Dodgers Now

Steve Dilbeck and The Times' Dodgers reporters
give you all the news on the boys in blue

« Previous Post | Dodgers Now Home | Next Post »

For Dodgers, stupid is as stupid does: Matt Kemp and Russell Martin give it away

Things are going so badly for the Dodgers right now, they’re actually inventing ways to lose.

Brain-dead, cover-the-eyes, you-have-got-to-be-kidding-me, that-didn’t-really-happen ways.

Wednesday’s loss was so bad, so embarrassing that even Joe Torre -- who has the patience of a saint --  was as upset as he’s been at any time this season.

And with excellent reason.

Matt Kemp and Russell Martin had some kind of personal contest to see who could make the dumbest play getting picked off second base. And they both lost.

"You need more than ability to play this game," Torre said. "You need to be able to think. And we didn’t do a very good job of thinking tonight."

Where to begin? The Dodgers took their five-game losing streak into the ninth, trailing the Angels 2-1.

Kemp led off and reached on a throwing error by shortstop Brandon Wood, and pinch-hitter Ronnie Belliard singled him to second. Reed Johnson ran for Belliard.

One out later, closer Brian Fuentes caught Kemp napping at second. He spun and cleanly picked him off. It’s a Fuentes move well known by the Dodgers, which made Kemp’s mental lockdown all the more unnerving.

"We’d talked about the move that he has, and we still got caught with it," Torre said. "That’s why we have information, because you need more than just the ability you were born with to play this game.

"You’re going to have to think, you’re going to have to keep your head in the game and understand that this other ball club is trying to beat you."

Kemp is an extremely talented athlete with a casual air about him. His baseball instincts are not the best, but it’s his mental mistakes and lack of focus that are most frustrating.

"I just got picked off," Kemp said. "There’s nothing really more you can say about it.

"I made a dumb play at the end that cost us the game. It’s one of those things. You just have to come back tomorrow and make something happen."

Just one of those things a Little Leaguer should know better.

After the pickoff, Martin drew a walk and Johnson advanced to second. Then pinch-hitter Jamey Carroll lifted a single to shallow left.

Johnson rounded third easily and headed home as left-fielder Juan Rivera fielded the hit and noticed Martin rounding wide of second. He fired to second and Howie Kendrick applied the tag for the out … just before Johnson touched home plate with what should have been the tying run.

The Angels rushed the field to celebrate, as Martin -- who replays indicated was actually safe -- slammed his helmet down in disgust.

"We gave it away," Torre said. "I thought Russell was safe getting himself back to second, but he can’t put himself in peril like that.

"It shouldn’t have been a situation where there was a play there. They weren’t going to throw Johnson out at the plate on that ball. That’s the guy we need to get home, the tying run. If we’re going to score the next guy, we’ll have to score him from second base.

"We certainly need to think a whole lot better than that."

Martin was still irritated with the call after the game, but conceded he had made a bad mistake.

"Now that you think about it, it’s just a dumb play,’’ Martin said. "Whether I get on third base or stay on second, I’m still in scoring position. It is an aggressive mistake, but it’s probably the last time I make it. I was still safe, though, you can let the umpire know."

That would be a little low on the to-do list for the Dodgers.

At some point, Torre may have his fill of Kemp’s continued poor base running, bad jumps on balls and his seemingly casual attitude.

"I’m very patient with players," Torre said. "I have no patience with mental mistakes. That’s all part of your game preparation. Ability can only get you so far. You have to be able to know how to use that ability.

"We’ve had some success here and guys have been around for a couple of years. You’re getting beyond that point where they’re young players.’’

They both came up in 2006. They both should know better.

"It’s not even fighting to get a win, it’s fighting to win a pennant,’’ Torre said. "You just can’t give games away. You’re going to get beat enough times without beating yourself. This certainly doesn’t feel good."

-- Steve Dilbeck
 
Comments () | Archives (31)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Kemp and Martin certainly deserve some barbs for the way they handled their base running in the ninth inning. However, you are being way too soft on Reed Johnson. The guy comes into the game as a pinch runner and fails to go all-out rounding third and did not score before Martin got tagged out. When a player fails to do something basic such as run hard. the blame falls to him.

