Friday, September 24, 2004

Whew!

Hi Kari:

More baseball blogging ahead!

Tonight, the Dodgers held on for a 3-2 win over the Giants making the lead 2 1/2 games.

LA Dodger manager, Jim Tracy, is sometimes criticized for being the robo-manager by going "by the rule book" on lefty vs. righty matchups.

Alex Cora is the starting second baseman for the Dodgers. But tonight, Tracy rested him in favor of Jose Hernadez, a right handed bat, to counter lefty Kirk Rueter.

Cora is a terrific fielder and having a good year (he has career bests in HR and RBI this year) with the bat. However, he has the starting job because of his fielding skills far more than his hitting. He usually inhabits the 7th or 8th spot of the batting order.

Hernandez has 57 hits 11 doubles 1 triple 12 home runs 28 RBI .294 ave in 194 at-bats.

These aren't great numbers but on a per at-bat basis, they are better than Cora's numbers: 389 at-bats, 103 hits, 9 doubles, 4 triples, 8 home runs, 42 RBI and a .265 average.

Thus, Tracy took a chance on a weaker fielder to get a little more umph at the plate. Guess who scored the third and winning run?

Yup, Jose Hernadez hit a solo home run.

Tomorrow, Jose Lima goes to the mound. He has a hairline fracture in his pitching thumb. He will be watched closely.

Also, Gagne has pitched 3 innings in the last two nights with a pitch count of 50. I'm guessing, if needed, he will still get the ball in the bottom of the ninth but you have to worry about how effective he will be.

Go Dodgers!

Rene

P.S. With the 3-2 lead, Tracy did put Cora in at 2B in the bottom of the ninth.

P.P.S. As I'm able to, I'll blog little "inside baseball" details that you might not get on ESPN Sports Center or in your local newspaper.

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