As Yogi Berra was reported to have said, “Good pitching stops good hitting, ……. and vice versa.”
The Dodgers, and their new attitude and passion as described yesterday, for the first time in decades threw back-to-back shutouts on the road against the Giants, and put up some outstanding hitting numbers against the Giants’ normally outstanding pitching staff, including today when they defeated National League ERA leader Ryan Vogelsong.
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|The Dodgers, in fact, collected 37 hits along with their 19 runs in the three games at AT&T, as they moved within one percentage point of the first place Giants. The frequently moribund Dodgers’ lineup showed life in SF we had not seen since April, when the super-hot, pre-injury Matt Kemp, along with Andre Ethier, started the season red hot. But now another important series begins, against the recently revived Diamondbacks, who have now actually managed to get to .500. If the Dodgers do not win all three games against that rag-tag group of fringe wannabes who so greatly over-achieved last season, then the last|
few days of Dodgers’ success was the aberration, and the rest of the season will be inconsequential.
The Angels, on the other hand, now possessing an outstandingly talented starting staff, had their offensive machine grind to a halt against Tampa Bay. This, however, can be explained. First, of course, is the fact that Tampa Bay also has an excellent staff, and the Angels ran into talented young starters Matt Moore and Jeremy Hellickson who are now hitting their respective strides, and who combined with the Rays’ bullpen to allow the Angels zero runs and nine hits over the last two games. Second, and maybe even more importantly, was the composition of the lineups the Angels trotted out to face Tampa Bay, lineups that each day included the worthless Vernon Wells, who went zero for both days, and that today included neither Mike Trout nor Torii Hunter. These lineups produced zero runs and nine hits in the last two games.
I have not given up on the Angels; they remain in my opinion, the most talented team in the AL. But, for them to win, the right players have to be on the field, and they are not the same team with at bats wasted on Vernon Wells, and they are not the same team without Mike Trout. Hopefully his injury is minor, and he will be back VERY soon. Like tomorrow, when the team opens a four game series in Texas.
With all of the Rangers’ current pitching woes, the Angels have a major advantage on the mound. But like I said, the pitching staff cannot win without the right team behind them.