Sunday, April 29, 2007

Sweet Seventeen

After a long day of looking for houses, it was just after four when I turned on the radio. "Let's see if the Dodgers are still playing," said I.

They were in the 13th. My gosh.

Juan's contribution: 2-for-7 with a walk. On base three times in eight at-bats. That's a way-above-average day for Juan. Good for you, dude! Of course, one of those is the bunt single that probably should have been fielded cleanly and you should have been thrown out... which would have made it 2 times on base in 8 at-bats, which would have been below average even for you. Just sayin'.

1. Bunt single. Didn't see it, but reading the play-by-play, it seems that this one can be pinned on Wells' fielding error. Blind squirrel, meet the acorn. Acorn, this is the blind squirrel.
2. Grounder to first. #82.
3. K, looking. #83.
4. Flied to left, #84.
5. Single to center.
6. Walked; would steal 2nd.
7. Flied to center, #85.
8. Fielder's choice, #86.

Juan's pace is now 557 outs.

Losses are bad

Juan Pierre was just about the only Dodger who contributed. I really can't complain about his performance in yesterday's game -- not when the rest of the team really didn't do much.

1. Doubled to center.
2. Singled to center. Would steal second and score. Juan now has more SB than K for the first time this year.
3. Popped to short. #81.
4. Singled; out stretching at 2nd. Addendum out #2.

Even with this 3-for-4 -- and remember, I'm not counting the 2 addendum outs; just the 81 he's earned so far -- Pierre is on pace to record 546 outs.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Wins are good

Yay! Wins are good. 9th inning rallies are good. Russell Martin is good. The Dodgers, in general, are good.

Not good: Juan Pierre.

1. Flied to center. #77.
2. Flied to left. #78.
3. Flied to right. #79.
4. Single to right. Would get to second and steal third.
5. Sacrifice. #80.

Just imagine how good they'd be with, you know, an average center fielder.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Worst fears relized

This is exactly the kind of game I worried about when I saw my team had signed Pierre. In a close game, his efforts would make the difference between winning and losing -- and my team would come up with the fuzzy end of the lollipop.

Between the 0-for-5, the missed squeeze in the 2nd, and the bobbled play for the go-ahead Giant runs in the 8th, the only thing that could have made this game worse for Pierre is if he'd been caught stealing in the 1st... and he might have been if the Jints' throw had been better. He got a little lucky there. Unfortunately, luck had a way of evening out in this one.

1. Fielder's choice, #72. Would steal second and score.
2. Missed squeeze sign; Ethier out at home (addendum #1). Flied to left. #73.
3. Grounded to pitcher. #74.
4. K, swinging. #75.
5. Popped to center. #76.

I am also awarding Ethier's out in the 2nd to Pierre -- it goes in the addendum. Ethier was paying attention. Pierre was not. It was infuriating.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Ho hum

This is what I was talking about. Pitching fails, Dodgers lose.

1. Bunt out to pitcher. I am so, so sick of this. #69.
2. Grounder to short. #70.
3. Grounder to pitcher. #71.
4. Single to center.

Let's try that one again.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Spreading the blame

Last night's loss, painful as it was, was not Juan's fault. He managed some timely hits, including the 8th... and the game ended with him on deck.

You have to wonder if this game would have been different if Lowe had pitched a little better, if Gonzalez hadn't grounded into that DP to end the 8th, if Furcal had managed a base hit in the 9th....

Still: this is the Juan Pierre OutWatch, and yesterday, he had three.

1. Flied to center. #66.
2. Grounded to second. Hello, old friend. #67.
3. Flied to center. #68.
4. Singled to right.

Monday, April 23, 2007

The Two Won and One Lost Weekend

Took the weekend off to get the house ready to sell. Didn't see much Juan Pierre. Missed a good performance in a win, a bad performance in a win, and a mediocre performance in a loss.

FRIDAY was Juan's best game yet. 3-for-4 with 2 SB and 3 runs scored.

1. Single to center. Stole 2nd and scored.
2. Single to 1st. Stole 2nd and scored.
3. Another single. Would score again. Can anything stop this man?
4. Yes: a fielder's choice. #58.

SATURDAY, he fell off the wagon.

1. Popped to right. #59.
2. Flied to left. #60.
3. Flied to right. #61.
4. K. #62.
5. Singled to right. Would score the winning run in the 10th, thanks to JimBilly4's new love, Russell Martin.

SUNDAY was exactly what you expect from Pierre -- 2-for-5 -- as the Dodgers lost.

