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Burden of having to be perfect a weight that can crush Dodgers' rotation

Ll9j3nnc This is a dangerous game the Dodgers are playing.

How long can they hang everything on their starting pitching without the rotation caving in from the constant pressure?

Starting pitching is the only thing the Dodgers have going for them now. Its offense is woeful. Its bullpen has a 4.95 ERA.

The rotation has been the one team strength. As expected, nearly every night the starting pitching gives the Dodgers a chance to win.

Trouble is, the Dodgers are 19-23 despite a rotation that boasts a 3.56 ERA, fourth-best in the National League.

"Obviously we’re putting a lot of pressure on them right now,’’ said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly.

"We don’t want them to feel like they have to go out and put up zeroes every night.’’

Too late. Way too late.

The Dodgers have lost three consecutive games by scores of 1-0, 4-1 and 2-1. When your offense is scoring only two runs in three games and it almost feels commonplace, it’s more than just a trend. And it threatens to seep into the subconscious of every starting pitcher.

Make one mistake -- like Jon Garland did Monday -- and too often it will cost you the game. The longer the Dodgers struggle to score, the greater the pressure on the starting pitchers.

"You just keep going out there every night and try to give your team the best opportunity to win,’’ Garland said. "It’s silly to think you can go out there and throw a shutout every night.’’

Absolutely silly. It’s a reach to expect the rotation to keep pitching at this high level all season too. Particularly when they fear one mistake will cost them the game.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Don Mattingly. Credit: Paul Buck / EPA

Comments () | Archives (11)

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Dodger Stadium needs to become a ghost town.
Would go well with the phantom team they field.

What is an even more troubling thought is that there is no one to save this offense. Jerry Sands and Ivan DeJesus are struggling and who in the minor leagues is ready to come up? Does Colletti bring up the entire JV squad and hope that someone distinguishes themselves? I wish there was some hope down the line but the prospects well has dried up and money (what little is left) is tied up in lame-duck veterans (Blake, Uribe, etc, etc). This offense is looking more woeful everyday.

This might be a timely moment to thank Uribe, Loney, Blake and Furcal for coming in to camp in tip-top shape. True professionals.

I don't blame Ned a bit for this team, and actually feel it's amazing he's got what he's got for the money he was allowed to spend!

Look at the boxscore for a prime example: Garland and Guerrier has been solid. Hawksworth on the DL, but so far has been a solid reliever. Jamey Carrol and Aaron Miles have been terrific bench additions that never were meant to play this much. Although Barajas has a low average, he's been great behind the plate and is tied for the team lead in HR's.Really, only Uribe's been the bust from an acquisitional standpoint and the season is still young.

The problem for Ned is simply that McCourt does not allow him to go and get the players other major market teams go and get. So, Ned has to continuously scour the scrapheap for talent and hope he catches lightning.

You ever work for an incompetent, selfish boss? Try it and see if you're any better than Ned Colletti in his current position!

I think Bills has had better at bats than navarro. How is this terrible excuse for a backup catcher still on the roster??? And why is he pinch hitting?????

Thanks, Ned. Thanks, Frank. What a boring team.

Always look on the bright side of life... always look on the light side of life.

* mattingly has conquered amnesia/overcome his deja vu to visit a pitching mound; he's also not butchered a single dudger lineup card - not once

* uribe has been versatile as advertised, moving between 2b, 3b and ss; his loss has also kept the 1st place World Champion Giants from improving on their 22-18 record (identical to last season at this time)

* gywnn jr. has raised his batting average 20 points above last season's .204, result the more hitter friendly dudger stadium confines compared SD

* the decision to rest veterans has paid off - furcal has made only 1 error all season, blake's beard looks fresh & slappy 'e' has matured from MVP/Triple Crown favorite into a leadoff hitter

* the dudgers have disproved the notion a team will be unsuccessful unless they have two lefthanders in the bullpen - they've only needed one

Always look on the bright side of life... always look on the light side of life.

it's time to bring up the whole minor league and see what sticks! Let's go Pittsburgh! Keep in Ethier and Kemp. Send away all veterans not producing down to the minors are put them all in a package deal for one decent run producer!

"I think Bills has had better at bats than navarro. How is this terrible excuse for a backup catcher still on the roster??? And why is he pinch hitting?????

Posted by: DodgerFanIn415 | 05/17/2011 at 09:32 AM"

NO ####ING KIDDING! NAVARRO? Forget 'roids...what kind of crack is going around the front office and the manager's office? My only conclusion is that perhaps Mattingly, left with no other option, has decided to show Frank and Ned what they have wrought.

Remember that 19-23 record is mostly against below .500 teams, such as Pirates, padres, D-Backs, Cubs and Brewers. Wait until they have to play the big boys.

I'd like to add that the bullpen is looking better lately to go along with the nearly superb starters. If the Dodgers could only score some runs maybe we'd win some games.


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