I am not sure if Al Davis coined that phrase, but he sure used it a lot!
Clayton didn’t have his best stuff last night as he struggled with his command. But, he continues to ignore my advice. I tried to tell him. These guys are jumping on his first pitch. All he has to do is change that up a little. Don’t make every first pitch a strike. But, he stuck to HIS plan and managed to do something no other Dodger pitcher has ever done: Give up 4 HR in a game! Here’s the re-cap of how they homered:
- Pollock homered on the first pitch.
- Martinez homered on 1-0 count.
- Mathis homered on the first pitch.
- Marte had a 2-2 count when he homered.
That’s the Bad News. The Good News is that the hitters, particularly Justin Turner, picked him up. He did pitch 6.1 innings so the pen is not gassed. I guess all you have to do is Win Baby! Look at the Indians – yesterday, their Ace got beat like a rented mule (his ERA is 20.00+) and they still won. It’s the “W” that’s important.
Now, if they can just get to Robbie Ray tonight. He is 3-0 with a 2.27 ERA against the Dodgers this year. They need to be patient and let him run up his pitch count. He has struck out 61 Dodgers in 159 AB’s. They should not just be swinging for the fences. This is a short series, Granderson’s leash is short. Andre Ethier will get a chance against a RHP before the series is over. Kike will play in LF tonight. I don’t know if Rich Hill prefers Grandal over Barnes but I suspect Barnes will get the start. Kershaw prefers Yasmani but I am not sure Rich Hill really cares.
The question is, do you leave Puig at #5 or move him to #8 against the LHP? He has not hit them well this year… and that is being very kind! Actually, he was horrid! Logan Forsythe is hitting .444 against Ray and Taylor is at .438. Barnes, Bellinger, Granderson and Seager all are hitting under .170 against Ray. To me, this has the makings of a pitchers duel. It’s for this game, that the Dodgers signed Rich Hill. Hopefully he makes them proud! When Ray and Hill are on, they are among the best in the game.
Justin Turner, Corey Seager and Yasiel Puig were the story of last night’s game. Tonight, some other players will need to step up. We will likely see “El Gasolino.” I believe he will be very, very good or verry, very bad. We all know that Chase Utley has such an important role on this team. Jerry Crasnick of ESPN, says that “the Dodgers fear disappointing Chase Utley.” That article is a very good read and reveals Utley’s value to the team. It’s end with a Corey Seager sound bite:
“You don’t ever want to disappoint Chase. That’s a good word for it. He sees everything, even when you don’t think he’s looking.”
In memory of Tom Petty, Roy Orbison and George Harrison: