Ah, yes. That stung.
Every so often, Jonathan Sanchez will have a low-walk, dominating start that makes you say, "Boy, if that guy could just cut down on his walks a little bit, he’d be something else." And then he doesn’t because pitchers don’t just find better control in an old coat that they haven’t worn in a while, and everything goes back to normal in his next start.
Clayton Kershaw isn’t ever going to be Kirk Rueter with his command, but, boy, if that guy could just cut down on his walks a little bit, he’d be something else. He’s thrown 19 2/3 innings this season, giving up four walks. Small sample size, for sure, but enough to put the fear in me. Because unlike Jonathan Sanchez, Kershaw is, like, 15 or something. He’s just a kid. And sometimes the youngsters do figure it out.
In the past, here’s where I’d slip in a joke about the Giants being impatient, but with Huff, Burrell, Posey, and Belt in the same lineup, that joke isn’t as funny. This isn’t the 2009 Giants, whose team leader in walks was Pablo Sandoval. This team isn’t an OBP juggernaut, but they have some guys who will work a count. Kershaw cut through them. He had to leave early because of his pitch count -- so it wasn’t a total hackfest -- but he still mowed right through the Giants, and he looked amazing doing it.
That’s about as positive as this post-game thread can get, and it comes in the context of effusive praise of a young Dodgers player. That’s how ugly tonight was. Here are some more good vibes:
- If you didn’t watch the game, it’d be hard to pick out in the box score, but in the fourth inning Brandon Belt looked like a high school kid who stepped into the super-fast cage at Malibu Grand Prix for the first time. Three fastballs right down the middle, and he couldn’t even foul one off. Still not super worried about him, but that was ugly.
- Bumgarner giving up hits in the wrong sequence doesn’t bother me. The walks are more worrisome, but it seems like his walks this year are more about him being too fine than being unable to throw strikes. Just a guess. He’s the goat from tonight whom I’m least worried about.
- Pat Burrell and Aubrey Huff have looked worse in the field in the first two weeks of the season than the did all of last year, and that is not hyperbole. Maybe no one hit the ball to the outfield last season and no one noticed. That’s the only explanation.
At least they didn’t lose to the ghost of Vincente Padilla tonight with Kershaw pitching tomorrow. I’m sick of that guy. Why couldn’t the Dodgers have fallen in love with Billy Rowell or Drew Stubbs?