Well, at least it was quick. Two hours, five minutes, to be exact, in a game that perfectly illustrated everything that this Dodgers offense is struggling with right now. Good postgame quote from Jeff Kent about the team’s lack of patience:
“In reality, it’s a catch between patience and being aggressive. There is that fine line. There is a time to be patient and a time to be aggressive when you’re an offensive player. There is a time to be patient when you’re coaching, too. There are decisions to be made about your action plan. There is a time to be aggressive and take some action, because you can’t wait too long.
“As long as I have been playing, there has been that fine line. Coaches can say be patient, but in the same breath, they’re saying this (opposing pitcher) throws strikes early. How can you be patient when a guy throws strikes early? That’s the catch, and it’s hard.”
Kent was trying to be as diplomatic as he possibly could. Let me say what he couldn’t, or wouldn’t:
Your humble correspondent and blog host (that would be me) is a firm believer in the Joe Torre approach to hitting, the idea that you make an opposing pitcher work as much as possible, throw as many pitches as possible and that you go to the plate with an idea of exactly what you want to do. The proof is in the pudding — and in the four World Series and six A.L. pennants Torre’s Yankees teams won by taking that approach. But you have to remember, those were VETERAN teams. This is a young team. And it’s just possible that they aren’t ready to take on this cerebral approach to the game just yet. Not that they won’t ever be. But let’s put it this way: this approach has been preached to them since Day One of spring training, and it obviously still hasn’t caught on with any consistency — and because these guys are so young, it might not catch on anytime soon ,either (read: anytime in 2008). These guys are still at a stage of their careers where they would prefer to keep things as simple as possible, and Torre’s way is definitely not simple.
Dodgers fall to 35-41 and remain four behind the Snakes, who lost at Boston.