Saturday, August 24, 2013

Okay, Let's Not Get Carried Away Here

It was only the opening game of a three-game series. And we won 2-0, led by a surprisingly impressive effort from starter Ricky Nolasco and another unsurprising bit of heroics from shortstop Hanley Ramirez.

But to hear ESPN's Arash Markazi talk about last night's victory, one might think last night's victory proved once and for all that the Adrian Gonzalez / Carl Crawford / Josh Beckett / Nick Punto trade with Boston was definitively a Dodgers triumph:

Friday night's 2-0 win against the Boston Red Sox to give the Dodgers a 10 1/2-game lead atop the National League West seemed different.

That's because, about a year ago, the Dodgers pulled off a blockbuster trade that brought Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto to the team. Every player coming to Los Angeles in that deal was painted as an overpriced mistake and reviled in Boston.

The trade was the best thing to happen to them both personally and professionally but doesn't take away the bad memories of their time in Boston.

The Dodgers might not say it publicly, but Friday's win (as well as all this weekend's games against Boston) was for Gonzalez, Crawford, Punto and Beckett, even though Beckett is currently sidelined.

Crawford went 2-for-3 against his former team, including a run and two stolen bases. Hanley Ramirez, a former Red Sox player himself, hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning, which was all the scoring the Dodgers needed. Ricky Nolasco pitched eight innings of two-hit ball with six strikeouts, and Kenley Jansen came in and successfully converted his 15th consecutive save opportunity.

"That was a great win," Crawford said in an on-field television interview after the game. "Now we want to get the other two."

Beckett is still deadweight, gone for the season and having brought only two wins to the Dodgers since the trade (neither of those wins was in this season, either). Crawford has been impressive in his first year back from injury, despite missing almost all of June due to another injury. Gonzalez has been solid if not up to his career average (let alone his peak San Diego years) in OPS+. Punto has overdelivered against moderate expectations.

But a couple of months of team streaking, let alone one meager victory, shouldn't serve as proof of anything, and certainly not a blockbuster trade. Let's keep it in the pants here, Arash.


Dusty Baker said...

Corn flakes: peed in.

Hideo Nomo said...

Boston was beaten by the two Miami guys, so...