1. Bunt out to pitcher. I swear, I will never understand this play. #63.
2. K. #64.
3. Popped to third. #65.
4. Single to right.
5. Single to right.

In short, Pierre is clearly out of his slump, and he is now merely the entirely mediocre talent one expects him to be. Get used to a lot of 2-for-5s.

P.S. "The hardest man to strike out last year" is now on pace for 68 Ks. He has also fallen off a record out pace -- if he keeps this up, he'll make only 554 outs, which would be 2nd on the all-time list.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

4-3. Repeat at will.

2-for-5 with a run scored and an RBI. Good stuff, but still: four outs. Come on, Juan.

1. Grounded to second. There you are, old friend. #54.
2. Singled to left.
3. Grounded to second. Like a broken record. #55.
4. Bunted up the third base line, and out. Now, at Crazy Juan's, we've got 27 outs and they all must go! Crazy Juan's, where the at-bats are INSANE! #56.
5. RBI SINGLE! Great stuff, Juan. But then you were caught stealing. Aaarrrrrgghhh. #57.

I'm a liar

Indeed, Juan Pierre made a liar out of me.

1. Single to center.
2. Single to center. Caught stealing, #51.
3. Strikeout. #52.
4. Flyout to left. #53.

Pierre, at the moment, has more Ks than SBs (6:5). That hasn't happened for a complete season since 2002, when he Kd 52 times and stole 47.

Thanks to his recent improvements with the bat, Juan's projected out total has plummeted to a mere 572 outs, which would only be 12 more outs than anybody has ever made over the course of a season.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


I have predicted that Juan Pierre will not make an out tonight. Five for Five, I'm thinking.

Do not make a liar out of me, sir.

Or maybe not.

See that post below? You can maybe ignore it.

Twice in this game, Juan Pierre swung at the first pitch he saw. The result? A double and a triple.

Congratulations to Juan on what must have been a great game to watch. Me? I was tied up last night. Had to see a movie for work. Tiny violins, begin your sad songs.

1. Fielder's choice, #48.
2. Grounder to pitcher, #49
3. The Double.
4. The Triple.
5. Foul out to first. #50.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Lessons learned, lessons forgotten

Every ballplayer gets into slumps. What separates the great from the not-so is that the great make adjustments.

Juan Pierre has been in a slump. He needed to make an adjustment.

In his first time up last night, he drew a full count, then took ball four for his second walk of the year.

In his second time up, he drew a full count again -- and then slapped a single to the middle infield. It was the type of grounder that would have required the fielder to make an excellent play to get a runner of average speed. Pierre has good speed and had an infield single.

It seemed that Pierre had made the adjustment: he would look at more pitches, swinging at the ones he thought were good to hit. No longer would he offer at whatever the pitcher gave him.

Then, in the fifth, Pierre swung at the first pitch and grounded to second. Out #46.

In the seventh, he worked a 2-2 count, and swung at the fifth pitch, singling to right.

In the ninth, he swung at the first pitch, flying out to left. Out #47.

Honestly -- I don't know what to make of this. If I'm Pierre, I look at this game and I say to myself, "Self, when I take pitches, I have more success than when I don't." Even if Pierre had been out in the third (the infield single) and the seventh (the single to right), I would have been satisfied that his approach to the plate appearance had been worthwhile. In the 5th and 9th, I feel like he was bored or something and couldn't wait to get back to the dugout.

Time will tell which is the real Juan Pierre.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Do I understand correctly?

Juan sits out, bringing his lousy bat with him, and the Dodgers can't score any runs, and lose.

Juan goes back into the lineup, bringing his lousy bat with him, and the Dodgers score 9 and win.

Must be his incredible, inspiring leadership.

I'm happy for the win -- the Dodgers are 8-4 -- but this team reminds me of the 2005 squad that started 12-2 and then went 59-89 the rest of the way. They seem to have big holes -- like the #2 spot in the order -- that will be exposed as the season progresses. If they still have twice as many wins as losses on June 1, maybe I'll think differently about them.

1. Strikeout. I believe that's five Ks, compared to, I think, one walk and 9 hits.... how about that from the "toughest man in the majors to strike out." It's out #41.
2. Fielder's Choice -- Valdez out at home. #42.
3. Fielder's Choice -- Ethier out at home. Deja Vu. #43.
4. Popped out to second. #44.
5. Grounded to second. It wouldn't be a Dodgers game if Juan Pierre hadn't grounded to second. #45.

