Let’s bust out the clichés we usually hear when a team opens up the season 1-2.
“Every team will lose at least 1/3 of their games; these are just two of that 1/3.”
Alright, with those excuses out of the way, we can sum up the opening season series between the Dodgers and Giants, in which the Giants took two of three, by stating the most realistic cliché of all – the Giants played like the 2012 World Champions they are; the Dodgers played like the 2012 “also-rans” they were and still might be.
And in another nod to old sayings, “it’s all in the numbers” can easily explain the Dodgers disappointing start:
0.00 – The ERA of the Giants starting pitchers over a total of 19 innings.
0.74-Dodgers batting average with runners in scoring position.
.129-Batting average of the Dodgers number 3, 4, 5 hitters (Matt Kemp, Adrian Gonzalez, Andre Ethier) .
4-Number of errors the Dodgers made in their two losses.
Just like last year, the offense erased a couple of solid starting pitching performances. Hyun-Jin Ryu and Josh Beckett gave up a total of only four earned runs over their combined 12.1 innings in the two losses.
The sole offensive highlight was Carl Crawford who went 5-for-9 (.556) with two runs scored.
The Dodgers get a chance to rest Thursday and hopefully get well against the Pirates in a three game weekend series in Los Angeles.
Veteran reliever Kevin Gregg is looking to latch onto his 7th major league team after being released by the Dodgers Wednesday.
He pitched well this spring(3 hits and 1 run in 11 innings) but lost the final bullpen slot to young lefthander Paco Rodriguez.
Gregg’s career seems to epitomize the “you’re as good as your last save” philosophy. In spite of averaging 28 saves a year between 2007 and 2011, his 20% blown save rate and lifetime 4.13 ERA hasn’t made the Angels, the Marlins, the Cubs, the Blue Jays, or the Orioles consider him an integral part of a solid bullpen.
Ironically, Gregg might have won himself a spot on any other team if not for the “starters-in-the-bullpen overload” GM Ned Colletti has created. 2012 starting pitchers Aaron Harang and Chris Capuano are sitting in the bullpen waiting for a long-relief call and, probably, a call from another team.
Harang and Capuano were sent a pretty clear message in regards to their roles after the Dodgers signed both Zack Greinke and the unproven Hyun-Jin Ryu from Korea. Too bad no other teams found the bottle.
Short circuit at short
Wednesday, Luis Cruz started at shortstop and the overpaid, under-performing Juan Uribe started at third. Opening day shortstop Justin Sellers was benched. Don Mattingly was asked if Seller’s two errors in Tuesday’s game had anything to do with the benching. Naturally, Mattingly denied it.
I mean this is coming from a manager who has benched the ever-popular Andre Ethier for “poor attitude” let alone struggling at the plate. And he replaced Cruz with Uribe, maybe the only Dodger to be booed while taking batting practice.
Sorry, Don. If the reports are true that a failure to reach the playoffs will result in the Dodgers not renewing your contract, I think honesty may be the best policy these days.