Giants @ Dodgers May 8, 2014: Finally Back Home

dodger_stadium_openingday2013I was going to write about how it feels like maybe we haven’t been appreciative enough of how not-terrible Josh Beckett has been so far in 2014. And no, I’m not going to complain in the least about a 3.14 ERA and a 3.97 FIP and a 9.42 K/9. But then I looked at his game log, and he’s just confounding. Last time out against Miami, he struck out eight and walked one. That’s great! He also allowed four runs in 6.2 innings. A few starts earlier, he walked five and only struck out four against the Giants. That’s terrible! He threw five shutout innings.

Giants
Dodgers
7:10pm PT
Los Angeles, CA
CF
Pagan
2B
Gordon
RF
Pence
RF
Puig
C
Posey
SS
Ramirez
LF
Morse
1B
Gonzalez
1B
Belt
CF
Kemp
3B
Sandoval
LF
Crawford
SS
Crawford
3B
Uribe
2B
Hicks
C
Butera
P
Vogelsong (R)
P
Beckett (R)

That means, I guess, that being a good pitcher takes a little more than strikeouts and walks. It also means, I guess, that at this point in his career, we have absolutely no idea what Beckett is every time he takes the mound. I’ll go double on that considering that he’s throwing his curve nearly one-third of the time, more than any other pitch he has. That’s weird, really, and just about no one in baseball throws a curve more. One of those guys is Jose Fernandez, though, and maybe that’s not bad company.

Maybe the uncertainty with Beckett isn’t unexpected. He’s been around for a long time, and he’s a very different pitcher than he was when he was winning a World Series with the Marlins in 2003. You’re a different person than you were when you began reading this post, probably. As long as the total end result for Beckett is more good than bad, I think we’ll all take it.

* * *

In case you were wondering how many outfielders this team still has, Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig and Carl Crawford are starting tonight. Andre Ethier is not. Over the last 15 games, Kemp has started 12 in center. Puig has had 13 in right, sitting out only when he hit the wall hard a few days ago. Crawford has had 10, Ethier 9. (And Scott Van Slyke, 3, plus another two at first.) The outfield situation has been pretty clear, even if it hasn’t been vocalized. Kemp is going to play. Puig is going to play. Ethier and Crawford, well, they’ll play sometimes. Don Mattingly put that into words today:

It’s a bit odd, of course, because they’re both lefties who absolutely cannot hit lefties — they both usually sit in favor of Van Slyke — and so there’s not a real platoon situation here. But really, Mattingly is doing what must be done. There’s not another option for him. I don’t imagine Ethier loves this, or does Crawford, but their manager is pulling the right strings based on the pieces he’s got.

ThrowsRelieverSat 10/15Sun 10/16Mon 10/17Tue 10/18Wed 10/19Thur 10/20Fri 10/21
LAvilan--OFF-2421OFF
RBaez34-OFF-2727OFF
RBlanton28-OFF13-19OFF
LDayton3-OFF16-12OFF
RFields--OFF-910OFF
RJansen-18OFF21--OFF
RStripling10-OFF-2018OFF
LWood--OFF-32-OFF

About Mike Petriello

Mike Petriello
Mike writes about lots of baseball in lots of places, and right now that place is MLB.com.