Saturday, September 19, 2009

Post-Game 149 Thread: Dear Brad Penny

Ronnie Belliard welcomes Brad Penny back to Dodger Stadium with a first-inning grand slam.

DODGERS 12, GIANTS 1

Dear Brad Penny,

I understand why you would be salty at the Dodgers. After all, they paid you $2 million just to go away. (We all should be so unwanted.) Your Dodger-hating excitement upon joining the Giants was understandable, and you backed it up in your first game against them, in San Francisco. You and Larry Bowa even kissed and made up after your public feud, a nice touch of civility in an otherwise ugly war of words.

So when the Dodgers touched you up for a most uncivil five earned runs in the first inning today, it was a huge relief. Not only do the Dodgers clinch the season series against the Giants, but it gave the team a much-needed offensive workout as the post-season looms. You, Brad Penny, crashed back to earth. Congratulations, you're now officially a San Francisco Giant.

You also gave up back-to-back homers to Matt Kemp and James Loney en route to being knocked out in the third inning. Meanwhile, Jon Garland went eight strong innings, giving up seven hits and only one (unearned) run — making his case for starting in the playoffs. Which are becoming more of a reality with each passing day.

photo by Chris Carlson/AP

63 comments:

Dusty Baker said...

This is exactly what I pictured Jon Garland doing for us.

Neeebs said...

Its going to make for an interesting decision for the post season roster.

Dusty Baker said...

RWolf
Hiro
Garland
Padilla
Kershaw?Bills?

Mr. LA Sports Fan said...

Wolf
Kershaw (if healthy)
Kuroda
Garland

I would envision Padilla being a very effective out of the 'pen.

Mr. LA Sports Fan said...

All of the Dodgers' mid-season pickups have been really great (Thome pending).

Dusty Baker said...

The big wildcard is how Kershaw comes back, I guess.

Interesting to think about Padilla out of pen.

Dusty Baker said...

RB, where you at?

Andrew said...

Well let's hope that Kershaw can get a start or two before the end of the season so he can burn some of the anxiety one gets from a lay off.

Neeebs said...

Hate to say it, but Bills is looking like the odd man out.

Dusty Baker said...

Right, Neeebs. I'm about not going by what the name on the back of the shirt says, or on someone's potential, or on someone's past success, but on how they are playing and what form they're on through the last 1.5 months of the season or so. And that doesn't point to His Thighness.

Dusty Baker said...

OT:

Touchdown Arkansas!!!!!

Dusty Baker said...

Rox up 2-nil already.

Dusty Baker said...

Pedro down 3-0 in 4th against chopheads.

Dusty Baker said...

^ Now 6-0.

Dusty Baker said...

Snakes go up 3-2!

Dusty Baker said...

That didn't last long. Rox up 4-3 now. I switched hats, and clearly that was not a good move.

Mr. LA Sports Fan said...

The Dodgers have won the war. We've got the better record AND the better head-to-head record. What do the Giants have? A boat load of crap, and that's just their outfield.

Steve Sax said...

Rox open up a five-spot in the ninth to go up 10-4. So much for a snakes rally.

Ken said...

Brad Penny sucks

KempKershaw said...

Base on the logic I've seen in here, if we were all Phillies fans, you'd be advocating starting Jamie Moyer over Cole Hamels if he had a better final two weeks, or Brad Penny over Lincecum if he had a better final two weeks.

Unless someone is injured and can't pitch, you put out the best pitchers you have, not who has had the better previous couple of starts.

Kershaw
Bills
Wolf
----------
Kuroda

Order of the top 3 can be shuffled based on who we play, i.e. the lefties going 1-2 against the Phillies followed by Bills.

Dusty Baker said...

Two weeks is very different from the 6 weeks I mentioned earlier as a loose time frame for seeing what sort of form a given pitcher was on.

I can't imagine a remotely knowledgeable Dodgers follower arguing that Billingsley right now should be chosen over Garland in a playoff rotation.

KempKershaw said...

Bills is better, has a better chance to shut a lineup down.

Both could fail, both could succeed, but Bills is better, has better stuff, and makes bats miss at a higher rate, and thus is more likely to shut a team down and be successful.

If his hamstring injury is worse than has been reported, that's a whole different scenario, but when healthy, it's Bills.

Period.

Mr. LA Sports Fan said...

Until Billingsley can put together a solid start, he's not getting a spot in the postseason rotation. I mean, he doesn't even deserve a spot now, and the Dodgers are facing the Nats and 'Rates.

KempKershaw said...

Again, using your logic, if Jeff Weaver throws a perfect game the week before the playoffs, he gets a start in said playoffs simply because he had a good start, all the while ignoring his mediocre career and whatever he's done this season.

Mr. LA Sports Fan said...

You're spinning our comments. Billingsley hasn't had one bad outing, and we're not crowning Padilla and Garland as the aces of the staff. The fact of the matter is that Billingsley has been consistently ineffective, while other pitchers have been consistently effective. Unless Garland gives up five runs a game in each of his next starts, he joins Kuroda and Wolf as starters in the playoffs. Kershaw's pending due to the shoulder, and until Billingsley can find some way to pitch well, he's in the bullpen until further notice. This is crunch time, and it's shape up or ship out.

Mr. LA Sports Fan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mr. LA Sports Fan said...

Stick a "just" before "one bad outing"

It's late.

KempKershaw said...

No, I'm using your logic correctly. Your logic is "what have you done for me lately".

Plus, have you looked at who Garland and Padilla have been pitching against since coming here?

JG: Arizona twice, San Fran, Pittsburgh.

Padilla: Arizona twice, San Fran twice, Colorado.

Only one tough start there among the 9.

Bills has had tougher opponents, tougher lineups.



We already know what Torre wants to do, so it's a matter of praying Garland and Padilla don't pitch like they have for the majority of their careers.

KempKershaw said...

Haha I didn't even catch that.

Dusty Baker said...

Billingsley is 2-5 with 3 no decisions in his last 10 starts (2 of 3 of those NDs resulted in loss). He's not gone longer than 6.0 innings in any of those starts. It's not a pretty picture.

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/players/7705

To say nothing of the fairly disastrous playoffs starts he had last year against Phillies.

I like Bills and want him to do well for us, and am mostly glad we didn't trade him when given the chance. He has great potential, but it's time for him to step up. As yet, he hasn't in big situations. We can't gamble on him when the post-season is on the line, though.

Dusty Baker said...

Well said at 11:01 PM, MLASF.

Mr. LA Sports Fan said...

Thank you, Dusty.

KempKershaw said...

First, you used Wins and Losses as a justification for your argument, which is absurd. The worst statistical measurement of how a pitcher has performed. Truly, truly absurd.

Second, you ignore Bills's good start in the playoffs last year.

Third, going with Garland or Padilla is a bigger gamble because they are worse pitchers than Chad Billingsley, and it is often a prudent thing to use your best players when the games matter most.

Fourth, you're "mostly glad" we didn't trade him? Who would you have been glad to receive in a trade for Bills?

Mr. LA Sports Fan said...

I'll let Dusty handle this one.

Dusty Baker said...

I would have been glad to receive Cliff Lee in a trade that involved Billingsley, for starters! Or R. Hallady.

Mr. LA Sports Fan said...

Dammit, I need to make my avi photo bigger through the link!

Dusty Baker said...

It's truly, truly absurd to look at a pitcher's win/loss record? Interesting take. Given that it's not a perfect measure of a pitcher's efficacy, but it's certainly a good barometer. That's why guys with 300 wins are in the Hall of Fame, and those with 76 are not. Funny how that works.

I think looking at the last ten starts is a decent enough barometer of how a pitcher is pitching. It takes enough games into account that one or two bad outings that may be aberrations are averaged out over a number of games, and in most ways takes into account varying levels of competition over the same amount of time/games started.

