Dodgers Report: Randy Johnson

The potential Kershaw-Greinke dynamic

February, 14, 2013
2/14/13
11:09
AM PT
The 1965 Dodgers reached and won the World Series riding the arms of two pitchers, Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale. Thirty-six years later, the Arizona Diamondbacks pulled off a similar feat with Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling.

If things go according to plan, the Dodgers will produce more offense than either of those teams, but it's amazing what can be accomplished with just two ace pitchers.

It's even more amazing when one of them is right-handed and the other is left-handed. It helps when both of them, like Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke, have power arms.

You see a similar dynamic with hitters. Think Miguel Cabrera-Prince Fielder or Manny Ramirez-David Ortiz. The Angels are trying to pull it off with Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton. A combination of opposite-handed power hitters are tougher to match up against and can power a team deep into October.

In pitching, it means opposing managers won't have a set lineup during series. They will pull some of their left-handed hitters when Kershaw is pitching. The next night, those hitters will be back in the lineup, cold, trying to hit Greinke's 94-mph fastball or slow curveball. Not an easy task.

It is, of course, premature to equate Kershaw and Greinke with two tandems that included three future Hall of Famers and one, Schilling, with a pretty good chance of becoming one. But you can see what the Dodgers were going for when they made Greinke the richest right-handed pitcher of all time. It's not just the individual talents, but the effect they have on the other.

Greinke said last month at FanFest that he's only had one season, 2009, when he was the clearcut No. 1 starter, so he's comfortable sliding into a secondary role. The Dodgers' top three starters figure to be Kershaw, Greinke and either Josh Beckett or Chad Billingsley.

"I guess everywhere I've been people always think someone's better," Greinke said.

And, by the way, Greinke's not yet ready to proclaim the Dodgers' staff the best in the National League. He pays close attention to the rest of baseball and he singled out the Washington Nationals, Philadelphia Phillies and San Francisco Giants as threats to the Dodgers for top rotation.

"When I first got in the majors, I don't remember there being even one team with that good a pitching staff," Greinke said. "Now, there are three just in the National League."

Brushing a sweep aside

June, 8, 2012
6/08/12
7:32
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Some notes and stats on the Dodgers, focusing on the week of June 1-7. Many thanks to Baseball-Reference.

A HAPPIER FOUR-GAME SWEEP

One week after being swept in a four-game series at home by the Brewers, the Dodgers went to Philadelphia and took four from the Phillies. It was the first four-game sweep for the Dodgers in Philly since 1946; since then, they had played 27 series of at least four games in Philadelphia without a sweep. It was the Dodgers’ first four-game sweep on the road against any team since 2004 against the Diamondbacks.

JANSEN WORKS HARD

Wednesday was Kenley Jansen’s third straight save, marking the first time all season he’d worked three straight days. He needed a season-high 32 pitches to finish Wednesday night’s game. His 32 pitches were the most by a Dodgers pitcher in a one-inning save since at least 2000 (as far back as complete pitch counts exist).

Jansen saved the first three games against the Phillies, the seventh time a Dodgers pitcher has saved three consecutive road games against the same opponent since the save statistic was introduced in 1969.

HERRERA COMES THROUGH

Elian Herrera drove in the winning runs for the Dodgers Monday night and Tuesday night. He singled off Jonathan Papelbon to break a ninth-inning tie Monday night and then doubled in two runs off Cliff Lee in the eighth inning Tuesday with the Dodgers trailing by a run. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Herrera is the first Dodgers rookie to record a go-ahead RBI in the eighth inning or later of consecutive games since Pedro Guerrero on September 28 and 30, 1980.

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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