Monday, September 15, 2008
Things That Happened To The DodgersI missed Saturday's win and yesterday's loss in extras, so I don't have a lot to say about them, other than yay, Kershaw (Saturday), and boo, Dodgers' offense (Sunday); nevertheless, the Dodgers shrank their magic number from 14 to 10 over the weekend, and that is what you have to do.
We listened at one point to the Diamondbacks/Reds game on the way to Angel Stadium yesterday, and the sense of resignation in the Arizona broadcasters was pretty thick but understandable: over the last ten, the Dodgers have gone 8-2, the Diamondbacks, 2-8. In the bottom of the eighth, the Snakes got the bases loaded with two outs, and Adam Dunn — predictably — struck out. The ensuing boos were both thunderous and pitiful.
Zambrano's No-No: Cubs 5, Astros 0Allow me to restate my utter disgust with and contempt for Drayton McLane for the way in which he handled Hurricane Ike's consequences, all of which were wholly foreseeable. First, he tried to get the Cubs to play an early game in Houston on Friday, hunker down on Saturday as the storm hit, and play as usual on Sunday, all without knowing the consequences of the storm. That is, he was completely happy having an away team possibly risk their lives so he could get two home games in. Then, seeing that wasn't happening, he stalled until Atlanta was no longer an option, and finally consented to play in "neutral" Milwaukee, only 90 miles north of Chicago. The Astros arrived only a few hours before the game started, perhaps road-weary, which showed in the ensuing no-hitter.
The boisterous and decidedly pro-Chicago crowd only numbered 23,441 because the Brewers failed to line up enough vendors to staff the upper decks, which went unsold. Zambrano, who had missed a start or two due to shoulder tendinitis, came back in a big way, striking out ten and only allowing a single baserunner, Michael Bourn on a walk. The Houston papers are whining about this result now, but let's be clear here: the blame rests exclusively with Houston ownership.
The game offensively for the Cubs was a rematch of the 4-0 complete game shutout the Astros had at Wrigley, only this time Randy Wolf played the part of the starter unhinged by the elements, if indirectly so. Alfonso Soriano's leadoff homer in the first pointed the way, and by the third, Wolf was gone, getting pelted with extra-base hits that this time found no hard incoming wind to knock them down. As we saw last time, Wolf is hittable, and his stuff isn't good enough to contain a top-flight offense anymore, not without a lot of luck and help.
Finally, I wanted to thumb my nose at the powers that be who decided that Extra Innings can't carry anything while the ESPN Game of the Week or Fox Saturday games are broadcast. The Tigers/White Sox game was mostly a tedious affair, Kenny Rogers showing only that he needs to retire, and while his teammates made a gallant effort at a comeback, the net result was fairly predictable. Meantime, Carlos Zambrano was making history in Milwaukee, and those of us who paid to see it were frustrated at only having Gameday Audio to console us. Bud Selig, take down this wall.
- Ancient news (announced Saturday), but Andruw Jones was sent to the 60-day DL with right knee trouble; Takashi Saito was called up to the big club. Jones will play winter ball and hope he can hit.
- Casey Blake is day-to-day with lower back problems after being yanked from yesterday's game.
- Adrian Beltre said "I'd be happy to" return to L.A. despite a reported partial no-trade clause that specifically names the Dodgers as one of the teams he can refuse a trade to. The Mariners have shut him down for surgery to his hand and shoulder this week. Rotoworld thinks that with a change of management in Seattle, he's likely to be dealt. U.S.S. Mariner has a eulogy for Beltre:
If we really have seen the last of Adrian Beltre, it’ll be a shame. The Mariners need more players like Beltre, not less. I’m afraid that Beltre is doomed, however, to be the next Mike Cameron - wildly underrated during his time here and highly valuable to the teams that employ him after the M’s cut him loose. The Mariners have never been able to replace Cameron in the outfield, and it’s unlikely that they’ll be able to replace Beltre at third anytime soon.It is entirely possible that even the current managerial situation is in flux. Take it with some salt, but this Lookout Landing diary on the subject of M's ownership makes it sound like the team will be sold, possibly to ex-Microsofty Chris Larson.
If this was it, Adrian, thanks for four great seasons. We’re sorry that some people don’t understand how good you are, and we hope to see you next spring. But if we don’t, it was fun having you here, and we’ll be worse off without you.
- Howie Kendrick won't be back this week, either, making a postseason appearance increasingly unlikely, especially considering how long it took him to get his swing back the last time, and that even with a rehab stint.
- Erick Aybar is a possibility to come back.