If anyone has a perfect way of telling how a pitcher is pitching, or, more useful, predicting how a pitcher might pitch during the playoffs, by all means get in touch with Dodgers front office because it would be most advantageous to our World Series pursuit.

KempKershaw said...

Yes, Chad Billingsley is far too much of a risk to pitch in the postseason because he struggled there in 2 of 3 starts last year (oh shit, what a huge sample size!) and is so inexperienced in October, but Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay are so much more reliable when it comes to the postseason. We can trust them to be lights out, like they have in their previous:


0 COMBINED POSTSEASON APPEARANCES.


Not to mention the fact that Bills is 6-7 years younger than both, has been better up through this point in his career than either of those two were, and is a cheaper pitcher to roster than the other two.

KempKershaw said...

MLASF- The picture is big enough to read.

And wins/losses are an atrocious way to look at a pitcher. The absolute worst way.

Plus, the Dodgers front office wouldn't listen to logic. Ever.

Dusty Baker said...

Chad B., when did you start posting on SoSG?!

Mr. LA Sports Fan said...

Here's the photo I tried to upload, but failed to do so.

KempKershaw said...

Last two comments are of course directed at Dusty, not MLASF. Forgot to add that.

Mr. LA Sports Fan said...

I knew that

Dusty Baker said...

I think that 100% of GMs, if given a "fantasy draft" choice going into the post-season, would choose Lee or Hallady as part of their rotation over Bills any day of the week.

It is truly, truly absurd to advocate otherwise.

Dusty Baker said...

Talk about a poor measure of success, why would being a cheaper pitcher be a reason to include or not include on a squad's post-season rotation?

KempKershaw said...

Dusty Baker- In 2007, Tim Wakefield had 17 wins. Using your logic, he had a hell of a good season.

This is one of the best examples of why wins are, yes, the absolute worst way to look at a pitcher's performance. His numbers that year:

xFIP: 5.16
FIP: 4.79
ERA: 4.76
K/9 IP: ~5.3
BB/9 IP: ~3.1

Yeah, he was shit in 2007. But wait, he had 17 wins! Cy Young, Hall of Fame for sure!


http://www.hardballtimes.com/thtstats/main/player/219/tim-wakefield

KempKershaw said...

The monetary comment was related to why making that trade would not be good for the Dodgers, aside from age and performance.

Mr. LA Sports Fan said...

While I would love to continue this debate, it's past my bedtime.

KempKershaw said...

Sweet dreams.

Dusty Baker said...

re: the Wakefield example:

Actually, doesn't that mean the other way around...he doesn't have great numbers (because of what kind of pitcher he is/what pitches he throws) yet he still manages 17 wins - which, in the end, are what matters most, not one's ERA or other pitching measures. I'd rather my SP have 4.62 ERA but pitch well enough to get a win for his team than have a low ERA or other measure.

As I've noted a number of times, w/l is not a perfect barometer of a pitcher, nor is looking at the last 2 or 3 outings. In fact, no one knows the best way to evaluate a pitcher in terms of his upcoming post-season potential. But for certain it is obvious to all but the most obstinate that recent poor performance, through both the short and medium terms, however it is measured, is likely the best indicator we know that a skipper should consider another pitcher who has had more recent success, however it is measured, in the last short to medium term.

Nic j said...

Funny this door i walked in says SOSG, but i could swear this was MOKM.

Josh S. said...

Let me see if I can contribute to the discussion in a more SoSG-like manner.

Bills is trending downward with no sign of improvement. (He also has fat thighs.)

Padilla and Garland are trending upward since coming to the Dodgers. (Yet Padilla still looks like a serial killer version of Fernando Valenzuela and Garland wears his hat funny in the dugout.)

So yes, it is a bit of "What have you done for me lately?", but that's also the name of a pretty good Janet Jackson song, and we should be showing respect to all things Jackson-related right now.

rbnlaw said...

