Monday, March 24, 2014

Sydney Takeaways

Mark Saxon goes through some of the things the Dodgers may have learned from their two games in Australia:

You can't make sweeping generalizations about two games of a season, but you can draw a hazy conclusion or two:

  • The starting pitching, at least at the top, is strong. The Diamondbacks took a blow just before they came to Australia when they learned young lefty Patrick Corbin had an elbow injury. But remember, the Dodgers were without Zack Greinke, who stayed behind in Arizona after his spring was delayed by a sore calf. Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu got the Dodgers off to a roaring start in both games, giving up one run in 11 ⅔ innings combined. "When your pitching's this good, you really don't want to allow teams to get back in games," Mattingly sad.
  • Which brings us to the biggest worry, once again: infield defense. Hanley Ramirez made a poor decision trying to step on second base to start a double play when he could have shoveled to Dee Gordon at least to get an out at second. Everybody was safe. Gordon dropped a liner right in his glove. Stopping balls hit up the middle is crucial and might become a long-term worry. Then again, the games were played on a lightning-fast infield, so perhaps we should withhold judgment.
  • Second base could be fine. Gordon looked like a catalyst in Sunday's game, sparking almost all of the Dodgers' scoring action. "I'll do what I can to be the starting second baseman and show they can trust me to be the guy every day," Gordon said afterward. Justin Turner looks like a solid right-handed half of a Gordon-Turner platoon. The Dodgers can be patient and allow Alex Guerrero to develop at Triple-A as long as the platoon works. Good early signs.
  • The bullpen should be good. Relief pitching was awful Sunday. The first five relievers in the game for the Dodgers gave up seven walks among them. Then again, some of those guys won't even be on the team in a week, as the Dodgers scramble to find roster spots for Greinke, Dan Haren, Brandon League and Carl Crawford. When the three top relievers, Kenley Jansen, Brian Wilson and Chris Perez, pitched in Saturday's game, it was lights-out. Jansen did allow a Mark Trumbo home run Sunday but cut him some slack. It was a non-save situation.

photo swiped from here


Hideo Nomo said...

How's everybody feeling as we enter Day 2 of 4 days without Dodger baseball.

Hideo Nomo said...

^ ?

Dusty Baker's Toothpick said...

cold and empty

Dusty Baker's Toothpick said...

But I'm looking forward to over driking and puking at Petco on Sunday!