02 April 2008

Run Dodgers Run

Rafael Furcal ran. The spirit of Juan Pierre was in him, in all of the Dodgers last night. They were fast and daring. The Dodgers never hit the ball very hard last night. Not often. Kent had his double, and there were a few other hard hit balls. Most of the hits were in the borderlands. Firmly hit balls, but needing to find a hole or a poor defender to become line drives in the box score. There were at least three sharp grounders to the hole between second and first that became hits. On the last of these, Furcal ran. For a moment Durham filled the hole, but he still failed. The Giants have so many ways they can fail this season. The ball rolled around, outside of Durham's glove. Furcal rounded third, never broke stride. He did what Juan Pierre would have done at his best. The throw came in to first. Young was safe at first. The throw came home. Molina whipped around with the tag. It was already too late. Furcal had scored.

The Dodgers ran up the pitch count against Matt Cain. The spirit of Juan Pierre was not in them. They were patient, worked the count, drew walks. They found success in their failure. Cain was nearly unhittable, but he was not perfect. In the end it made no difference that Pierre started instead of the Bison. Matt Kemp would likely have fared just as poorly against Matt Cain. When it really mattered, the bat was taken away from Pierre and given to Kemp. Who do you trust, with the bases loaded and two outs? Kemp struck out. But it was the right move. And it didn't matter. The Dodgers still had 9 outs to go, and Cain was out of the game. They had already won.

Larry Bowa was run. He seems to be a man in search of anger. His display on the field was disgraceful. The reason for his anger was just as disgraceful. Larry Bowa wasn't standing up for one of his players. He wasn't angry at some injustice done to his team on the field. He was standing up for his own self-importance. He was angry because the rules were, after all, going to apply to him. He has to wear a helmet, and yes, he has to stay in the coaches box. At the end of the game it was Mariano Duncan in the coaches box, waving Furcal around to win the game. The team celebrated their run-off win. Bowa was not a part of it.

Blake DeWitt ran. The spirit of Juan Pierre was in him. He slid into third at the front of a double steal. The throw beat him, but the tag didn't. He was briefly off the bag, but the tag was no longer there. He could have been out, but he wasn't. Speed never slumps. Unless it can't get on base. Unless it can't get off the bench. Unless it does something stupid. DeWitt was safe, but Furcal was not, moments later, after he drove in the tying runs. Two innings before his triumphant run home, Furcal ran himself out rounding first. So it goes with baserunning.

No comments: