Ugh. 10-9. Losers of 3 in row. A .153 BA with runners in scoring position the past eight games.
Great! 7-4. A .289 BA with runners in scoring position the first 11 games.
"We’ve just got to fight through it," manager Bob Melvin said. "We had
a good spring. We started out fairly well to start the season. We’re
just in a little bit of a slump right now."
Something tells me that with a team this young we’ll be seeing a roller
coaster of a season not unlike the up and down performances of the first 19 games. It’s not Spring Training now. Most days hitters will be facing one of the top five pitchers on a Major League Baseball team’s roster – not pitchers trying to make the club, not veteran’s taking the opportunity to master a new pitch. And it’s a long, long season. Someone has to be able keep the youngsters’ emotions from following the ups and downs that go with a full 162 game major league schedule.
They are 4-8 so far against division rivals. Last night’s game was a tough loss which came at the hands of one of the premier pitchers and one of the premier hitters of the game. Honestly, despite all the pre-season hype there are no surprises here. Veterans Eric Byrnes and Orlando Hudson have been solid, always bringing their A-game to the ballpark. The always iffy hitting tandem of Chad Tracy and Conor Jackson is hitting 28-120 for an average of .233. Two of the top five hitters in the lineup are pitchers. Yet they have only scored one less run than runs allowed (78-79).
Almost a month into the season and Bob Melvin seems to be groping for a cohesive offensive and defensive combination that produces any chemistry whatsoever. Rare are the nights when hitting, pitching and fielding all seem to click. I’ve yet to see the enthusiasm and passion for the game in the young players that bench coach Kirk Gibson was supposed to bring to the organization. The season is still young. The team is young. But what I’m seeing for the most part is on the job training. On any given day we can see a lineup in which 5 position players have a combined 242 games of major league experience. They are 6th in the Major Leagues with 14 errors to date.
Am I expecting too much too soon? Many major league teams (including those who didn’t enter the season with as many question marks) are trying to get their baseball legs under them. The scary thing for me is this is just about what I expected but was hoping for more. (Hey, it could be worse. I could be a Cardinals fan. DOH!) Time will tell. There is still time. For now.
NOTES: Randy Johnson is scheduled to start Tuesday night’s home game against San Diego. Guess who just happens to have tickets? 🙂
I’ve been watching some Dodger games, mostly so I can keep track of Gonzo’s performance; but (as much as it pains me to say it) they look like they could possibly be the real deal this year. If their pitching holds up and the veterans stay healthy Gonzo may very well be wearing another championship ring next spring.