I hate the Dodgers. Always have, always will. In fact, if I met the woman of my dreams, and I mean she was perfect, yet her one flaw was that she was a Dodgers fan — I don’t know if it would work out. I loathe that team, have since I was old enough to understand baseball, and as a lifetime Giants fan that will never, ever change. Therefore, it pained me to watch the Dodgers/Phillies game.
Pedro Martinez was flat out dealing in Game 2 of the NLCS as he held his former team, the Dodgers, to a mere two hits in seven innings of scoreless work. He may barely be able to hit 90 mph on the radar gun, but that man has a better understanding of how to pitch than about 95 percent of the men out there. Too bad the bullpen blew his effort in the eighth inning when manager Charlie Manuel called on five different arms to record three outs which they did but only after they allowed three hits, two walks and two runs. I know I bag on Manuel all the time, but really, how couldn’t I? Five pitchers in one inning? Talk about over managing.
Vincente Padilla looked great today holding the Phillies to four hits and one run over his 7.1 innings to help the Dodgers even up the series with the Phillies. Still, I can’t be the only one who found it odd that the TBS announcers kept talking about him like he was the second coming of Don Drysdale. His stuff can certainly allow him to dominate, but come on now.
Anyone else looking forward to the weekend? For some reason it just seemed like this week would never end. Kind of reminds me of a horror movie with Michael Myers of Halloween fame. Come to think of it, it’s time to pull out the Original Halloween, the one from the late 70′s done by John Carpenter, and give it my yearly viewing. If you haven’t see it you must – for my money it’s the best horror film ever made, right up there with Psycho and the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
The day after my Stephen Jackson piece, I’m still 100 percent what I wrote in Captain Jack? I Think Not.
I’m already missing daily baseball (I love the playoffs, but only one or two games a day just doesn’t cut it for me). Something about the rhythm of the game just gets to me. The worst part is opening up the paper each day, yes I still walk outside in my slippers into the cold morning air to pick up an actual paper, and not seeing box scores. As a true fan of baseball, is there another way to more closely connect with the game than to pour through copious amounts of box scores? Not only does it take me back to my youth and discussions with my father about who was better than who, it just gives me something to do when I’m eating Wheaties for breakfast. I have to pause while I wipe a tear away.
I want to thank John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle for pointing out the following facts. Mr. Shea noted that in the playoffs, at least this season, teams have only been as strong as their closers. Through the first round of the playoffs, the stark contrast between the have’s and the have not’s is pretty astounding.
During the regular season, Joe Nathan, Jonathan Papelbon, Huston Street and Ryan Franklin had a save conversion rate of 90 percent as each man recorded at least 35 saves. How did they do in the playoffs? They were dreadful: 0-4, 10.13 ERA, 3.25 WHIP with four blown saves in just eight innings of work. Putrid isn’t a strong enough word. Do in no small part to each man’s failures, they are all sitting at home eating Doritos and drinking Red Bull right now.
How did the four closers on the winning teams do? How about a 100 percent conversion rate on saves with a 0.87 ERA in 10.1 innings.
Pretty easy to say which “position” was the most valuable one in the first round of the playoffs. Makes me long for the days when men were men and they actually pitched a full nine innings.
By Ray Flowers