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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Two Games

CG Weaver — Again: Angels 3, Indians 0

I'm frankly shocked that Jered Weaver has four complete games this year, which is four more than he had in his career prior to this season. It's also his second CG shutout, which, wow. The offense — mostly Howie Kendrick on an RBI single that drove in Mike Napoli and Kendry Morales — all occurred in the fifth, and that was all Weaver needed.

Preemptive warning: in starts following two of his three prior complete games, he was not able to get a quality start. Jes' sayin'.

Yahoo boxAngels recap

The Persistence Of Memory: Cardinals 3, Dodgers 2

Repeat after me: the Dodgers offense failed.

That's right.

Jonathan Broxton gave up a single run to the best hitter in the game, Albert Pujols, and a hitter who's OPSing 1.033 in his career against the Dodgers, Matt Holliday.

The angry reactions to this game are about two things:

  1. The sense that the Dodgers aren't as good a team as they looked back in April and May. Combined with a 5-4 Colorado win over Washington, the Dodgers are only 3.5 games ahead of the Rockies in the West, despite the fact that they have the best record of any team in the NL. 7-11 in August. And they'll be facing the Cubs at home (against whom they're 2-2 so far this season) and the Rockies on the road coming in their next two series.

    But let me put that away for the moment, because really this is about...

  2. ... the memories of Eric Gagne's 2003, when he was invincible, perfect.
I don't like losing to the Cards. Especially, I don't like losing when the Dodgers' offense came up with a pair of dramatic home runs to tie the game. But why is nobody complaining about Tony LaRussa's pitcher, the porcine ex-Dodger Dennys Reyes, plunking Andre Ethier with the first pitch? Ethier homered in his prior at-bat and has been the Dodgers' hottest hitter lately. And on the first pitch? Tell me that wasn't intentional, Tony.

There's something about all of this, coming as it does on the heels of signing Vicente Padilla, admittedly a possible desperation move, that smells like the team has started to really question its makeup. There's good reason for that. We'll find out an awful lot more about that over the next week, and maybe then, as Al Yellon did earlier in the week with Jim Hendry and Lou Piniella, we'll be writing jeremiads against Dodger management. We'll see, won't we?

Update: Rob Neyer makes the important point that Pujols stole second in that crucial ninth inning; not only that, but the outfield screwed up by failing to come in for the ball until long after Russell Martin's bad throw got away into center field, allowing Pujols to easily reach third. Sure, Broxton takes the loss, his first of the season. But his name just happened to attach to a list of other failures that didn't show up in the box score.

Yahoo boxDodgers recap

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