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Saturday, May 03, 2008

Pickoff Moves

One I Wish I'd Seen: Dodgers 11, Rockies 6

Russell Martin making his major league debut at third base (and making some very nifty plays out there at third, one I did see and two I missed), and a seven-run sixth capped by a Rafael Furcal three-run jack. Suddenly, it's all systems go for the Dodgers, who have won seven straight, and that despite Penny only going five innings and giving up three runs, 32°F gametime temperatures, and Andruw Jones still hitting .161.

Yahoo boxRecap

One I'm Glad I Didn't: Orioles 4, Angels 3

Four of Jered Weaver's seven starts have been quality starts, and while it's not like he sucks outright, he's been ... disappointing this year. The loss was pretty squarely on his shoulders, yet Fangraphs solidly records Juan Rivera's unsuccessful pinch-hitting attempt with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth and one out as the definitive losing moment of the game (-.303 WPA). Reggie Willits comes in second (-.242 WPA) with his popup, but seriously, it seems to me that the real problem was an offense that went down in order four times.

Yahoo boxRecap

Julio Franco Retires

No more one-year deals from the Braves, Julio — it's over.

Roster Notes

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In Vlad's case, I suspect two problems: (1) a lingering injury of some nature, and (2) his bat has started to slow down ever so slightly. But that's all it takes. He's flat-out missing pitches he used to crush. I've can't remember him swinging and missing as much as he has this year.

In GMJr.'s case, though, I doubt that it's fatigue so much as it is the fact that he's GMJr. He's just not a very good hitter. What we're seeing from him is about what we should expect.

Notwithstanding his BOTG last night, I'd really like to see Juan Rivera in the starting lineup for 8-10 games straight. His numbers are terrible, but he really strikes me as a guy who needs to play more than once a week to get his timing down. But neither GMJr. nor GA is going to get that much time off, not with those contracts. I'm just wondering whether Scioscia is under pressure (whether actual or perceived) to keep running GMJr. out there every day, or whether he actually believes that GMJr. is some kind of star-caliber player.
Time for an MRI on Vlad's shoulder? Hmm...

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