Posted By Jeff Fletcher on April 11, 2011 10:57 pm
Here at AT&T Park tonight, covering the Dodgers for the Riverside Press-Enterprise and Orange County Register. (Gotta pay the bills!) So, I was mostly Dodger-focused today, but I’ve still got a few items of interest.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said they thought that Madison Bumgarner’s move to first was a balk. He said umpires gave them some guidelines on balks in spring training, and he felt that Bumgarner’s move crossed the line. Matt Kemp took off early on a Bumgarner throw to first — or Bumgarner stopped his move home to throw, depending on who you ask — in the second inning. In the fifth, Clayton Kershaw got picked off. I don’t know if they were balks or not, but once a manager starts talking about it, umpires are sure to look closely. Stay tuned for that one.
The Giants’ defense was not good, but you can’t really blame the loss on that. Bumgarner gave up eight hits and four walks in five innings. That’s a lot of baserunners. If he hadn’t picked off Kershaw and if Matt Kemp hadn’t tried to turn Pat Burrell’s error into an extra base, Bumgarner would have really been in for a disaster in the fifth. He wasn’t sharp. That’s two games in a row. Obviously no reason to worry about him, based on these two games, but I also don’t think you can just assume he’s going to reproduce last year, which was his rookie year. Until a guy gets through at least one full big league season, it’s hard to know just where he is.
Speaking of rookies, Brandon Belt. Oh boy, Brandon Belt. He went 0-for-4 tonight and now he’s hitting .143. Are you getting nervous yet? The Bumgarner logic goes double for Belt. Belt has no track record. Not even at Triple-A. So we really have nothing to fall back on assume that he’s ready for the big leagues and this is just a blip. Maybe it is, but maybe it isn’t. Let’s check back in another 10 games and see how he’s doing.
In case you missed it, Rafael Furcal broke his left thumb on that slide into third in the fifth. (When he was really out, but called safe.) That’s a big blow for the Dodgers. They don’t know how long he’s going to be out, but it’s safe to assume it’ll be at least a month. They are also without Casey Blake temporarily. He hurt his leg on a collision on Saturday. Blake may be OK by Tuesday. Or maybe not. Patchwork time for the Dodgers infield.
I thought the whole pregame thing was very nice. The Uribe ceremony was perfect. Just short and sweet. All the Giants came out to meet him (except Miguel Tejada, who ran all by himself in the outfield). Nice response from the Giants fans. I noticed the Dodgers even applauded him, which was cool. Jeremy Affeldt’s speech about fan violence was also very nice. Affeldt actually broke down for a moment when talking about Stow’s family.
Back for more (of the Dodgers) on Tuesday.