Monday, March 31, 2008

The lovefest starts off with a win

The Joe Torre Era started off perfectly today, mainly for 2 reasons. 1) They won, 5-0. 2) The schedule makers thankfully let them play the San Francisco Giants, who are barely a Triple-A team anymore. Seriously, they really suck. I actually missed watching Barry Bonds only because he'd bring excitement to games. Now... who cares?

It was an overall great day for LA. The pregame ceremony was described as a "lovefest" by Vin Scully (perhaps he was a little too happy about it), but it was nice to see. Giving Brad Penny the start turned out to be a smart move. While I did not think he was flawless by any means (he'll have better days at hitting his spots), he made the out pitches when he needed to. His final line was 6.2 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K. Ok, after looking at that stat line, maybe I'm being too picky by saying he could have located better, but keep in mind that he did play the Giants, so it's not like they'd ever make him pay for mistakes. Did I mention that they really suck? Well, they do.

Other than the Giants sucking and Penny mowing hitters down, my other main thought all throughout the game was how deep of a lineup this could be. I can't recall the last time I watched the Dodgers and was as encouraged as I was today with the hitting. I love Furcal leading off, the Kemp-Kent-Jones heart of the order is good, and Loney and Martin at the bottom is still a threat. They are deep, talented, and could potentially have some fun scoring runs. So far, I like what I see. 5 runs is not that many, but they could have scored much more if they didn't leave 15 men on base.

Unfortunately for Andre Ethier, he left 6 of them. You know Juan"ting to be traded" Pierre was smiling on the inside. Hitting in the 2 spot, Ethier went 0-4. He did hit a nice liner to center that Aaron Rowand made a nice play on to end the 6th. That would have scored 2 runs. He'll have better days.

My final thought was not even about the Dodgers, but about Barry Zito. Remember when this guys was like... good? I think the rest of the league has caught up to his curveball. There's nothing about his stuff that scares any hitter anymore. At one point in the game, there was a graphic about his Cy Young season in 2002, where he went 23-5 with a 2.75 ERA. My oh my, does that seem like forever ago. His huge contract looks like a worse and worse investment each start.

At 1-0, the Dodgers are now projected to go 162-0, and then sweep the playoffs at 11-0 to be the first undefeated team in baseball history. It could happen.

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