The Dodgers weren't charged with any errors in last night's game, but that doesn't mean they didn't make mistakes. It's a good reminder that their near-flawless first 13 games won't be a microcosm for the entire season.
For all our hand-wringing about Ronald Belisario's role in last night's heartbreaking loss to the Giants (redundant, I know), Jon Weisman at Dodger Thoughts provides us with a canny analysis of whether Belisario should have been pitching the eighth inning at all.
It's also time to acknowledge that Matt Kemp is coming back down to earth. While Kemp is still in the black with a 2.8 UZR, he's starting to pay the price for his max-effort style of defense. On this road trip, we've seen Kemp almost plow into Manny Ramirez; we've seen a ball bounce off the tip of Kemp's outstretched glove, allowing three runs to score; and we saw Kemp have a rotten first inning last night.
Kemp's troubles have also extended to the plate. Last night many of us got our wish when Joe Torre batted Kemp in the cleanup spot. Naturally, Kemp went 0-for-3 while hitting into a rally-ending double play in the seventh inning. After a torrid start, Kemp has hit .182/.308/.273 on this road trip.
Elsewhere in the dugout, Hiroki Kuroda is still weeks away. Oh, and has anyone noticed that Rafael Furcal's 75 OPS+ is second lowest among starters, only behind Russell Martin's 69 OPS+? And don't look now, but the entire division is within five games of the first-place Dodgers.
13-7 is still great, but no one said it would be a cakewalk. Enjoy the ride, everybody!
Tony Jackson has quotes from Kemp and Torre's reasoning for not bringing in Kuo for the eighth.
photo by Jeff Chiu/AP