Cubs 2, Dodgers 1

The Cubs outscored the Dodgers 8-3 in this series. That would be a pretty good spanking if it happened in one game. But I’m not going to excuse the boys by telling you they were in every game, because the fact of the matter is, when you score one run a game, you’re never really in any of them. Russell Martin made some candid comments after the game that I didn’t get into the paper, and frankly, I’m not going to waste a bunch of time transcribing them here, either, because it’s almost midnight here and I have a 6 a.m. flight. But in a nutshell, what he said was what we all already know, that you can’t expect your pitchers to win 1-0 every night and that you can’t expect to be very successful scoring one run a game. That said, though, Saito’s blown save in the ninth had nothing to do with a lack of offense. One-run leads in the ninth inning — whether it’s 1-0, 4-3 or 100-99 — are what Saito is paid to protect, and this time, he didn’t get it done. He was, however, a standup guy with the media afterward, and while that probably means nothing to the average fan, it says a lot about him as a guy. … I knew for three days there was something different about Wrigley Field, something I couldn’t quite put my finger on, and someone finally told me before the game what it was. They flattened the field over the winter, taking away the crown that I guess had been there since the place opened in 1914. This was the last park in baseball that still had a crowned field, which obviously was for drainage purposes, and according the Cubs media guide, it was 14 inches high at its peak just in front of second base. Last winter, they installed a state-of-the-art drainage system that actually sucks the water underground and eventually dumps it into the city’s sewer system. You can definitely tell the difference from field level, but the field actually looks MUCH nicer even from the press box. For a 95-year-old park, this place is remarkably well-preserved and even somewhat modern-looking. If you’re a baseball fan and you have never been here, it is definitely worth the trip. Just a truly special place in every way.

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  • BruinFBBB

    I love your blog T.J. Great content, great tone, etc…keep up the good work.

  • dud dew

    Some signs: yesterday, pitching an inning too many (was it only on tv it was clear he was out of gas?), Kuroda walked Cedeno to start the fateful inning. Tonight, Saito same with Theriot, no? Is the scouting report delivered to these guys in understandable Japanese? They seemed to be showing way too much respect to ordinary hitters – although it mighta been just fatigue in Kuroda’s case.
    Tonight, on damaging pass to Ramirez, at 1-2 (go back and watch what Koufax and Drysdale and most good pitchers of that era did when ahead 0-2 and 1-2) Martin, using the Contemporary Dumb Baseball book, sets a target way high above strike zone at 1-2. No wonder they call it a waste pitch! Wastes the pitcher’s advantage by sending a pro hitter something impossible to swing at, even if you’re Andruw Jones!
    So count goes to 2-2. It escalates to 3-2, then, after a foul ball or two, crucial ball four.
    Where (especially since he had just walked Theriot) was the evidence that Saito, obviously without his usual control, had a pitch to waste? Seems like these guys are threatened by the union AND management that if they allow a hit ahead in the count, they’re in big trouble. So now genuine attempts at a “pitcher’s” pitch when you have the perfect setup are not even made.
    Replay’s first order of business should be balls and strikes. Nothing impacts a game badly like the mope behind the plate tonite who kept letting Soto steal strikes on the outside corner versus lefties, once a ridiculous 8-12 inches, a la the evil Varitek. Pitchers are called for balks for moves which attempt to deceive a baserunner that are hard to find even on replay. But catchers continually cheat in front of cameras and kids, deceiving indifferent umps, and are rewarded. How ’bout every time a catcher pulls that, batter gets a pass?
    Youngsters showed absolutely no signs that Donnie Baseball was in town – Kemp was very weak-minded with chance for insurance in eighth, when Zambrano threw practically the same series of pitches he’d used to get him looking in previous try; exact same pitch saw his bat on the shoulder again. If he’s ever gonna be the player too many fans assume, he’s gotta be way sharper mentally. Loney had two good pitches to hit that inning – swung thru both. Oldsters past their prime, youngsters not yet near it. Team now roughly eight gamnes under .500 since this time last year.
    Decades-old mediocrity continues, changes in owners,
    GMs, scouts, players notwithstanding.
    Logan White now here six years. Marlins and A’s have shown repeatedly their guys can right the ship in two.
    He and Vinnie, mistakes galore, live in LA fans’ glass bubbles.

  • This series against the Cubs absolutely crystalized the ineptitude of the Dodgers and their organization. It was made particularly more galling by the three game brilliance of the starters who rated an ERA of a mere 1.98 against the best hitting team in the NL. These are three games we do not get back and may be the single greatest waste of pitching I have seen in awhile.

    Beyond that, the lack of fundamentals continues to destroy the team, along with the lack of a veteran presence anywhere on the field with the exception of 1 and 7. The introduction of Luis Maza into this equation has created a kind of breach in the eco-system. Confusion runs rampant, lies beget lies as the organization attempts to convince us that Fucal is a mere week or so away in order to sell tickets to hungry fans at Chavez Ravine. When McCourt opens his mouth it wreaks of untruth.

    Ned Colletti, is he a real GM, or just a PR figurehead for Frank and Jamie? Could DePodesta have actually said “no” to the duo and been sent packing, as so many have as well. If he is not a real GM, as many surmise, then we have a terrifying scenario on our hands.

    The “land grab” model of philanthropic hypocrisy from the McCourts is a sophistic FU to the fans and good people who spend good money to support the team. To field a Double AA team night after night during this illness crisis of players is an afront to each and every one of us who live and breathe Dodger air. There is simply nothing to suggest that the McCourts have any intention of correcting this model and providing LA with a real baseball team. The Dodger Way comes first, followed by the stadium, and then the concessions and merch. Winning is very far down the rabbit hole and is a messy proposition which requires legitimate tending and stewardship. I see none of this in action from these criminals from Southie.

    Where is the hue and outcry of the LA press? Oh, wait a minute…there IS no LA Press, how silly of me, only a series of coordinated PR releases masquerading as newsworthy coverage and “hard hitting” miasma, with apologies to Dylan Hernandez, a good man no doubt.

    Those who see through this ugliness, this top of the park ridicule of our raided city are infinitesimal and the Dodgers know this. U/North, the acrid company in “Michael Clayton”, comes to mind. Nothing is so indelible as Kim Ng high fiving members of her crew after defeating Gagne in arbitration. THAT is the Dodgers, four million strong and growing everyday.

  • bob_85364

    Borrowed this from Scott Wolfe “inside USC” blog, but think it fits the Dodgers:

    The London Guardian summed up England’s easy 2-0 victory over the USA this way: “It’s difficult to put into words just how feeble their opponents were. A set of traffic cones would have put up more resistance.”