Sunday, August 13, 2006

The Contender

Greg Maddux pitched another great game for Los Angeles tonight. After allowing two hits in a scoreless first inning, Maddux took just 50 pitches to retire 21-straight batters. Tomko replaced Maddux in the ninth inning, with the game still scoreless, and Russell Martin's solo homer off Vinnie Chulk won the game for LA in the 10th.

In his home debut with the Dodgers on August 8, Maddux pitched six innings, surrendering two runs. Tomko was awarded the win for L.A. after pitching a scoreless seventh. Maddux’s first outing for the Dodgers was a six-inning hitless win against Cincinnati that was cut-short by a 46-minute rain delay.

Entering Sunday the Dodgers were holding a one-game lead in the NL West. Since joining the team Maddux has done his best to ensure they’ll contend. His aggregate line over the three starts (1-0): 20 IP, 9 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 9 K. The Dodgers have won each game he started.


At 1:42 AM, Blogger J.R. Hippe said...

Strange times out at Chavez Ravine.

Since the All-Star break, the Dodgers:

- Lost 13 of 14, including 8 in a row (last in NLW, 7.5 back).

- Then have won 15 of 16, including 11 in a row (first in NLW, 1.5 up).

They're scary good when they want to be.

At 12:09 AM, Blogger Avi Schaumberg said...

I would like to say that the Lugo acquisition, and the return of Jeff Kent, have helped with the winning streak. Having looked at the numbers, I'm not so sure.

Lugo batted .220/.327/.293 over 13 games in August, with 8 runs and 5 RBI. A whopping 12 total bases, a.k.a what Chipper got tonight.

Maybe he's having trouble adjusting to the musical chairs lineup card. He played SS all of last year and this year before the trade, but since going to the Dodgers he's been put at second, third and right field. With Kent back, it's down to RF (available because of Drew's on-again/off-again injury) and 3B -- a position Lugo's never played in the majors.

With Betemit's August OPS at .839, and Saenz the best player to face lefties (a monstrous 1.285 OPS in his 46 at-bats against southpaws this year, with 4 HR and 18 RBI), Lugo should find playing time pretty scarce. Naturally, this logic probably means Grady Little will start him daily.

The current run really seems to be the pitching. They've given up just 33 runs in 14 August games (2.36/game), and scored 71 runs (5.07/g). There were a couple of 10-run games, and two more 7-run outings. The other 10 games were closer affairs, and could easily have gone the other way if it weren't for the pitching and defence. Whatever the cause, it's sure been a fun ride to watch.


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