Sitting out for 2 or 3 at-bats on Saturday really brought down his projected out total. After 12 games, he is on pace to record 607 or 608 outs.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Juan sits

For the first time this year, Juan sat, coming into the game as a sub. He did some good work, but this one was alredy lost.

1. Infield single to short.
2. Grounder to second, #40.

If Juan sits too much, he won't be setting any outs records.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

We now return to our regular programming

Just when we had joined the "Juan Pierre is not completely useless" bandwagon, he goes and has his Friday.

The Dodgers scored nine runs and cruised to an easy 9-1 victory over the Padres, who have been a thorn in the Dodgers' side in recent years. That's the good -- no, great -- news. The Dodgers are 7-3. Awesome.

And then you look at the box score and you see the dead weight: 5 0 0 0. And of couse the name next to that lovely line is Pierre CF.

I say "dead weight," but even the lovely and talented and patient Mrs. Kavula says, "He's more than dead weight. He's rowing in the other direction."

We are winning now, but if Pierre doesn't start pulling his weight, I fear it will not last. I am enjoying it while it lasts, but it comes naturally to me to be the voice of impending doom.

I found this sentence in the L.A. Times particularly enlightening:

"...[E]very starter except Juan Pierre had at least one hit, even Lowe, who beat out a roller, walked twice, sacrificed and scored."

1. Flied to left. #35.
2. Grounded to pitcher leading off the third. The Dodgers would score three runs this inning. #36.
3. Grounded to first with runners on second and third. Nomar would cash them in. #37.
4. Grounded to pitcher. I didn't watch this game.... what's with all the grounders to the pitcher? If Colletti is handing out $9 million a year to hit the ball 60 feet, I am available. "Kavula" would look great on the back of a Dodger uniform. #38.
5. Grounded to second. Ah, there's the Juan Pierre I know and loathe. #39.

0-for-5 when the rest of the team gets hits. So it goes.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Not completely useless

A few minutes after game time, I found myself wondering just exactly when Pierre might start leading off the game by getting on base. I realize that 0-for-10 in these situations is not horrible, but I fear I'll blink and it'll become 4-for-50.

Then, a couple of innings later, Pierre did his job and proved himself not completely useless: he got on with a two-out, bases empty single, which started the 3-run rally. And it was early in the game -- the 3rd -- so Penny and his relievers pitched with the lead for 2/3 of the game. Good stuff.

I will ignore the fact that those were the only runs they scored, and that they have scored only 8 runs in their last three games, and that we are relying on a pitching staff that employs Brett Tomko to play a key role, and instead I will focus only on this:

Behind their great pitching, the Dodgers are 6-3. Very good.

1. Grounded to second. Out, 4-3. #32.
2. This was the two-out single that began the 3-run rally that would be the only runs of the game.
3. Grounded to third. #33.
4. Bunt out to catcher. I know Juan is supposed to be good at this, but this is maybe my least favorite play in baseball. It's basically saying, "We don't care about runs. Here, have a free out." #34.

After his somewhat successful series against Colorado, Juan Pierre is now on pace to make only 612 outs. A mere pittance!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Credit where it's due

Juan won't get any credit for his exploits last night. And I don't want to overstate the case -- if he'd managed to do something better than he did earlier in the game, the Dodgers wouldn't have needed his mild heroics in the 8th inning. That said, he did hit the single that knocked Betemit over to third so that Martin could hit the sac fly that brought home the winning run. Betemit will get credit for his walk and Martin for his sacrifice, but Pierre's single was clutch, too.

That said, not a great day for Juan... but a win's a win, the Dodgers are 5-3, and I'm generally happy.

1. Grounded to second. Out, 4-3, #29.
2. Grounded to first. Out #30.
3. Singled to center, then caught stealing, 2-4. Out #31.
4. Clutch single to center.

His best hit of the young season so far.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Opening Day

Today was the Dodgers' Home Opener. I had tickets to this game. But words -- the ones I write for a living -- got in the way. How does the song go? Sucks to be me.

I'm already upset enough, so offered here, without comment, are Juan Pierre's at-bats for today.

The comments will return tomorrow.

1. Lined out to third. Out #25.
2. Grounded to first. Out #26.
3. Flied to center. Out #27.
4. Doubled to center! Congratulations, Juan, on your first extra-base hit of the year!
5. Hit a sacrifice fly to left. With the bases loaded. Any non-out would have increased the Dodgers' chances of winning. Instead, you get to boost your stats -- chalking up an RBI and not counting against your batting average. But the OutWatch is watching... always watching. You made out #28.

