Results tagged ‘ Freeway Series ’
The Dodgers dropped game one of the Freeway series last night which puts them at 1-3 this season against the Orange County Angels of Anaheim. As I always try to do, I definitely, 100% found some positives from last nights game that I want to share with you before previewing tonight’s game, along with some negatives as well.
Positives: The offense awoke from the Oakland induced Coma that we seemed to be in as of late. They finally started showing some signs of life, and a little pop in the bats. In just two innings last night, we had six hits and scored five runs. In the past three games prior, we only managed to get nine hits, and two runs…combined. So it was definitely nice to see that energy from the dugout and the overall excitement that just wasn’t around in Oakland. Granted, I mentioned this on facebook as well, but you have to take into large consideration the stadium as well. The Dodgers have never played well there, and not only is it a pitcher’s ballpark with extremely long fences, but the stadium is NEVER even half way filled, and the energy that the fans bring for the Oakland Athletic’s just isn’t there. It’s very hard to get excited for a game like that, and it’s hard to perform when you’re not amped. It’s much easier to play in a place like Dodger or Angel Stadium in Anaheim. But anyways, back to last night — After the second inning, we were shut down runs wise, but the Dodgers were still making great at-bats. They ended up with 12 hits, including a 3 run homerun by Bobby Abreu, which was the first Dodgers homerun since Juan Rivera’s on June 12th. Yeah…10 days earlier.
“I didn’t think nothing about [revenge],” Abreu said. “I was just doing the best I can do to help my team win.”
A.J. Ellis also had a great at bat, where he battled off Dan Haren’s best stuff and worked an 11 pitch, full count at-bat that ended up with Ellis getting a single, and you could phyiscally see that it affected Haren. Mattingly also commented that he was overall pleased with the team’s performance last night, especially after a three game sweep in Oakland.
“After today, it doesn’t really concern me,” he said. “I was OK with the way we played today. The energy was good. At the end of the day, we got beat; we didn’t give it away. We weren’t able to stop them, but we had good at-bats the whole game.”
Negatives: Chad. Billingsley. There’s not much more to say about Chad that hasn’t been said already. To put it insanely mild, he is incredibly inconsistent and mediocre. AKA -not a number two starting pitcher. Last night, Bills had zero command and just flat out, didn’t execute at all. To me, he looked like he was throwing rather than pitching. He was over throwing, and his confidence was way down. The stat that concerned me the most though, was how he dealt with the bottom third of the Angels lineup. It’s hard enough to deal with players like Trout, Trumbo, Pujols, etc. But you can not make it harder on yourself by not focusing with the rest of the team. The Angels are solid from top to bottom, and last night the bottom third of their lineup scored 5 out of their total 8 runs. That’s practically unheard of.
“That’s why I guess you ask me all those questions every five days,” Mattingly said to reporters afterward. “I guess the mystery continues a little bit. It’s really a matter of, he’s got to be able to execute and get the ball where he wants, you have to stop the bleeding, slow yourself down and make quality pitches and manage those innings and not let it snowball.”
Billingsley was philosophical about his latest setback. “It’s just baseball,” he said. “I’ll continue to go out and pitch my game. It’s baseball. I’ve been playing a few years. I understand this game. Nothing’s easy. I’ll continue to go out and grind like every one of us on the team is doing.”
We’ll see which Billingsley comes to the mound his next appearance, but until then, let’s enjoy one of our most consistent starters in Chris Capuano, who has been great for the team all year. He is taking the mound against Ervin Santana who has had a very rough season in 2012. Coming off from a 1 hit gem against the Diamondbacks, Santana is only 4-7 with a 5.16 ERA. To be honest with you, he’s been as predictable and consistent this year as Chad Billingsley has been for us. Yeah, I know. That’s mean, but also still true.
Looking at the matchup, on paper, it looks as if the Dodgers have a great shot of taking this one. Santana is coming off a great game, like I said, but for the most part has a tendency to get shelled, and Capuano is solid. However, in this weird quote-unquote “rivalry” anything could happen. Funny side note about that “rivalry.” As we all know…Dodgers fans hate, no that’s not quite it — loathe, no that’s not it either — well I can’t really find a word to describe the way we feel about the Giants, but we all know that is our number one and only true rivalry. That rivalry has been going since the Brooklyn and New York days, WELL before the Angels were even a thought of becoming a team. So to Angels fans, they think that this rivalry is way more serious than any Dodgers fans think it is. Which is funny, cause even Mike Scioscia, the Angel’s manager (also ex-Dodger catcher) doesn’t consider it a rivalry.
“I don’t really think there is [a rivalry], as far as anybody in our clubhouse or in their clubhouse, but I do know that the media and our fans obviously have more interest in the game because of the geographical rivalry that’s here, with two teams being so close,” Scioscia said. “For us, it’s another game. They’re a good team, and we have to do things well if we’re going to beat them.”
I just thought that was pretty funny, and just another point in my forever-ongoing argument that the Dodgers and Angels “rivalry” is nonexistent and dumb. The Giants will always have that special place in our hearts as the most hated team in the universe, and the Angels will never even come close. Sorry ’bout it, Angels fans.
Dee Gordon, SS
Jerry Hairston, 2B
Andre Ethier, RF
Bobby Abreu, DH
Juan Rivera, LF
James Loney, 1B
Elian Herrera, CF
Juan Uribe, 3B
A.J. Ellis, C
Chris Capuano, Pitcher
Mike Trout, CF
Torii Hunter, RF
Albert Pujols, 1B
Mark Trumbo, LF
Kendrys Morales, DH
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Maicer Izturis, 3B
Erik Aybar, SS
John Hester, C
Ervin Santana, Pitcher
Hey Dodgertown!! Grab the popcorn — put on your lucky articles of clothing — sit down and get ready for round 2 of the Freeway Series. Here’s to hoping that the Dodgers remembered to bring their bats to Anaheim, considering they seemed to have forgotten them in L.A. when they visited Oakland this past week. I’ve got some good news and bad news for everyone. Let’s start with some good news. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to say that:
Good News: Mr. Juan Uribe is OUT of the lineup!! It will be so refreshing to get a break from seeing that haggard swing every ninth at bat. Now I don’t mean to bash on any of our Boys in Blue, and I know its not fair to single any one person out considering the recent offensive slump the entire team is in, but this is one that I just don’t agree with. Let me explain my reasoning. Juan Uribe, even after a DL stint because of his recent wrist injury, is batting a mere .185. I double checked myself, and to answer your question, no, that’s not a typo. Remember how hopeful everyone was back in 2010? And the hope that Ned Colletti gave us after he signed him by saying, “He will provide more power, he has thunder in his bat.” Really Ned? Cause that so called “thunder” has only struck five times since you’ve signed him. Mike Petriello for Mike Scioscia’s Tragic Illness wrote a great article about Uribe describing why he is actually the third, possibly second worst Dodger signing in history. Click Here for a great read about more on that. Despite all that criticism, that was my good news: Uribe. Is. Out. Celebrate.
Bad News: Kennedy is in at third instead. As much as I’d like to rejoice that Uribe is out…we’re really not gaining much here. Oh well, at least Adam’s swing isn’t as atrocious as Uribe’s is. Plus, Adam provides the slight gleam of hope that he can come through sometimes. Whereas Uribe really doesn’t give you that hope. Ever.
But hey! I’m not here to be all negative. Here’s some more good news. That DH spot that we get to use in Anaheim is allowing Ethier, Abreu, and Rivera to hit together in the middle of the lineup. Maybe that could potentially spark some offense that we’ve so desperately needed the past couple series. Here’s what else Donnie scratched in for tonight’s lineup against the Orange County Angels of Anaheim.
1. Dee Gordon, SS
2. Jerry Hairston Jr., 2B
3. Andre Ethier, RF
4. Bobby Abreu, DH
5. Juan Rivera, LF
6. James Loney, 1B
7. Adam Kennedy, 3B
8. AJ Ellis, C
9. Tony Gwynn Jr, CF
Chad Billingsley, P
I can honestly say I have no idea where to begin or what to even write about this game. It was…embarrassing. I don’t know about any of you reading this, but there was zero emotion or energy until the ninth inning, when it was WELL too late. I don’t know what has happened to our gritty, always coming at the opposition type play that I loved watching. I hate to say it…but for the first time this season, our injuries are starting to show. Our offense is just not producing runs like we used to be. Especially, and I mean especially, when Nathan Eovaldi takes the mound. This poor kid. In four starts, his ERA is SUB TWO (1.93). He’s getting us deep enough into the game (averaging around the sixth inning, tonight the seventh), and his record is 0-2. He’s the Dodgers version of Cliff Lee. In four games, the Dodgers have backed him by scoring — are you ready for this? Buckle up –two runs. In four games.
I’ve been reading a lot of threads and forums saying “Jansen blew the game again,” this and that. Not to me. This was entirely and one hundred percent a team loss. It would have felt weird to win, because the bottom line was, we didn’t deserve it. Jansen had never given up a homerun when the ballgame was tied in his entire career before tonight. It was a fluke pitch, and a lucky swing by Aybar, who has no power to begin with. I know I’m not in my usual, “let’s look at the good things” type attitude, and I apologize. Maybe it’s seeing the Giants celebrate in perfection or maybe its just an accumulation of both that and tonight’s game, I’m not sure. All I do know is that seeing players like Uribe consistently in the lineup night after night just bums me out. Uribe is 1 for 7 since coming off the DL (shocker to us all, I’m sure) and he is the last person I’d want to see up when the games on the line. I’d honestly rather see Kennedy in.
But my job isn’t to bash players, so I won’t. I’ll have to end this here, and maybe bury this post with other posts that are a little more enjoyable to read. The Dodgers get a very much needed day off tomorrow, so check back to see some posts I don’t get to do very often. Maybe I’ll throw in an interview or an interesting historical read. I’ll surprise ya. In the mean time, have a good night Dodgertown. Until next time…