Sorry I missed the fun. Was in and out with soccer all day, but did watch most of the game.
I really hated seeing us rough up poor Brad Penny. We could've let him pitch at least 3 2/3 innings before knocking him out.

I told Mrs. rbn at the beginning of the game that Penny will likely pitch just like he did last year at Dodger Stadium, horribly.
Glad I was right this time.

rbnlaw said...

Oh, DB.
Thanks for the shout out.
I'll hopefully be around for today's game vs. Timmah and his bad back.

Dusty Baker said...

In the Yard today thanks so some serendipity and some charm. Will try to post some snark and/or masterful insight from the inside. Erin, if you're in the press box it will be easirt to wave today as I have some bourgeois tix.

KempKershaw said...

re: the Wakefield example:

Actually, doesn't that mean the other way around...he doesn't have great numbers (because of what kind of pitcher he is/what pitches he throws) yet he still manages 17 wins - which, in the end, are what matters most, not one's ERA or other pitching measures. I'd rather my SP have 4.62 ERA but pitch well enough to get a win for his team than have a low ERA or other measure.



No, it means he pitched extremely poorly but had run support, so in a start where he game up 4 or 5 runs the Red Sox scored 5 or 6.

KempKershaw said...

Small sample sizes are not a good indication of a player's performance or potential future performance.

You can't predict what will happen (even with larger sample sizes), but you have to put yourself in the best possible situation for an excellent performance to occur.

I believe the best thing to do is look at a large enough sample size (a year minimum, preferably a couple of years) and see who has pitched the best over that time.


Bills, Padilla, and Garland have pitched for enough time that we can look at their careers and see Bills is the best and thus most likely to excel in the postseason.

Yes, Kershaw is young (only about a season) but it's clear he can get the job done, the pedigree was there when he started and he's lived up to it.

kensai said...

Trading 3-4 years of a player under team control for an already expensive player that will only be around for another year generally isn't a good idea, especially when you're not solving a problem.

I could understand if you wanted to trade Chad Billingsley for Adrian Gonzalez, because that addresses a team deficiency, but going overkill on a team strength seems...dubious.

Wins and losses could be the worst metric to grade a pitcher. Maybe it's like the 5873th best way to determine which pitchers are effective and which aren't.

Besides, by that logic, Billingsley has 12 wins, so shouldn't he be like the 2nd starter in the playoffs? Hmm...

KempKershaw said...

kensai always says things in the most logical way, though I tried.

Not that it would have changed your minds, but eh.

kensai said...

"Nic j said...
Funny this door i walked in says SOSG, but i could swear this was MOKM."

Meaning...what?

kensai said...

"I'd rather my SP have 4.62 ERA but pitch well enough to get a win for his team than have a low ERA or other measure."

What it means is that you're a below average pitcher but you play for the Boston Red Sox.

Tim Lincecum would win like 25 games a year on the Red Sox.

kensai said...

KempKershaw-Well i've explained it all before.

You're basically narrowing your chances down to this postseason and taking a flier on next year, plus limiting your payroll flexibility because McCourt is a cheap asshole.

Besides, I was just never convinced that the pitching staff was the problem, and chances are, if the Dodgers lose in the postseason, the #3 rotation, #1 bullpen, #1 overall staff in the majors probably won't be the problem.

I was a lot more open to trading for Adrian Gonzalez or whichever elite hitter they were pursuing at the time.

KempKershaw said...

"I'd rather my SP have 4.62 ERA but pitch well enough to get a win for his team than have a low ERA or other measure."
-------------
What it means is that you're a below average pitcher but you play for the Boston Red Sox.

Tim Lincecum would win like 25 games a year on the Red Sox.

----------------------------


What Dusty Baker is saying is that he'd rather have Tim Wakefield than Tim Lincecum (not surprisingly, what the really Dusty Baker would say).

You fail sir.