The six runs LA gave up all came in the bottom of the fourth, when Elmer Dessens let the first two Brewer batters get on base, then left the game with shoulder spasms. Buddy Carlyle came trotting in from the pen, bringing a can of gasoline with him. He gave up a three-run homer to the first batter he faced, then reloaded the bases on two walks and a hit batsman (the frelling pitcher, for crying out loud) before giving up a base clearing double. Now last night, Brad Penny had a good rehab start in Vegas, and was pronounced ready to rejoin the team, probably this weekend. This means that one of the newbie pitchers will be sent down to the minors to make room for Penny, most likely either Carlyle or Steve Schmoll. Way to make that decision a little easier for DePo and Tracy, Buddy boy. (Schmoll pitched today as well, but did not give up six runs. He did make a brilliant diving catch of an attempted squeeze bunt, converting it into an easy double play, and getting out of his only jam.)
The day after Steinbrenner blasted the Yanks, the team took out it's frustration on poor old Tampa Bay, scoring 13 runs in the second inning, en route to a 19-8 win. The problem is that starter Jaret Wright almost squandered a thirteen-run lead, giving up eight runs before Torre finally pulled him. Yankee pitching has been awful so far.
I have a new favorite statistical toy that I've been playing with the last couple of days. It's called a game score, and it's a way of comparing individual starts by a pitcher. The higher the score, the better the start. (The highest game score in baseball history is 105, for Kerry Wood's one-hit, no walk, 20 strikeout performance versus the Astros in 1998.) Just for fun, I set up a spreadsheet to calculate them. Here are the Dodgers' starts so far, ranked best to worst:
|Lowe - 4/15||85||Erickson - 4/16||53|
|Weaver - 4/17||83||Perez - 4/6||50|
|Weaver - 4/7||73||Lowe - 4/10||47|
|Perez - 4/13||66||Dessens - 4/19||45|
|Perez - 4/18||64||Erickson - 4/9||24|
|Lowe - 4/5||55||Weaver - 4/12||6|
|Dessens - 4/8||53|
There are a very wide range of scores here, but in general, the starting pitching has been good to excellent, with only four games below 50, and two of those were the result of the pitcher leaving the game early due to injury (Lowe and Dessens). Of course that leaves two real stinkers down there at the bottom, but all in all, the starting pitching has been better than expected.
I also did the game scores for the Sox' starters so far:
|Wakefield - 4/11||68||Clement - 4/10||49|
|Wells - 4/15||68||Clement - 4/5||44|
|Clement - 4/16||63||Schilling - 4/18||39|
|Wakefield - 4/6||62||Wells - 4/9||35|
|Wakefield - 4/17||62||Schilling - 4/13||35|
|Arroyo - 4/8||61||Wells - 4/3||30|
|Arroyo - 4/19||59||Arroyo - 4/14||28|
Much less of a spread here, there are about an equal number of good and bad starts. No really brilliant starts yet, but no incredible stinkers, either. Wakefield has been the best starter so far, while it looks like Schilling still has a ways to go before he's completely back to form.
Okay, not terribly rigorous, but fun to look at.
I forgot to mention a tiny peeve I had Friday night. It was Jackie Robinson Day all around the majors, celebrating the anniversary of his first appearance in the bigs. The Dodgers decided to play in retro "Brooklyn" uniforms to honor his memory. (It's the first time the Dodgers have ever worn old-timey uniforms. Well, at least since the old times, anyway.) The only problem with that is the uniform the marketing geniuses picked is one that was never worn by Robinson. The Dodger uniform in Robinson's time looked pretty much like the current uniform, i.e., "Dodgers" in script with the uniform number in red below and to the left. Even the road uniforms of the time didn't say "Brooklyn." About the only thing they got right was the cap. Ya know, it's really not that hard to find these things out. The marketing director got canned a month ago. Maybe it had nothing to do with this, but I'll take it.