"Stupid is as stupid does" sounds about right but last night's Dodger game didn't end with that feel good "Forrest Gump" moment.
.
Instead Kemp and Martin were starring in "Dumb and Dumber".

There is no player-leadership in the Dodger dugout.

Matt Kemp and Russell Martin running the base paths last night was like watching Lamar Odom and Ron Artest become lost on a basketball court.

Do paper bags for Dodger fans to wear over their heads while sitting in the stands come in designer colors?

I've said it many times, Matt Kemp does not have the mental make up to play at this level. All the talent in the world will be trumped by stupid mistakes, an I dont really care attitude and lack of baseball instincts. He's the scarecrow and tin man all in one. NO BRAIN AND NO HEART!

WOW, I almost feel embarrassed for you Doyer Fans... ALMOST... Ok not really.

And what the hell was up with Manny strolling on Kemp's Double?!? You guys coulda been up 2-0, but that's just Manny being Manny right? I'm so glad he's not an Angel... at least Martin's error in the ninth was for being too aggressive, but that's ok, at least it wasn't for being lazy.

I'd talk smack about your Ownership too but seeing as how the Angel's OWN YOU NOW, that would just be counter-productive on my end... LOL!

But seriously though...

HAA HAAAWWW!!! DODGERS SUCK!!!

hey Torre! enough with these losers ... just retire. [ the HOF is waiting ]

A fish stinks from the head down, as the old saying goes; Donald T. Sterling being a case in point. We can now add the McCourts to the mix. How can anybody say that the D-I-V-O-R-C-E is not affecting this team? I am sure some of the poor performances this season can be traced to the lack of movement over the winter to improve this team, especially in pitching, as we all know. Players may not be conscious of it, but I think it does bother them subconsciously. Kemp and Martin have regressed significantly in all aspects of their games since last season. Martin has continued to regress over the past three seasons until he's become a complete detriment, both at bat and behind the plate. I hope he's gone after his current contract expires. He is hopeless and a waste of money. If Kemp can get serious about baseball again, he may have a chance. Those base running incidents in the ninth inning last night prove that neither of these guys have their heads into the game.
Thank God for Arizona. They'll keep these losers out of the basement.
Thanks again, Frank.

Yeah, let's just blame this on a pinch runner, Mr. Crow. Are you claiming he dogged it? Didn't look like it to me, or anybody else. And, as for Kemp and Martin reminding you of Odom and Artest, GPS, you're way off your global positioning. Odom and Artest are contributors to a world championship team; something I doubt Kemp and Martin will ever achieve here with their contributions, or lack thereof. Maybe if Kemp ever grows up ............. right, Humbi?
You got it right, Season-Over. There IS NO player-leadership in the Dodger dugout. Or in the owner's office, for that matter.

Don't worry Dodger fans you'll soon be playing against the NL and winning, I'm sure you guys will forget about this losing streak come July... But always keep in mind that your team is an impostor, great against triple A(NL) teams and downright miserable against the most average teams in the AL.. Hope and pray that Philly and St Louis don’t start playing like they're capable of...

bench them all. they're playing uninspired ball & looking very bad doing it. Where are the clubhouse leaders in all of this? This is NOT how you want to go into a 3 game series with the Yankees. That's a 10 game losing streak in the making. Goodbye division. Goodbye wildcard. Goodbye Joe & Manny. This is all about heart & playing strong. It's one thing to make aggressive mistakes, it's another to fall asleep on second base in the ninth inning, twice. This is pony league ball at its worst.
This is a young team. There are no excuses for shoddy, oops! baseball. Torre needs to do what torre does, shake up the line-up bench Kemp, Either and Martin. Let's see Blake,Ausmus, Manny and the other vets stand up and lead this team.
geez guys!! your getting paid to play the best game in the world!! Get some blood to it!

As long as blame is being passed around, then JT should take some himself. Why with two on and no out was a bunt not mandatory. If Blake is unable to due the job (either by ego or ability) then PH for him to put both runners in scoring position. This is not second guessing as I was screaming at my TV when it was happening. It is not as if Casey Blake has been so hot you couldn't replace him.

JT has never been the master game manager but his continued lack of attention is almost as bad as Kemp.

In the final analysis this all goes back to what most poster have written and most fans believe and that we will not see a bright side again until McCourt sells the team to someone with more bank than he currently have available.

Wow, after reading my own post I should not write in anger. The grammar would make my school teachers embarrassed. There is value in proof reading.

I'm tired of people blaming Matt Kemp for the Dodgers losin. He is not the only person on that team that is not playin well. If Manny lazy (butt) would have ran home on Matt's double we wouldn't be talkin about this. And Joe Torre seriously needs to pick a spot for Matt in the lineup and keep him there. Every other day this man is battin in a different spot. One day he's batting 1st, next day he's batting 5th, next day he's batting 2nd. You get my point. I'm sure that has to be frustrating. I get so upset when I see people only blaming Kemp, yea he makes some mistakes, but don't sit here and act like he's the only one doing so. Also that pickoff seriously looked like a balk. I'm just sayin.

We should all blame on Rihanna for Kemp's mental mistakes!

Too much talk of dumb and wacky. Angels executed perfectly. Dodgers were warned of Fuentes move. Furcal killed them at short. He had to play, didn't he. He had to. Go on bereavement leave like a normal person. Kemp is simply a moron. He seems unteachable. Him and Martin are two very arrogant players who cannot back up their behavior with mental skills.

The McCourts are the Al Davis and Georgia Frontierra (I don't care if I misspelled her name either...) of Baseball ownership.

STOOOOOOPID is Xactly correct in describing these 2 ID10ts...
ironically, both have now had similar "break-out" turned-into "dud" careers.....
just a few seasons ago, mental-midget-martin won both the NL gold glove & silver slugger awards, while klown-kemp duplicated this feat just last season.....
now we know these were both TOTAL FLUKES!!!
& to think abt a year ago dodgers could've sent klown-kemp to yanX for star second-sacker robby-C!!!!

"WOW, I almost feel embarrassed for you Doyer Fans... ALMOST... Ok not really."

I am always amazed at the sheer number of semiliterate slobs who post here.

I was at the game, and sure, the Dodgers tanked. But morons like the poster above really sicken me. Ramirez, Kemp, et. al., may have had a bad night -- but in the final analysis they are professionals. Ramirez will likely make the Hall of Fame. The incredible talent, discipline, and tenacity required to simply make it to the bigs is beyond what most of us ordinary fans can imagine.

And you, "HalosAnt", what have you achieved? You're likely some uneducated (judging by your spelling and grammar) overweight, beer-soaked blowhard, working some dead end job sitting at home, drooling over your keyboard and simpering idiotically over your imagined superiority over these guys who are in the arena....

I turned over in my grave last night!

If this humiliating loss doesn't shake them out of it, nothing will. We will see what they are made of after that mess last night. As much as I want to point the finger at a few of these guys that was a total team loss from the first pitch. Get it together or just go home!!!!!!! Management included.

Tremendous idea, Rhianna!
.
I will get right on it designing and marketing paper bags in designer colors for Dodger fans to wear.

Just because they are major league baseball players with incredible abilities to play the game of baseball doesn't make them intelligent. Kemp & Martin look like overweight morons. As Tony LaRussa once said, fans should realize some of these players are worse than village idiots when getting them to try & think during a game. It sure looks like the Dodgers have at least two village idiots & a manager that is sleepwalking thru games. This is getting ugly.

And you, "HalosAnt", what have you achieved? You're likely some uneducated (judging by your spelling and grammar) overweight, beer-soaked blowhard, working some dead end job sitting at home, drooling over your keyboard and simpering idiotically over your imagined superiority over these guys who are in the arena....

Posted by: tokyoglide | 06/24/2010 at 01:04 PM
**************************************************

Heeeyyy... I don't drool.

