All season I’ve seen “the Chad” throw some of the sickest stuff I’ve seen him throw in his three years in the league. His curveball has been better than Zito’s in his prime (which is LONG gone). Chad is throwing the 2-seam fastball on the outside corner much like Maddux in HIS prime. The slider and cutter compliment his 94-95 mph 4-seam fastball. And best of all, he has added the changeup and is throwing it for strikes, but that was a work in progress if you saw him at all in spring. He couldn’t find the plate with it then.
With this arsenal of exceptional pitches you would think he would be near the league lead in wins… the problem is, he is not. He has struggled to get deep into games, much like he has for most of his career. But this year more than before, pitching more than five innings only once… before today. Today in his start against the Marlins, Bills was fantastic pitching seven innings allowing one run, again in the fifth inning where he continues to struggle, and striking out eight en route to his first win of the season, the 20th of his career.
April round up.
So one month is in the books and the Dodgers are one game over .500, five and a half games behind the D-bags.
Rafi Furcal has been the best player by far batting .381 for the month, scoring 26 runs. Russell Martin struggled horribly for nearly two weeks but has been possessed for the last two reaching base nearly 70 percent of the time. Jeff Kent is Jeff Kent. He continues to be a run producer into his 40’s. Andre has been the most consistent outfielder on the team scoring 18 runs and driving in 13.
But of course they haven’t all been great. James Loney has been great at home batting .385, but has been awful on the road batting .185 and for the first time in his career he is struggling to hit against left-handed pitchers. And of course, the worst of all, Andruw Jones. Jones, the $36 million free agent is batting .184 with three doubles, a triple, and ONE homerun. Worst of all he has four RBI, about $9 million per RBI. Easy job if you can get it.
Overall the team needs to show consistency, something they have been showing in their last five games. Pitching needs to step up and go deep into games to alieviate the workload for the bullpen. Run production needs to continue through out the order, but more so with Jones.
Put up at least 18 wins in the month of May.