Found May 09, 2012 on
Taking Bad Schotz:
Los Angeles Angels
Los Angeles Dodgers
San Diego Padres
We are now into May there have been several surprises this baseball season. To the surprise of most people, the Dodgers are in first place in the NL West. This is almost as crazy as Albert Pujols not hitting a homerun in the month of April, but oh wait… that happened…
So how are the Dodgers having all of this success? Well, a large part of that is due to Matt Kemp. Most people expected the young centerfielder to have another amazing year, but he is posting numbers that are absolutely unheard of. At this point in the season it would almost be an upset if he didn’t win the triple crown.
Andre Ethier is back and better than ever, providing protection for Kemp and leading the National League in RBIs. Not only do Kemp and Ethier bring the bat, but their fielding ability and arm strength are way above average, saving numerous runs for Dodger pitchers.
As far as pitching goes, Clayton Kershaw is still dominating opposing teams, pretty much guaranteeing a win every time he takes the hill. However, it is the ”mediocre” pitchers on the Dodgers that are making the true difference. Chad Billingsley is pitching like he did in his all-star season, and Chris Capuano and Ted Lilly are pitching like they are five years younger. These pitchers aren’t posting crazy strikeout numbers or making batters look silly at the plate, but by simply getting the job done.
The Dodgers’ one main weakness thus far is the bullpen, which has blown numerous games. In a young season, closer Javy Guerra already has three blown saves. It is only a matter of time until manager Don Mattingly makes the switch to current set up man Kenley Jansen, who has been far more effective than Guerra.
Yes, a large part of the Dodgers’ success is due to their strength of schedule or lack there of. The Dodgers opened up the season 9-1, with all of those games coming against the San Diego Padres and Pittsburgh Pirates, lackluster teams to say the least. Although the team has struggled since, the Dodgers did sweep the NL East leading Washington Nationals. In a weak NL West, it is very realistic to believe that the Dodgers could win the division crown.
The new owners have already proved they are committed to winning, adding veteran Bobby Abreu to add more power to the lineup. If the Dodgers are able to add a few relievers and find a replacement for Juan Uribe at third base, they would be a very difficult team to face. Realistically, Kershaw is the second best pitcher in the league behind Justin Verlander and Matt Kemp is the best hitter in the league; so if role players continue to step up, watch out for the boys in blue.
BEST OF MAXIM
Star outfielder Matt Kemp is hampered by a strained hamstring. The hope is he won't have to go on the DL.
Talk about your well kept secrets. In any other year, chances are the Los Angeles Dodgers being in first place would warrant page one of the local sports section. On Monday, their story couldn’t be found until about page 7.
The Dodgers are used to losing space to the...
Los Angeles is the “City of Angels” and its Angels baseball team has a superstar now in Albert Pujols. But Albert was imported from St. Louis and has yet to prove his worth to the people in LA. There is someone who wears Dodger blue that is rapidly winning over the people of LA. His name is Matt Kemp and
Pardon me for hitting this point again and again, but it's by far the most fascinating part of Albert Pujols' season so far. Anybody can go into a home run drought; the difference between a home run and a flyout is, what, the width of a cuticle? It's very easy for a home-run hitter to not hit a home run. They do it all the time. But to not walk is just so deliberate...
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There was an unusual moment during the Angels’ postgame handshake lineup on Wednesday night. After beating the Twins 6-2, the Angels players lined up for handshakes and high-fives to celebrate the win. For some reason, Albert Pujols chucked his glove at teammate Erick Aybar. The move was strange and made Pujols look like a jerk, but SI injury...
After last night's 6-2 Angels win over the Twins, as the Angels are doing their postgame handshakes, shortstop Erick Aybar taps first baseman Albert Pujols on the elbow. Pujols proceeds to whip his glove at Aybar, and looks really, really irritated afterwards, inspecting his elbow. It's worth noting that the elbow that Aybar tapped was the one that Pujols has had problems...
@Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (2-2) @ Minnesota Twins (7-20)Pitching Probables: LAA – Jered Weaver (12-17, 1.61 ERA) MIN – Francisco Liriano (0-4, 9.97 ERA)Game Info: 5:10 PM PT; TV - Fox Sports West; Radio - KLAA 830
First thing I want to address, this is something that's been itching in the back of my mind for some time, but HOLY HELL WHY IN THE WORLD DOES EVERYONE...
DID YOU KNOW? While the world has obsessed over Matt Kemp's awesomeness and Albert Pujols' terribleness and Jamie Moyer's oldness and Bryce Harper's youngness, professional baseball has also been played by at least like fifty other people! It's a thing I'd forgotten for a while, what with those things, and the unmitigated disaster that has been the Twins...
The Baltimore Orioles began the week with the best record in the majors, with Bryce Harper and the Washington Nationals close behind. Albert Pujols was slumping, Bobby Valentine was getting booed and Derek Jeter was hitting nearly .400.
Signs of the season, or mere mirages? A quick look at the big questions so far in baseball:
- Can the Orioles stay atop the AL East? Cleveland...
Photo Credit: Marianne O'Leary
Although baseball is well underway and the season is chugging along as usual, there are a number of absolute studs that have been seriously underperforming. Obviously everybody and their mother knows of Albert Pujols’ struggles, but Jose Bautista and Robinson Cano are also putting up duds on the regular nowadays. Moving down the totem pole a...
Matt Adams, 1B, St. Louis Cardinals
Current Level: AAA
2012 Top 15 Prospects Ranking: 8th
Current Value: Nearly Ready
Barring injury, St. Louis probably won’t be looking to shake its roster up anytime soon given its success in 2012 despite the loss of Mr. Albert Pujols. Lance Berkman and Allen Craig, both capable of playing first base, are also getting healthy, which could mean...