Holliday – probably the hottest hitter in the NL since his trade from Oakland…I was thinking that you pitch around one great hitter to face a hot hitter?…interesting…

…then I was amazed…Kuo walked Holliday intentionally to load the bases!…this setup a lefty-lefty matchup with Rick Ankiel…in a classic battle, Ankiel swung at all 3 pitches he saw…all 3 of them were fastballs…and he didn’t make contact on ANY of them!…the Dodgers escaped and eventually won the game in 10 innings…wow!

Joe Torre is amazing, part 2…
In Atlanta on Sunday, Chad Billingsley was pitching a great game…he had 9 strikeouts in 5 innings while holding the Braves to just 2 hits and no runs…a freak hyperextension of Billingsley’s left knee led to Joe Torre pulling him after the 5th for precautionary reasons…I don’t blame him…why risk further injury at this point of the season?…our goal is to win in October, so let’s take care of our guys…

Billingsley was slated to lead off the top of the 6th inning…because the Dodgers were short of bench players (only 3 hitters were available on Sunday), Joe went to power hitting pitcher, Jason Schmidt, to pinch hit…Schmidt has 7 career home runs…what did Torre have to lose?…anyway, Jason lined a 1-1 pitch back up the middle for a single and eventually came home to score the 5th run of the game…the Dodgers went on to win, 9-1.

George Sherrill Trade
Have you guys fallen in love with George Sherrill yet?…as I mentioned in a previous post, he’ll be great out of the bullpen for us and gives us another strong lefty for matchup situations (ie – the Phillies lineup) or be the 8th inning setup guy for Broxton in the 9th…in just 2 appearances (1.1 innings), he has 3 strikeouts, 1 hold, 0 hits and 0 runs allowed…of course, we’ve only seen him twice…sooner or later, he’ll get touched up for a hit, maybe even a run…until then, the Dodgers got the better end of this trade…

Vin Scully’s Farewell Tour
The LA Times published an article last week challenging the Dodgers to send out the great Vin Scully in style…Vin announced he will come back for one more year in the booth before retiring after an incredible career…here’s my 2 cents on what should be done…#1 – Dodgers win the World Series this year and next year!…win it for Vin!…#2 – next season, let Vin choose 81 Dodger greats (1 for each home game) from his days of broadcasting and have that player, manager, coach or Dodger employee take part in throwing out the first pitch and then come up to the booth so Vin can share some great memories with that person…let VIN choose the 81, not the Dodgers…simulcast all 81 of those home games so fans can take part in the farewell – whether you are watching on TV or listening in your car on the radio…that would be awesome…