13 July 2009

Weekender Unfair Shares

Game 87 Unfair Loss Shares ( Dodgers )

Weaver -- 1
Martin -- 1
Hudson -- 1

The Dodgers had a routine loss on Saturday. Bullpen swingman Weaver struggled against the tough Brewer lineup, and the Dodger offense had an off day with eight hits and no walks. This is one of those losses that should be quickly forgotten not because it was so excruciating but because there was really nothing to remember about it, except perhaps for the home runs Ethier and Furcal hit. Ethier's power surge and Furcal's overall resurgence are two great signs heading into the second half.

Game 87 Unfair Win Shares ( Brewmasters )

Hardy -- 1
McClung -- 1
Fielder -- 1

The Brewer pitching only solved the Dodgers during one stretch in this series: during the second half of the middle game when their relievers shut down the Dodgers and preserved a win. McClung was the biggest 'pen hero, and Hardy kept the pressure off of Hoffman in the ninth with his two run double.

Game 88 Unfair Win Shares ( Dodgers )

Manny -- 1
Hudson -- 1
Kershaw -- 1

No room for Loney and his two runs batted in, sadly, with Hudson's ambidextrous power display and Manny never making an out. Kershaw had another fine game, though he was aided by fortune a few times. Nevertheless, that was his fifth straight road win, and his fifth straight road start with at least six innings pitched.

It should be mentioned that if not for Kemp's nice catch and throw to end the sixth inning with a double play, Kershaw might not have been able to go six. All those walks don't leave him much room for error, and he may not always be so lucky. Still, he's 21, with an ERA of 3.16. Isn't complaining about walks kind of missing the point?

Game 88 Unfair Loss Shares ( Brewers )

Gallardo -- 1
Braun -- 1
Cameron -- 1

Gallardo gave up five runs in five innings, and Braun went 0-5 with a pop out to end the game as the possible tying run, so they are easy choices. But what about Cameron? He had a double that led to a run scored, and later hit a sacrifice fly. Why do I pick on him?

He gets the unfair loss share because he failed in the key moment of the game for the Brewers. Kershaw was wild in the first inning, walking the bases loaded after a double by Cory Hart. Cameron came up with two outs. The count went full. And Cameron then swung at ball four and struck out. If Cameron had taken that pitch? Kershaw would at least have given up one run, and even if he recovered and gave up no more runs in that inning he likely wouldn't have made it through six. The Dodger 'pen would have been called in earlier, and maybe the Brewers could have completed their comeback against them.

Why did Cameron whiff in that crucial moment? What happened?

I don't know what happened inside Cameron's head, but I know what I feared most at that moment. It wasn't the walk, although I dreaded that too. It was that Kershaw would throw a fastball right down the heart of the plate, and that Cameron, a known fastball hitter, would crush it, for a homerun, or at least a bases-clearing double. Maybe Cameron was thinking the same thing. My fear, his hope, and in the end, both foiled by Kershaw's weakness, a ball outside of the strike zone. For one pitch, it was a strength.

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