Saturday, April 21, 2007

Post-Game 17 Thread: LA Times Buries the Lead (Dodgers 10, Pirates 2)

We wanted to take a second to celebrate Jim Tracy's return to Dodger Stadium last night, which saw the Dodgers pound the Pittsburgh Pirates 10-2 on a chilly night at the Stadium. LA Times writer Ben Bolch, on the other hand, would rather talk about other stuff:

With the threat of their first home rainout in seven years looming Friday, the Dodgers' groundskeepers used a squeegee-like contraption to disperse puddles along the right-field line and a blower to dry troublesome spots in the outfield.

Then, once the skies cleared, the Dodgers effectively took a blowtorch to Pittsburgh starter Tony Armas in the third inning of a 10-2 victory at Dodger Stadium that sent a chilled crowd of 43,845 home with a coupon for free chicken wings by virtue of the double-digit output.

The Dodgers sent 10 men to the plate and scored six runs during the decisive third inning, with pitcher Randy Wolf's two-run double into the right-field corner being the biggest blow. Wolf also doubled down the left-field line in the fifth inning, giving him as many doubles in one game as he had in all of 2006.

"It was a fun day for us," said Wolf, who has won 12 of his last 13 decisions dating to May 9, 2005.

Wolf proved to be double trouble for Pittsburgh, confounding the Pirates on the mound as well as at the plate. Mixing his fastball and curveball, he gave up one run in six innings and struck out 10, the most by a Dodgers pitcher this season.

So let's recap the first five graphs off Ben Bolch's word processor:

  • Graph 1, describe rain and cold conditions.
  • Graph 2, add smooth segueway into game vitals, recapping the score, the game attendance, and the free chicken-wing giveaway.
  • Graph 3, discuss the third inning outburst, giving props to pitcher Wolf for his bat.
  • Graph 4, quote Wolf and contextualize his win.
  • Graph 5, mention the fact that Wolf struck out 10 batters, the most by a Dodgers pitcher this season.

I'm no journalist (at least, not anymore). But it seems to me that on a staff with Derek Lowe, Jason Schmidt, and Brad Penny, the fact that new pickup Randy Wolf struck out 10 batters seems to be pretty frickin' relevant here, and at least a heck of a lot more relevant than the chicken wing giveaway. To be fair, the 10Ks are mentioned in the headline of the print edition (or the subhead for the online edition). But come on, Bolch! Give Wolf some props for lighting up the CPKKKKKKKKKK meter!

Jayson Addcox of leads with the 10Ks. Vincent Bonsignore of the Daily News focused his story on the pitcher and his mighty strikeouts. And the Associated Press led with the strikeouts. No mention of chicken wings anyplace else except in the pages of the crown jewel of Los Angeles journalism.

They feeding you in the press box, Bolch? Are you yearning for the Olmedo Saenz Pavilion from afar?

And to Randy Wolf, congratulations on a great outing, we love it. You are more than exceeding expectations for a fourth starter. It's not often that you're going to get 10 runs from an offense that has Rafael Furcal batting .182 (0-for-4 last night, including two of the three outs in the Dodgers' third inning) and Wilson Betemit at .132 (1-for-4 with a RBI). Andre Ethier has upped his batting average to .286 (1-for-3 last night with 2 RBI and 1 HR) and Juan Pierre's 3-for-4 night (3 R scored) ups him to .278 BA (still a miserable .636 OPS, but at least we've got positive trajectory). Glad that Wolf (2-for-3, 2 RBI) brought his bat along as well, just for insurance.


Anonymous said...

If it feeds, it leads. ;)

Steve Sax said...

Nice to see you back, Robert! Hope you're feeling better.

Anonymous said...

Not 100%, but closer than ever, thanks! :)

Tim Belcher said...

i wonder how many people cash in their wings coupon. are there dodger fans lined up outside hooters locations all over southern california?

Steve Sax said...

Of course, Belch. Hooters is well-known for its...wings.