2 Ellises and a Cruz
Without these three guys, the Dodgers would be NOWHERE this season. The “Big 4″ get all the publicity, but it’s these three guys, grinding out tough ABs, starting and keeping rallies alive, who have kept the Dodgers chugging along. The Big 4, as a unit, have not lived up to the hype yet, and in fact, the hype has kind of faded for the moment. Ethier is having a nice season, Ramirez is a player on the decline, Gonzalez has yet to prove he can get a team over the hump, and Kemp is clearly still feeling the hamstring to some degree. It’s especially noticeable on defense. When he and Ethier are hitting on all cylinders on defense, the rightcenter gap pretty much disappears. Not so these days. There’s a gap between them now. And AT&T Park has a lot of green grass to cover.
Having said all that, it’s a tough one for Timmy tonight. I think that, other than Victorino, whose glory years are behind him, and the pitcher’s spot, there’s 7 tough ABs for Tim to work through each time through the order. And it’s especially important that he dispose of the 2 Ellises and Cruz without expending a zillion pitches, getting weary, and making mistake pitches to the Big 4. As always, he needs to get his pitches down in the strikezone, and stay consistent. Don’t be walking guys. If a couple of the Big 4 hit a solo homer, no big deal. We still win 4-2. But if he’s walking the 2 E’s and C, trouble. The 2 E’s and C have been catching some breaks, and those breaks are due to lessen at some point. They’re going to put the ball in play, trust your defense, and DON’T WALK THEM.
40,000 people in the stadium, and untold thousands at home will be pulling for Timmy to help the Giants retake the homefield advantage for the rest of the season. Turn it back into OUR HOUSE in a big way. This is Giants baseball. You come into OUR HOUSE, and you get SHUT DOWN. We want it back to where opposing teams don’t FEEL comfortable here, they don’t LOOK comfortable, and they don’t ACT comfortable. Dominant pitching, solid defense, and an offense that will keep battling, will find a way, and never gives up. It’s Giants/Dodgers. It’s September. It’s a battle for the division title. Let’s do this thing!!