Tag Archives: NL West

Here Come the Padres

Padres are currently leading the NL West by 1.5 games with a 40-29 record, mostly thanks to their pitching.

Well don’t look now, because Adrian Gonzalez has suddenly caught fire.

Season slash at June 1: .263/.384/.446
Season slash as of today: .310/.409/.552

He’s currently second in the NL in B-R’s WAR, 3.9, behind Ubaldo’s 4.4.

It also seems their pitching has adjusted and Garland and Richards are both performing at reasonable levels for Petco Park. The team pitching as a whole has one of the lowest FB percentages and one of the highest GB percentages and a remarkably reasonable 8.7% HR/FB ratio. And then behind them is the best defense in baseball according to UZR/150.

Right now, the Padres are performing BELOW their pythag win-loss.

Yep, Padres are for real.

Edit — Padres have one of the highest UZR/150s in baseball partially because of David Eckstein’s remarkable 16.2 UZR/150 at 2B this year. Eckstein has never been a favorable defensive player at short stop, but the transition to second base could be a main reason for the switch–Eckstein’s biggest defensive flaw has always been his throwing arm, which isn’t strong. It’s hard to say if Eckstein’s enjoying a really good 1/3rd defensive season because (a) he’s done so well in a small sample size, (b) he’s become better at a middle-infield position by different training, like Derek Jeter in 2009, or (c) the switch from SS to 2B was beneficial for him and took him a year to learn it. UZR doesn’t have the complex history other stats do (it was first recorded in 2002, as opposed to home runs, which were recorded all the way back in 1871), so we’re just gonna have to take a “wait and see” approach on this one. If it’s any consolation, his UZR/150 has actually gone DOWN the last half month or so.

The other reasons for the team’s total defense performance are Tony Gwynn and Scott Hairston, both of whom are terrific outfield defenders, and Chase Headley and Adrian Gonzalez. Every position player right now has a positive UZR, and it could be because the coaches are telling them to improve range rather than stick to balls they can only field cleanly.

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From around Dodger blogs, MSTI doesn’t think it’s going to be the easiest flight home.

MOKM takes a break to look at the farm.

True Blue LA reviews week 11 and just how painfully bad it ended yesterday. Gotta hate that Kuroda put forth such a great performance yesterday and was screwed by a defensive miscue and no offense.

Dodger Thoughts’ Jon Weisman posts his power rankings of Dodger players from the week that was.

Argyled Plaschke has been quiet for a few days, but he still has up this AWESOME footage of Three-Fingers Brown.

Vin Scully is my Homeboy went to the Fenway series and has pictures.

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Filed under MLB, NL West

Dodgers Have Good Shot to Capture NL West Lead by Week’s End

On paper it looks like the San Diego Padres, who hold a tenuous one-game lead in the NL West over the Dodgers, will still lead the NL West after the weekend. The Padres get to play at depressed Seattle while the Dodgers have to play the NL Central-leading Detroit Tigers.

But the Padres may be a good fit for the Mariners to earn a few wins and the Dodgers get to face the back of the Tigers’ rotation. Take a look:

Tonight: SDP Wade LeBlanc vs. SEA Cliff Lee
Tomorrow: SDP Clayton Richards vs. SEA Ryan Rowland-Smith
Sunday: SDP Mat Latos vs. SEA Felix Hernandez

In the Dodgers-Tigers match-up?

Tonight: LAD Chad Billingsley vs. DET Dontrelle Willis
Tomorrow: LAD John Ely vs. DET Armando Galarraga
Sunday: LAD Hiroki Kuroda vs. DET Rick Porcello

Gotta like those odds as a Dodger fan. The Latos-King Felix match-up looks most interesting for Sunday. On the other hand, the Mariners’ offense can make any team look like they’re facing the 1890 Cleveland Spiders, so who knows.

It’s a little more complicated than starting pitcher match-ups, but long and short of it is the Dodgers are at least tied for the division if they win two of three and the Padres lose two of three. With the Mariners throwing out two of their best starters, I’d lean in their favor. Likewise, the Tigers are starting their two worst pitchers this year (Porcello has a 11.9 hits per nine rate; Willis has a 6.1 walks per nine rate) and a minor league call-up. The Dodgers don’t have to see Justin Verlander and the Dodgers’ offense should be able to take advantage even without Andre Ethier. while two of Kuroda, Bills and Ely should find their way through the Tigers’ line-up.

That’s my one unknown, is what the Tigers’ line-up has to say. Starting four guys with sub-.80 OPS+s is hilarious, but it’s not those four that I’m worried about.

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Filed under Los Angeles Dodgers, MLB