What's wrong with Kershaw? What's wrong with Kershaw? What's wrong with Kershaw? Oh my God what's wrong with Kershaw?
Now that I've got that out of the way, I can hand out the heartbreak hardware to the Dodger players who made that melancholy loss last evening possible.
First, to Clayton Kershaw, goes a single unfair loss share, for failing to adjust to the rigors of road pitching, for laying down such a crappy bunt, and for allowing Lee to hit a home run up into Pujols-off-of-Lidge-land.
Second, to James Loney, goes a single unfair loss share, for going 0-5, for striking out on a horrible pitch with the bases loaded in the ninth inning, and for having only a 0.283 slugging percentage on the year. Pretty soon I'll be in favor of starting Juan Pierre at first base. His slugging percentage is above 0.300!
Third, to Russell Nathan Coltrane "J." Martin, goes a single unfair loss share, even though he was 2-4 in his first 4 plate appearances. He earned his share with a single at bat in the ninth inning, which was a strikeout, and caused several unpleasant events to occur, events so unpleasant they outweigh any good he did earlier in the game. The strikeout ended the game. The strikeout allowed Jose Valverde to engage in some Carlos Perez-like histrionics. The strikeout sent Martin's slugging percentage down to 0.326 for the year. The strikeout prevented Matt Kemp from coming to the plate.
Fourth, to Joe Torre, goes a single pointy-haired loss share, for batting Matt Kemp so low in the lineup. Matt Kemp is Torre's best hitter right now, and probably his second or third best over the course of a year, and yet he is batting seventh most of the time, including last night. Matt Kemp missed coming up in the ninth inning with the game on the line because he was batting seventh. Instead slug-less wonders Martin and Loney came up and ended the game. When Kemp tripled in the fourth inning, Ortiz only had to hit Blake on purpose, er, I mean accidentally, and then use the pitcher as an escape hatch. Kemp is one of the fastest Dodgers, and one of those most likely to get himself to second or third, and so he should not bat where a pitcher will so often be asked to drive him in. Lineup construction will not make a bad team good or a good team bad, but it can occasionally change the outcome of a game. Torre needs to get it right.
Unfair Loss Shares ( Dodgers )
Kershaw -- 1
J. Martin -- 1
Loney -- 1
Pointy-Haired Loss Share ( Dodgers )
Torre -- 1
Unfair Win Shares ( Astros )
Matsui -- 1
Lee -- 1
Tejada -- 1