Goatriders of the Apocalypse

Here Come the Dodgers

With the Dodgers officially coming to town, I thought it might be time to educate myself about a team that I've chosen to ignore over the last year or so: The Los Angeles Dodgers.  Being a West Coast team and in a faulty time zone, I barely even catch the Dodgers-Cubs games, let alone the Dodgers-non-Cubs games.  Other than Vin Scully, I couldn't name a half dozen Dodgers off the top of my head.  So, today I correct that and you all are invited along on the journey.

(in my defense: Okay, after looking the team up, I recognized and remembered all these players.  Like I said...off the top of my head)

Who You Should Fear

Manny Ramirez - (.396/.489/.743 for a whopping 1.232 OPS)

Yeah, I thought I heard something about Ramirez being good since being traded over to the Dodgers but...holy hell.  I would list this as a decent to solid pickup for the Dodgers.  And as a bonus, for the first time we get to listen to Tim McCarver say "that's just Manny being Manny" while the Cubs play.  Good times.  Manny is an unbelievably talented hitter and seems to enjoy the pitching of the National League.  Scary.

Andre Ethier (.302/.373/.507 for a .880 OPS)

Quite the drop-off from Manny, eh?  But still, a very solid player with some very real ability.  He has even home-road splits, so it doesn't look like his numbers are being suppressed by his home ballpark.  Yeah, not a bad player.

Rafael Furcal (.357/.439/.573 in 143 at bats)

I'm a little scared, but the guy who should be really scared is Lee.  Just think, we are one errant throw by a pitcher from having Ward as our first baseman.

Dodger's Bullpen

Lots of pitchers with ERA's in the twos.  Joe Beimel is really good situational lefty (2.03 ERA), Hong Chi-Kuo is quite good in many innings, Jon Broxton strikes out lots of people, and Takashi Saito saves games.  Yep, it's a hell of a bullpen.  Try to beat the starters.

Solid, but unspectacular

Matt Kemp (.292/.340/.461)

I'm fairly certain these numbers are the definition of solid but unspectacular.

Russell Martin (.279/.384/.395)

A very good catcher, but he shouldn't be one of your best hitters.  But I'd love to have him on my team if we didn't, you know, have a ridiculously sweet catcher ourselves.

Jeff Kent (.280/.327/.418)

He used to be good, but now he's not.  Now he's just kind of mediocre, bad at defense, and a grumpy gus.

Chad Billingsley (16-10 3.14 ERA; 3.40 road ERA)

He's a very solid pitcher with a better than 2:1 K/BB ratio who gave his team 200 innings.  But let's face it, he shouldn't be a team's #1.

Derrek Lowe (14-11 3.29 ER; 4.42 road ERA)

He's been murder on the Cubs more than a few times with that viscious sinker of his, but as shown by his road splits, he's not as good as his ERA.

Not that good

James Looney (.291/.341/.437)

On the surface, those numbers aren't terrible, but they're certainly not good for a first baseman.

Juan Pierre (.283/.327/.329 plus 39 stolen bases)

Hey, remember this guy?  Yeah, he's not very good.  What is that, a .656 OPS?  Yikes. But on the plus side, he has no arm, no power, and can't get on base.  But hey, he's fast!  To be clear, our scrap-heap center field is way, way, better.  Well, maybe I overstated that.  But they're better.  Way better.

Blake DeWitt/Nomar Garciaparra

DeWitt's not that good and Garciaparra is never healthy.  Not a super combo.

The Back End of the Rotation

Kuroda, Maddux, and Kershaw are names that strike fear into none but the most fragile of fans.  Once we get past the first two members the the Dodger's rotation, there's just not much there.

Okay, now you know as much as me.  Go Cubs.

Insight by a more sensitive fan.....

Andre Ethier has had a great success against the Cubs Game 1 and 2 starters. he is a hitting a blistering .455 against Dempster and an even better .462 against Zambrano. Surprisingly, the pitcher he has the least success against is Jason Marquis. He went 0 for 9. He has also had limited success against Lilly. Russell Martin has hit a ridiculous .615 against Zambrano. Once again, Marquis has had a great deal of success against this Dodgers hitter. Martin is hitting .182 against the odd man out. Matt Kemp has hit .500 against Zambrano this season. Once again!!!! Jason Marquis had success against another Dodgers hitter, holding him hitless in their previous meeting.

Aramis Ramirez is batting under .200 against Chad Billingsly, Koroda, and Derrek Lowe. Granted, A-Ram has had limited exposure against Billingsly and Kuroda, but that still has to be a concern when your leading RBI producer has problems against three pitcher that he will face in a three game series. Chad Billingsly quietly has been one of the best pitchers in the majors. If it wasn't for a bad April, his name may have been among those considered for the Cy Young. Derrek Lowe since the end of June has gone 9-3. He has won his last four decisions. During the month of September, he has given up a total of two runs. Kuroda may have a losing record, but his ERA is sub 4.00. In two match ups against the Cubs, he has given up a total of one run.

By having the best record in NL, the Cubs were rewarded by facing the hottest team in the National League. I have already penciled in the Phillies to be in the NLCS. Clearly, the Cubs have a much tougher task ahead of them. If the Cubs lose in the first round, there may be catcalls of choke, but clearly this will be a series more akin to equals than a fist fight between Woody Allen and Joe Frazier.

Or...

Dick Allen vs. Frasier Crane

I digress...

GO CUBS

not that good, I agree.

check this video out, trust me, you'll like it. its on selling the naming rights to wrigley. don't let it happen!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwhPTJMzzBc

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