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Blue Notes: Week Ending April 15th
Posted By Cal Lee On Apr 15 2011 @ 11:05 pm In Los Angeles Dodgers | 1 Comment
As the week comes to a close, the LA Dodgers has found themselves nestled in 3rd Place in their division with a rather uncomfortable 6-7 record which could easily be 8-5 or possibly 9-4. The Dods, lost 2 of 3 earlier this week to a streaking San Francisco Giants team who clearly are starting to show consistency in their bats and what better way to test that theory than by cascading hits all over California against an inconsistent rotation like the Dodgers. The series loss pulled the Dods back to middle of the pack in the NL West Standings . The Dodgers must shrug of the stench of that series and prepare for a fierce and highly motivated St. Louis Cardinals squad in a 4 game set this weekend.
A successful series against the Cardinals would help them keep pace with a scorching hot Colorado Rockies team, who just finished an impressive 4 game sweep of the New York Mets this week putting their record at 8-2. With that being said, the series clearly has not started off the way manager Don Mattingly hoped to , as the Cards crushed the Dodgers 9-5 in the series opener. With this lost, the Dodgers have lost 3 games in a row, and 4 of their last 6 games.
One bright spot for the Dodgers during this weekend’s match up will be the pitching debut of Jon Garland, who is expected to take the mound Friday Night against Kyle Lohse. Garland is coming off the 15-Day DL due to a severe oblique strain which has kept him out of the rotation during the start of the season. Garland signed as a free agent by the Dodgers in the off season to help sure up their 5th spot in the pitching rotation who will surely be a sight for sore eyes to see. This also means that the “John Ely Experiment” is no more as he has been optioned back to Triple A duties after his less than impressive pitching outing against the Padres earlier this week in their 7-2 loss.
Mattingly is clearly playing “Patchwork Orange” as he continues to mesh his pitching rotation together until fully healthy. The Dods are still waiting for Vincent Padilla to recover who also is on the DL as well.
Even though the Dodgers are only 2 games behind the Colorado Rockies, there is much to be concerned in the land of Bollywood. The Dodgers rank middle to bottom half of most offensive statistical categories. More surprisingly, what was to be a strength for the Dodgers going into this season may very well become their achilles heel. Their pitching currenly ranks in the bottom half of most pitching statistical categories. Definitely part of the reason could be that they dont have healthy starting rotation, but most of the statisical woes are coming from their inability to sustain leads when given or finding that consistent formula of pitching to get from their starters to Broxton in the ninth. The game has changed to where its critical to have a guy in the 7th, and 8th inning to come in an shut down the opposition and then get the ball to your closer. Guys like Lance Cormier, and Kelly Jansen have not been getting the job done, and ultimately we’re seeing games for the Dodgers lost between the 4th through 8th innings. Leads that the Dodgers have worked hard to attain are not safe, and when your team is not an offensive threat every time you go through that batting order, scoring 3 to 4 runs maybe considered an offensive explosion if their pitching staff is expected to hold the opposition to fewer than that. Very daunting task to ask of your bullpen, but its the cards manager Don Mattingly and pitching coach, Rick Honeycutt are dealt with.
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