Dodgers Report: C.J. Wilson

Quick take: Dodgers 8, Angels 7

May, 27, 2013
5/27/13
8:50
PM PT


LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Dodgers showed plenty of fight Monday night.

The Dodgers clawed their way out of a 6-1 hole by steadily chipping away against lefty C.J. Wilson and the Los Angeles Angels’ unpredictable bullpen. It was the Dodgers’ biggest rally of the season and led to an 8-7 win at Dodger Stadium that snapped the Angels' eight-game winning streak.

The big inning was the fifth, when the Dodgers scored four times to tie it. Mark Ellis had a clutch two-run double and Adrian Gonzalez and Scott Van Slyke had RBI hits.

Jerry Hairston Jr., in his first day back after missing three weeks with a strained groin, singled to drive in Gonzalez in the seventh to give the Dodgers the decisive run. Gonzalez is among the hottest hitters in baseball. He scored four times -- including huffing and puffing all the way from first on Van Slyke’s double off the left-field wall -- and has nine hits in his past 11 at-bats.

The game began at 5:10 p.m., when the Dodgers normally would be taking batting practice. It looked a lot like their body clocks never caught up. Matt Kemp got back on Albert Pujols’ deep line drive, but it clanged off his glove for a charitably-ruled double. Ramon Hernandez allowed a passed ball, then appeared to forget to throw to first base and, by the time he did, he rushed it and threw high to Adrian Gonzalez.

The ball bounced off Gonzalez’s glove, too. That started the Dodgers off in a 2-0 hole, which grew deeper as Zack Greinke struggled for a second straight start, both against teams he played for last season. Greinke allowed six runs on 10 hits and couldn’t get an out in the fifth inning.

The Dodgers these days are largely playing around Kemp, who looks lost in the batter’s box and gets roundly booed every night now. Kemp struck out four more times and has struck out in 13 of his past 23 plate appearances.

The teams combined to hit 11 doubles, a new Dodger Stadium record.

Dodgers vs. Angels: Who has the edge?

January, 24, 2013
1/24/13
4:11
PM PT
Who knows, maybe this is the season it finally happens. The Dodgers, having spared no expense, will field a balanced, dangerous team and feel like they are positioned for a World Series run. The Angels, who jacked up their already formidable power with the surprise acquisition of Josh Hamilton, have similar aims.

If there really is to be a Freeway Series in 2013, a lot of things have to go right for both teams. But the team that made -- and makes -- the best personnel decisions likely will go further into October.

Let's break down the key areas of both rosters to try to decipher which team is better constructed to play longer into 2013.

Starting rotation

This is the part of the discussion in which Dodgers fans get to gloat and Angels fans have to just sit there and marinate. You could argue -- in fact, you don't really even have to -- that the Dodgers have better pitchers in all five spots.

We know this because one of the Angels starters, Joe Blanton, couldn't have cracked the Dodgers' seven deep. We also know this because one of the Dodgers' starters, Zack Greinke, almost helped the Angels make the playoffs.

Jered Weaver is perfectly ace-like. About 25 teams would put him at the top of their rotation. He has finished in the top five in Cy Young voting three years running and even got a couple of MVP votes last year -- always a cool accomplishment for a pitcher. He won 20 games, had a sub-3.00 ERA for the second season in a row and usually gives you more than 200 innings. And we won't even hold the .250 and .241 BABIPs from the past two seasons against him. Weaver is a fly ball pitcher and he relies on mishits to pitch deep into games. He gets strikeouts when he needs them, which is quite often, actually.

The only reason he doesn't get the edge is that Clayton Kershaw might be the best pitcher in baseball. We don't need SABR to tell us that. It's not that scientific. For the past two seasons he led baseball in ERA and was in the top three in WAR for pitchers. If he's not the most dominant pitcher in baseball, he's in the team photo and it's a small team (probably Kershaw, Stephen Strasburg, Felix Hernandez and Justin Verlander).

So, the Dodgers get an edge in the No. 1 department, though it's a fairly slight edge because of Weaver's competitiveness and consistency. "Slight" isn't the right word for the rest of the Dodgers' edge in starting pitching.

Greinke has never come close to touching his 2009 Cy Young season, but neither has just about any other active pitcher. Greinke flirted with a sub-2.00 ERA, led the league in ERA+ and WHIP. Nobody could square him up. He gave up 0.4 home runs per nine innings. He was mediocre the following season, probably in part because of a personal crisis, but has gone 31-11 with a 3.63 ERA the past two years. Is he worth $147 million? Is any pitcher? He's as good a No. 2 starter as there is out there.

(Read full post)

Two Dodgers have Gold Glove chances

October, 29, 2012
10/29/12
11:25
AM PT
Clayton Kershaw and Andre Ethier have a chance to defend their Gold Glove awards.

Both players were announced as finalists at their respective positions Monday. The Dodgers -- Ethier, Kershaw and Matt Kemp -- set a franchise record by winning three last season. Winners will be announced Tuesday.

Kershaw might have the better case, though he's got competition from Miami's Mark Buehrle and Cincinnati's Bronson Arroyo. From the Rawlings press release:
Kershaw completed his second consecutive errorless season and has not committed an error since Aug. 1, 2010, a span of 76 games. The Texas native led the Majors with 11 pickoffs and has either led or tied for the National League lead in pickoffs in each of the last three seasons since 2010.

Ethier's case is less solid. Jay Bruce and Jason Heyward are the other candidates in right field. From the release:
Ethier, 30, ranked second among National League right fielders with a .988 fielding percentage, committing just three errors in 146 games (142 starts) in right field this season. Ethier’s streak of 282 games (276 starts) from July 10, 2010-July 25, 2012 without an error was the second-longest active run among non-pitchers in baseball behind only Franklin Gutierrez and the second-longest errorless run by a Dodger outfielder behind only Brett Butler’s 306-game run from 1992-94.

The Angels also have two finalists, pitcher C.J. Wilson and center fielder Mike Trout. Torii Hunter once again was snubbed.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Yasiel Puig
BA HR RBI R
.296 16 69 92
OTHER LEADERS
HRA. Gonzalez 27
RBIA. Gonzalez 116
RY. Puig 92
OPSY. Puig .863
WC. Kershaw 21
ERAC. Kershaw 1.77
SOC. Kershaw 239