August 10th, 2014
It was looking like a very rough weekend for the Dodgers in Milwaukee. Zack Greinke was beaten like an NFL players wife, Hanley Ramirez was injured like he always is, and the Dodgers offense was absent like Ferris Bueller. LA was on the verge of getting swept until Clayton Kershaw stopped the bleeding. Kershaw was brilliant again in 8 innings yesterday, and the Boys in Blue salvaged a win, which actually pushed their NL West Lead to 4.5 games over the Giants. In his last two starts, we’ve seen why he’s becoming one of the best pitchers of the era. Against the Angels, he “struggled”, by giving up 3 runs. However, he eventually willed his team through some critical moments by striking out Mike Trout and Josh Hamilton. Yesterday, he got off to a rough start by allowing the leadoff man to get on base in four of the first five innings, but once again willed his team to victory with 8 strong innings. The Dodgers also gave him some run support as well, which was absent for much of the weekend.
You know Kershaw is great, but he’s even better than that. He has the lowest ERA among pitchers who have started at least 100 games since 1920! It’s nice to have a weapon like that, who can stop the bleeding of a losing streak. There’s still issues with the Dodgers though. Hanley Ramirez just can’t seem to get himself healthy, which is hurting his offensive production. Hanley is in a contract year, and his agent is currently giving him advice about as good as your high school friend who told you it was a good idea to take a few bong rips. Hanley is trying to prove he’s durable, except he’s so banged up that he isn’t always hitting. He’d be much better off going on the DL, which he finally did, then he can produce at a high level more often. I like the addition of Kevin Correia and Roberto Hernandez, but the bullpen has been getting lit up of late. I’ll take the 4.5 game lead in the NL West, but it’s clear LA has to shore up these issues before the post season.
As for the Angels, the last 6 days have been terrible. They’ve lost 5 of their last 7 and fallen 4 games back of Oakland in the AL West. Although the Halos and Dodgers played an exciting four game series, the Angel bats were shut down as the series went on. Then they lost two out of three to those clam chowder head Boston Red Sox, who have nothing to play for, and are simply counting the days to oyster season in New England. If it weren’t for Albert Pujols late inning heroics on Saturday, the Angels would have been swept. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the Halos learned that Tyler Skaggs is going to have season ending Tommy John Surgery. A division title is starting to slip away, and their wild card lead is shrinking fast. The Angels are hitting just .223 since the All-Star break, which is the worst in the AL. Suddenly the Halos are sinking faster than an Italian cruise ship.
I think it’s time for Jerry DIpoto to call the Mets, and see if he can squeeze old friend Bartolo Colon through the waiver wire, and acquire him. Of course, it would be pretty hard to squeeze Bartolo through anything, since he’s weighs close to 300 LB’s, but the guy can obviously still pitch. The Angels actually have the 8th toughest remaining schedule in the American League, which should bode well for them if they can ever swing the bats again. Here’s the lone bright spot this weekend from Saturday night, since most of you were probably in bed when it happened…..
Look, I get it. Rory McIIroy is an excellent golfer. However, he’s just not holding my attention. I appreciate the fact that he’s only the 4th guy to win four majors before turning 26. But I need Tiger. Admit it….you need him too. You probably didn’t even watch the PGA Championship this weekend did you? I don’t live and die by knowing what Tiger is doing, but I know that with him healthy and playing good golf, these major tournaments become that more more riveting, especially for the average fan. Now if we could get Tiger healthy, and to rival Rory, then we’d have a great plot. That’s a long way from happening though. Tiger probably injured his back again while trying to change the channel so he didn’t have to watch Rory win another major.
Very tragic news in Nascar over the weekend. Nascar driver Tony Stewart struck and killed sprint car driver Kevin Ward Jr., who had climbed out of his car and tried to confront Stewart during a race in New York. Stewart did the right thing by deciding not to race on Sunday, and condolences to the Ward family. However, this incident highlights an aspect of Nascar that needs to change. It is a culture where drivers competitiveness turns into anger when things don’t go their way, and leads to confrontations like we saw on Saturday, in very dangerous situations. Stewart himself has had similar incidents in the past where he has even thrown his helmet at another car. Hopefully this incident will put the culture of the sport into perspective for all these drivers.
I know it’s only week 1 of the NFL preseason, but I feel like it’s safe to draw a few reasonable conclusions. The Raiders are going to stink. The Cowboys are going to stink. The Houston Texans are going to stink. There’s a pretty strong likelihood that those three teams will be picking near the top of the draft next spring.
Finally, it’s that time of year again. One of my favorite TV programs is on for the next week: Shark Week on Discovery. I really enjoy all of the Great White Shark encounters with Chris Fallows, and how he truly makes you realize how beautiful these animals are. On the other hand, there still is quite a bit of dramatization with some of the other programs Discovery airs, such as last night’s “Shark of Darkness.” Even though most scientific evidence points to the fact that Sharks are not man eating machines, and most attacks are simply a case of mistaken identity, we still see programs that hint otherwise, just to keep the viewers engaged. The reality of it is, people don’t really tune in to Shark Week for that. If we want to see that then we would just be watching Sharknado, and all the ridiculous movies on SyFy. The Shark Week promo is a little odd this year, and I can’t say I’m as big of a fan as other people are. I like Rob Lowe, but I’m still trying to figure out where he fits into this whole thing. Here it is if you haven’t seen it….