For anyone panicking about Jason Schmidt, do not worry, every team has a Schmidt. I dare you to name one team's (other than your favorite) starting 5 pitching rotation without looking it up on the web?
Did not think so. Gone are the rotations of Maddux, Smoltz, Glavine, Avery (I got to 4) fill in the 5th. Now most of the good teams have 3 starters, then scramble all year for the 4th and 5th. All Jason Schmidt is really doing this year is auditioning for long relief in the bullpen for the playoffs. Right now I would have to say he would not be on the playoff roster. Yes his job is to win some regular season games, but I do not think management pens is a win every time their 4th or 5th starter takes the hill. So yes it was a disappointment to watch Schmidt not be able to get through 4 innings, but not much of a surprise. Interestingly enough, I was watching the team with the biggest payroll (Yankees) 5th starter not be able to get through 5 innings.
Not a good series vs the Brewers despite scoring 17 runs in one game. The Giants are inching closer now 6 games back, the Rockies, one of the hottest teams in baseball 6.5 back. The Dodgers have both Kershaw and Billingsley pitching this weekend at home vs the Braves. After this weekend, the Dodgers go up to Northern CA to try and create some more space vs the Giants Mon-Wed. The Dodgers will face Lincecum but do miss Matt Cain in the series. The Dodgers will find out a lot about themselves in the next couple weeks. After SF and a quick trip to the desert vs Arizona, the Cardinals ands Cubs come to town and then LA is off to Coors Field.
The Dodgers do not have to panic (nor its fans) because of the way it has handled the division, with a 30-12 record vs the West. Anyone who says the first couple months of the season does not matter, has no idea what they are saying. A lot will be told over the next couple weeks though, but the Dodgers have the advantage with the 6 game cushion. Also posessing the best starting pitching in the NL with a very good bullpen will help. The pen may be tired,c ouple injuries, but still very effective.
Matt Kemp is on fire, last 7 games hitting .419 with 13 RBI's, now has his average up to .320. He can hit, field and run, seems like he is growing into a very good player.
Kudos for the Dodger's for hitting Fielder, they learned from last playoff series when they did not retaliate vs Phillies. After all, that is usually has it is done, get to the playoffs, lose but learn, and then the next year you have the experience to advance. Fielder trying to get into the clubhouse should be a suspension, just dumb on his part, did he not know he was going to get hit?
That is it, the lead is shrinking, but in the end I think the Dodgers will be fine, I will be be proved right or wrong by the end of this month that is for sure.
Jon La Bella can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Written by Jon Bella