Friday, May 25, 2012

LAT's Dilbeck Gives 'Paws Reflection

Great feature piece by the LAT's Steve Dilbeck on the Dodgers' left-handed starters, Clayton Kershaw, Ted Lilly, and Chris Capuano, and how the southpaws have paid dividends for the Dodgers so far this 2012 season:

[N]o team, anywhere, has three left-handed starters going right now like the Dodgers.

Entering Wednesday's games, Clayton Kershaw, Ted Lilly and Chris Capuano combined had a dazzling 15-2 record with a 1.99 earned-run average. And even after Lilly's meltdown that night — eight earned runs, nine hits and five walks in 31/3 innings — the ERA is still only 2.38.

If they were to somehow keep that up, they'd only go down as the greatest trio of left-handed starters in one rotation ever.

With the Arizona Diamondbacks sending left-hander Patrick Corbin down Tuesday, the Dodgers became the only team in baseball currently with three left-handed starters.

"I don't mind at all, particularly when they're pitching like this," Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly said. "I don't want to have lefties just to have lefties.

"But guys have trouble with lefties. They just don't see them as much. It's just a different look."

Not so different as to be unique. This is hardly the first time the Dodgers have successfully used a trio of left-handed starters. In 1965, their four-man rotation included Sandy Koufax (26-8, 2.04 ERA), Claude Osteen (15-15, 2.79) and Johnny Podres (7-6, 3.43) around No. 2 starter Don Drysdale (23-12, 2.77).

In 1973, they had Osteen (16-11, 3.31), Tommy John (16-7, 3.10) and Al Downing (9-9, 2.98), though the ace was Don Sutton. And in 1985 they used Fernando Valenzuela (17-10, 2.45), Jerry Reuss (14-10, 2.92) and current pitching coach Rick Honeycutt (8-12, 3.42).

"It's pretty unusual to have three," Honeycutt said. "These guys have all had success. This is my seventh year [with the Dodgers], and this is by far the most experienced five guys we've had."

Kershaw's greatness may have been predestined, but Capuano and Lilly's form this year are sure making Honeycutt, and GM Ned Colletti, look good so far. Let's hope this holds up.


Fred's Brim said...

I am terribly worried about this team. I need a win tonight to ease my mind