Yeah... That sucked.
The Dodgers shoulda coulda won last night, but they didn't. Dan Haren pitched great in a no-decision and in the process earned a vested player option for next season. The Dodgers bats, after exploding over the recent roadtrip, were eerily quiet. The ultimate cause for last nights loss was not the bullpen who couldn't get three-in-a-row out if their life depended on it. Instead, it was a defensive misplay in right-centerfield in the third inning that lead to a run scoring for the Giants. If not for that the Dodgers would have won.
I would usually chalk up this defeat as just "Baseball being Baseball," but with the season winding down and the division title on the line all it does is make me sweat... and worry... and sweat some more.
Of note, I do believe it's pertinent that AJ Ellis was pulled for a pinch runner in the seventh inning. At that point, the Giants had been held to only one hit behind the battery of Haren and Ellis. Thereafter, the battery of Drew Butera and the bullpen gave up eleven hits. That's not to say that Butera is a slouch behind the plate (he isn't), or that our bullpen is subpar (it can be, but not that bad). It's just that I believe it's always a bad idea to replace a catcher who has a feel for the game at hand; especially one who is so depended on to call a good game. When preparing for any game the catcher is uniquely involved in scouting the other teams batters. As the game progresses he gains a feel for how those batters are approaching their at-bats that day. Therefore, a catcher coming in cold during the middle of the game is always at an disadvantage and may often error when calling pitches.
That's just my two cents. You might disagree.
We have a 3.5 game lead over the Giants and the magic number stays at three games. Oy Vie! Graphic above via @SportsNet LA on twitter. Below are some links to check out.
- Via Jon Weisman at Dodger Insider, "Breaking down the breakdown: What happened with Puig and Kemp on that fly ball?"
- The Dodgers announced yesterday that Clayton Kershaw was named the winner of the ninth annual Roy Campanella Award, which is given to the Dodger player who best exemplifies the spirit and leadership of the late Hall of Fame catcher. The award, which was voted upon by Dodger uniformed personnel, was presented to Kershaw by Campanella’s daughter, Joni Campanella Roan, and Special Advisor to the Chairman Don Newcombe during pregame ceremonies yesterday. This is the second year in a row he has won the award. Check out the Dodger press release here.
- BTW, Dan Haren's option for 2015 has now officially vest, via Jeff Todd at MLB Trade Rumors.
Dodgers starter Dan Haren now holds a $10MM player option for next season after notching his 180th inning on the year. By reaching that mark, he also triggered a $500K bonus (on top of $1.5MM in innings-pitched and games-started bonuses already met).
- Panini's newest high-end Baseball card set called the Immaculate Collection comes out on Wednesday. Go here to check out some more preview pics on their blog; including the Mike Piazza as a Dodger card on the right.
- Cora at Sons of Steve Garvey shares his experience participating the the recent LA Dodgers Foundation 5K race. I might just have to join up for this next year.
- Oscar Martinez of AllTrade Bait fame wrote a piece for Lasorda's Lair, "The Betrayals Of Chavez Ravine And Los Angeles Dodger Fans." He, along with many Dodger fans, remain unhappy about the lack of Dodger baseball on TV.
- Hilarious! Via Grant Brisbee at McCovey Chronicles, "Giants reveal horrifying Buster Posey bobblehead."
- On a positive note, preseason hockey has just begun. The LA Kings look to defend their Stanley Cup Championship this season, and as always I'll be going to a bunch of games (I'm a longterm season ticket holder up in the rafters). In the past, I haven't posted much about those games, but who knows... Maybe that will change.
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