I'm sorry mister, I ain't realized that i's be deelin' with such a ejumacated peoples of ur staturr... woe is me... i preshee-ate u pointin' out all mah misgivin's and i's be hopin' that youse will be trooper in helpin me learnins alls that you have learnt yerself... oh dear... MAMAAAA, MAAMMAA Hey git me a Buud from the fridge and git me my bib, I seems tah be slobberin' all over tha place agin...

Oh tokyo,

You can take your fake sophistication and intellect and shove it right up into the area where I do believe ALL your ... comes from.

This isn't an English Class, this is a blog.

And I'm here trolling this blog to talk smack to (people) JUST LIKE YOU!!!

So the fact that I sicken you, well sir, that just makes me happier than a pig in ... And I'll be sure to be here as often as possible to irritate you and any other pretentious "blow-hard" on this blog.

LOSER.

Doyers GETTIN' SWEPT TONIGHT!!!!!!!

Martin has finally stopped trying to pull the low and outside pitch now if he would just pay attention to the game, if you are going to get thrown out to end the inning it should have been at tnird base. it was a lazy pop fly single with two out and on that play he should have been in no mans land , that close to second base tells me his thought were not on the game. He should have been,with two outs, half way to third base. Like I said they have been exposed for what they are a mediocre team in a bad division.

I AM TIRED OF PEOPLE BLAMING KEMP FOR THE DODGERS LOSING HE IS NOT THE ONLY ONE WHO IS NOT PLAYING WELL ARE PEOPLE TRYING TO DO HIM THE TOMMY ROMO THING NOW THAT HE IS DATING RIHANNA THIS HAPPENED WHEN OMAR MARRIED KHLOE PEOPLE STARTED TO BLAME HER FOR LAKERS LOSING COZ HE MARRIED KHLOE DODGERS WIN AS A TEAM AND LOSE AS A TEAM THIS IS A TEAM WORK BASED SPORT SINGLES ON TENNIS

I am sick and tired of watching Kemp and Martin make mistake after mistake. In their mid20's they have been playin for 20yrs and if they haven't figured it out yet they probably never will. If they are on the lineup card handed to the umps tonight, Torre is not doing his job. We are going to lose tonight with Haeger on the hill let's show some pride and let Johnson and Ellis take a swing at the Miraculous. Barring a world series showdown this is Anderson's last game at the big "a". His swing has been coming around though he looks nothing like his younger gold glove self in the field. Sit Manny too, he can play all three against the Yanks instead of his usual sunday off.

I just can't say enough about how terrible Martin is for this team. Don't know what replays you were watching but the three angles i saw all had martin getting tagged on the arm before his hand was on the bag. Not only is Martin lacking in diamond smarts; he has a bad memory. He got nabbed on the same turn around second in a close game with no outs just a couple of weeks ago. For him to say he won't make the same mistake twice is already a lie. Kemp has to many skills to give up on Martin doesn't and we just can't have two boneheads in the everyday lineup and expect to play in October. Scouts continue to like Martin. Houston has one of the worst catching situations in baseball. Trade Martin now while he has any value! I believe he will do better anywhere he goes and alot of fans will groan at his success elsewhere but the fact is he is only getting worse here. A.J. Ellis is a legitimate MLB catcher. Any arm Martin can get us will leave us better off than leaving Martin behind the dish at Dodger Stadium. Last night was depressing.

"And I'm here trolling this blog to talk smack to (people) JUST LIKE YOU!!! "

Talk about cranial-rectal inversion.

The Dodgers are an unfocused, poorly coached team that fails to execute the fundamentals of the game. Their baserunning, or lack their of, is not even on a minor league level. Worst of all, imagine that the Dodgers were on defense and playing a team that made the same boneheaded mistakes. Would they be capable of taking advantage of the mistakes as the Angels did? Highly unlikely.


Connect

Recommended on Facebook


Advertisement

In Case You Missed It...

Video

About the Blogger

Recent Posts

Categories


Archives
 


Bleacher Report | Dodgers

Reader contributions from Times partner Bleacher Report

More Dodgers on Bleacher Report »




Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: