As I watch the Dodgers and Yasmani Grandal destroy the Colorado Rockies at home, I marvel that the Garden Gnome, Brett Anderson, who at one time was down 4-2 (but the way he was pitching it could’ve been 14-2) was even allowed to set foot on the mound. I guess the Blue are holding auditions for their fourth starter for the playoffs, but I think they need to get in the playoffs first. Of course, they will, having a 6 game lead with just 9 to play, but I can’t imagine Brett Anderson actually being a candidate. He’s been hurt, hurt and more hurt and he’s been bad, horrid, and not good. Tomorrow, they’re actually gonna give the ball to Scott Kazmir again. Really? I mean, he does have post-season experience, but this year the experience I’ve had watching him has been extremely painful. And I hear Brandon McCarthy, the famous “yips” sufferer, is due to pitch as well. I agree we need a fourth starter, and it can’t be Alex Wood, as he hasn’t pitched since May (kinda glad), but can’t that fourth guy in the playoffs just be Urías or De Leon? I mean, how many innings is your number four guy really gonna throw?
The Dodgers are good. I will say they are very good, and perhaps the best of any of the previous Western Division title holders these last 4 years. They just got over another hump, beating up on a good lefty in Matt Moore last night. This team has really improved. What changed? Guys who weren’t hitting started hitting big time. The impressive depth the Three-Headed Idiot was hoping for, began to shine and pay off. Andrew Toles happened. Rich Hill happened. Josh Reddick happened. Their bullpen stopped sucking. Blanton actually became good. Grant Dayton showed up. Kenley improved. Their manager, yes, their under qualified, marionette manager, turned out to be oddly effective. If any Dodger team had a reasonable chance to win an NLCS, it could be these guys. They have an intangible the other Dodger teams didn’t have: Fight, grit, chutzpah. Whatever you wanna call it. Let’s get past the Nats first, then worry about the Cubs, because I’ll tell you, between the Giants, Mets and Cards, ain’t none of those teams advancing beyond the Division Series.
Speaking of the Giants, what the hell are they going to do about their clearly troubled ace? Clayton Kershaw has four things Madison Bumgarner doesn’t have: Three Cy Young awards and an NL MVP award. Madison Bumgarner has something Clayton Kershaw doesn’t have: A World Series MVP award and Three World Championship rings. Kershaw would trade all four of those awards for just one of Mad Bum’s World Series rings. But Kershaw has one other really important thing Bumgarner doesn’t have: Class. Bumgarner, as I’ve stated many times in this space, is an asshole. His childish meltdown Monday night because Yasiel Puig was apparently ‘looking at him’ was another example of a guy who needs some serious anger management counseling. What an idiot Mad bum made of himself. When is baseball going to finally step in and do something about his crazy behavior? Bumgarner is the self-appointed Emily Post of baseball etiquette. Etiquette he seems to make up as he goes along. You can’t look at him, you can’t celebrate, you can’t toss your bat this way or that way, you can’t get too frustrated, you can’t show him up, you can’t appear to show him up, you can’t say anything when he shows you up, you can’t have any more pudding. Bumgarner, just the shut the f**k up and pitch. You’re too good to be such a jackass year in and year out. I don’t care how big and tough you think you are, you’re due for an ass-kicking.
Matt Kemp’s numbers? With 9 games left, hitting a solid .272 with 33 HR’s and 104 RBI with an OPS of .830. Not bad. Grandal’s numbers? Hitting .231 with 27 HR’s and 69 RBI with an OPS around .800 after tonight. So, should the Dodgers have made the trade? Well… with Grandal, they have a decent defensive catcher who can hit for power and produce some runs. Hard commodity to find. Obviously, Kemp’s numbers are better and we could sure use his righty bat, (Grandal’s right-handed granny notwithstanding) but you really need to ask, is the combination of Grandal and one of the outfielders better than the combination of Kemp and Ellis or Barnes? Tough call. Could we have gotten Grandal without parting ways with Kemp? The Dodgers privately hated Kemp, so it’s a moot point. But please, don’t tell me Kemp stinks. His number speak for themselves.
I haven’t checked the stats, but it sure seems like almost everyone in baseball has at least 20 homers this year. I can’t remember when I’ve ever seen so many guys with at least 20 home runs. Guys you’ve never heard of have 20 dongs. And there are a huge amount of guys with 30 + and there will be quite a few with 40 +. Kind of minimizes the accomplishment of 20+ homers, doesn’t it? What does that say about Adrian Gonzalez? He still has time.
Nice play, Utley. If you haven’t seen it, find the link. Gotta love that guy.