I could spare myself some angst if I just told myself that the Dodgers hit into some bad luck last night. A lot of their outs were line outs. Straight-line outs, I mean, instead of curved-line outs, or jagged-line outs. Or would a ground out be more of a saw-tooth-line out?
I want to propose a list of facts that everyone can agree on:
1. Negative emotions can harm a player's concentration.
2. Lapses in concentration can lead to poor hitting.
3. Manny's suspension has caused negative emotions in the Dodger hitters.
Okay, maybe not everyone would agree with the above three statements. I don't think 2 should be in question, though. And 3, while it could be exaggerated, is surely true. Same for 1. It's the connection between statement 1 and statement 3 where the argument falls apart, I guess. Are any of the Dodger hitters going to be experiencing negative emotions that harm their concentration while they are batting? There are examples of players excelling through much worse emotional pain than having some goofy superstar teammate suspended.
I should also remember that the Dodgers have actually had some good scoring games since the end of the Manny innocence. But it's hard to remember that when they let Chan Ho Park escape with 2 runs allowed in 6 innings. And no home runs. None! That's unbelievable. It must be Manny's fault. He would have taken Park deep. He would have protected Hudson and Ethier to the point where they also hit home runs. I find this argument so compelling, even though it's silly too. Except for the part about Manny taking Park deep --- that absolutely would have happened. No doubt.
I don't know who to blame for that game. I got hitless Furcal, and Kershaw the walker, but who else? I guess I can't give the last unfair loss share to Manny. Maybe I can give it to Eric Collins, the smooth announcer who roughed up my sensibilities with a terrible bar argument to defend his choice of Rollins over Hanley Ramirez as best shortstop in the NL East. "He has an MVP and a World Series ring," is the gist of what he said. But the MVP was two years ago ( and kind of questionable ) and the ring only proves that maybe Rollins has better teammates. What was most obnoxious is that he acted as if saying this made his argument unassailable. There has to be more, you know? Maybe he was joking? Maybe I misinterpreted?
I'm going to give the last Dodger unfair loss share to Martin. It's a tough one, because he did have a single hit, like many other Dodgers. But I can't give it to Pierre because he was hitting the ball hard all day, including the last out, which was kind of hard. Kemp, like Martin, made an out in the ninth inning, but Kemp also had another good day in the field. Martin didn't have a good day defensively, especially on the steal of home. ( I feel like pointing out, however, that every single time Werth stole a base in that seventh inning, it was followed by a walk that would have pushed him over anyway, though it should also be said that one walk was intentional and all of them may have gone differently if Werth hadn't stole. ) Yeah, now I feel better about giving Martin the last one.
On the other side, Pedro Feliz gets an unfair win share for walking four times. His four walks came on 20 pitches. He swung the bat only once, and missed. What a bum.
Unfair Loss Shares ( Dodgers )
Kershaw -- 1 (5-5)
Furcal -- 1 (4-4)
J. Martin -- 1 (2-3)
Unfair Win Shares ( Phillies )
Werth -- 1
Feliz -- 1
Park -- 1