Friday, April 27, 2007

Everybody Hurts

I didn't see last night's game. I didn't even see a highlight (not that there sounded like there were highlights to watch). I talked to one of our beat reporters who was at the game, and despite obtaining a Nomar Garciaparra bobblehead, this reporter was so miserable that he/she could not talk about it.

So I'm sitting here, trying to piece together how we could have dropped the third of three games to the lowly Giants, bringing them all the way up into a first place tie with us. I'm trying to figure out how we could have let Armando Benitez leave town with three saves. I'm trying to figure out how we could have let Russ Ortiz leave town without a L. I'm trying to figure out what the hell happened.

And so, I'm fumbling around the internet wrap-ups and blogs like a spelunker with a maglight checking out the hieroglyphics. And it looks so bad to date, I almost want to just turn the light out and sit in the dark.

Steve Henson of the LATimes seems to think it comes down to Pierre, who missed a key fly ball in the eighth inning as well as a suicide squeeze sign in the second. Jaunty cap or not, that sounds pretty bad.

Most munificent was Juan Pierre, who dropped a fly ball after a long run in right-center to fuel the Giants' two-run eighth-inning rally that broke a 3-3 tie. Six innings earlier, the new Dodgers center fielder missed the sign for a squeeze bunt, blunting a rally that could have extended an early lead.

But isn't a suicide squeeze failure also the failure of Rich Donnelly, who continues to make horrible decisions at third base? Without more knowledge of the secret signing system, I can only guess that Donnelly is partially culpable for not communicating the sign and/or checking that Pierre caught the sign in the first place. If Donnelly is involved with another mishap, it would not be surprising.

Rob over at 6-4-2 also brings up that Grady Little is also at fault for leaving Joe Beimel in too long in the eighth:

[...F]acing another righty in Ray Durham, you'd think that Grady Little would pull Beimel in favor of someone who can get right-handed batters out. No such luck, so when Durham launched one into the gap, things started looking pretty bleak. Juan Pierre came thisclose to saving the day with an inning-ending catch, but instead of taking a straight line to the ball — and this is according to Vin Scully's stereoscopic account, not my review on the DVR — Pierre broke first to the warning track and turned and ran laterally. The net result was that his glove kissed the ball, pushing it away from him and ensuring the Dodgers would give up at least one run.

Grady continued to let Beimel self-immolate by letting him face Benjie Molina, another righty, who drove Durham in on an RBI single. So sure, Pierre should have caught that ball. He should have taken a better route to it, but he's incapable, possibly because he overestimates his own speed, or because he just doesn't know how. But Little had no reason to leave Beimel in there for one more right handed batter.

Meanwhile, a look at the box score shows that Luis Gonzalez hit into yet another double play, and Wilson Betemit's 1-for-3 night in the 7 hole keeps him languishing with a .136 BA.

How are we still in first place, with this many people underperforming?

So it looks like we've got no shortage of people to blame here. Howard Jones, eat your heart out.

photo: Michael Mariant/AP

Update: 6-4-2 now says Little isn't the bad guy...this time. Rob had misread the play-by-play. No worries; I'm sure Little is to blame for something last night.


Rob said...

Shamefacedly, I have to confess that I misread the Yahoo play-by-play. Little did pull Beimel, and so Molina faced Broxton, who gave up an RBI single anyway. So that puts all the more hate on Pierre's crappy play.

Eric Karros said...

Well, Things Can Only Get Better...