This post edited to take away the congratulations the OutWatch initially offered Pierre for logging his first RBI of the year. Upon further review, we're still mad about that at-bat. We shall all tilt at our own windmills... but to the OutWatch's mind, Pierre's at-bats might be giants, if I may take a beautiful turn of phrase and torture it beyond all human decency.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Catching up

Catching up with the Dodgers: two wins, which is good. Two mediocre performances from Juan Pierre, which was predictable.


1. Strikeout, for out #17 of the year -- and at that point, more strikeouts than hits on the year;
2. Fielder's choice, out #18; Pierre did go on to steal his first base as a Dodger. Yay.
3. Grounded to short, out #19;
4. Singled to center -- yay! Would go on to score! Yay!
5. Grounded to third, out #20.


1. The play-by-play doesn't have it, and I was at brunch, so I didn't see it... but apparently, Juan Pierre fouled out to the catcher on the first pitch of the game while attempting to bunt. I hate you, Juan Pierre. You just made out #21 of the year;
2. Strikeout, out #22 (and strikeout #4);
3. Grounded to short, out #23;
4. Singled to short! Yay! Part of a brilliant double steal! Yay! But out at the plate on Kent's fielder's choice.
5. Grounded to first, out #24 on the year.

24 outs in six games. Them's good eatin'.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Two steps forward, five steps back

And just when it seemed like he was getting on track.

1. Groundout to pitcher. Out #12.
2. Ground into double play -- wasting a single by the pitcher. Outs #13 & 14.
3. Groundout to second. Out #15.
4. Strikout. Out #16.

Juan Pierre -- "the hardest man to strike out last year" -- now has as many strikeouts as hits.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

The first good day

Juan goes 2-for-4 (officially), made only three outs (one was a sacrifice)... and the Dodgers win! A good day.

1. You singled to center...

2. ...and then bunted and beat it out...

3. ...and then you pressed your luck, bunted again, and you were out, 2-3. Out #9.

4. The 7th inning saw your third bunt of the day. This one was a sacrifice, so it won't hurt your batting average, but it will get counted in the OutWatch. Score it 2-3, and mark it as out #10.

5. You grounded out to shortstop, 6-3, snuffing the Dodgers' big 8th-inning rally. Out #11.

With 11 outs over 3 days, Juan Pierre is on a pace for 594 outs. I don't expect him to keep that up.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Congratulations, Juan!

Congratulations on your first base hit as a Dodger! Keep it up!

More details posted later.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

I wish you were Russell Martin

Pierre goes 0-4 with a walk and a run scored. Russell Martin hits like gangbusters behind him. Here's the breakdown:

1. Tapped to short, out 6-3. Out #5 of the year.

2. Ball four! Congratulations, Juan, on reaching base for the first time as a Dodger! And congratulations on your first run scored, coming around from first on Russell Martin's double! The OutWatch is truly happy for you and encourages you to keep it up.

3. ...but instead, you bunted. You almost beat it out! Almost being the operative word. 1-3, Out #6 of the year.

Time out to congratulate Pierre on his nice catch in the fifth.

4. After an unlikely walk by the pitcher, Randy Wolf, Juan comes up with the bases loaded. C'mon Juan, prove me wrong! ....but no. You hit it up the middle, J.J. Hardy grabbed it, threw to first, and you are out, 6-3, for your 7th out of the year. That one is painful.

5. Pop out to the third baseman. Out #8.

Why can't you be more like that nice Martin kid? He went 3-5 with a single, double, and a homer.

Monday, April 2, 2007

The fourth at-bat

Ben Sheets is a good pitcher. Today can't be pinned on Pierre. But still:

Fly out to right; out #4.

We'll try this again tomorrow.

Another up, another out

I'll grant that Ben Sheets is embarrassing the entire team today, but I'll continue to pick on Pierre.

Soft liner to right for an out. That's #3.

By the way: Pierre is no longer responsible for all of the runs against the Dodgers. Derek Lowe bears responsibility as well.

The second at-bat

At this point, I would like to point out that in addition to his swinging-strike-three (which was in the dirt, and which he did not run out), the Dodgers' center fielder is also responsible for two Milwaukee runs -- the Brewers, testing his rag arm, took two extra bases on balls played to him. Even Vin said, "We are going to see that."

Here's the second plate appearance.

One hopper to shortstop J.J. Hardy. Out, 6-3.

That is out #2.

The first at-bat

Live blogging Juan's first plate appearance!

C'mon, Juan! Prove the OutWatch wrong! Embarrass us! We can handle it!

strike three.

That is out #1.