Monday, July 30, 2007

From OutWatcher Shidoin

Your fellow OutWatcher Shidoin writes in:

"For the edification of my fellow outwatchers, I went back and counted up the number of bunts our man Juan has made this year. 30. (I included 2 that may have been pop ups to pitcher) with 8 for hits, 18 for outs (inc. the 2 qestionable PU's) 2 sacrifices; (Don't get me started...) and 2 squeezes. These are not numbers that should encourage more bunting attempts! I was suprised it was only 30. It seems like every time I see him, he's attempting to bunt. "

Good work, Shidoin. I'm surprised, too.

The 18 bunts for outs -- do they include sacrifices? According to BB Ref, Pierre leads the league with 14 sacrifice hits.

What are the 2 sacrifices that you call sacrifices?

Final question: would any of this indicate that Juan Pierre should bunt with 2 outs and a man in scoring position?

Keep investigating! Your fellow OutWatchers want to know why Juan Pierre is bunting so much!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Fun with Splits: Hands

I attended the game last Saturday. Juan was good in that game. He had a single, a double, and a hit by pitch. He also had a long out -- out, true, but he hit it hard.

I remarked at the time that he was in quite a fine hit streak and I hoped it last.

My hopes were ill-founded. Since then -- once you count today's 0/4 --

1. Grounded to pitcher. #344.
2. Grounded to short. #345.
3. Grounded bunt out to catcher -- for the third out of the inning! #346.
4. Walked.
5. Grounded to second. #347.

-- he is 3 for his last 26, with 3 walks and 2 sacrifices (both of which, I'm guessing, were really hit attempts). The Hot Streak is over, mes amis. I fear his July numbers will very much resemble his June and his May and his April and none of them was any good.

Rollins was responsible for just two outs today -- he grounded into a double play as he went 3-for-4 -- so Pierre's lead grows.

* * *

Fun with Splits -- Lefties vs. Righties!

This is key. There is a very good argument to be made that the First Step in What Will Eventually Be Getting Rid of Juan Pierre will be benching him against lefties.

Entering Sunday -- and remember, these numbers will all go down -- Juan was hitting .279/.312/.332/.644 overall. Poor.

Vs. Lefties, those numbers are the maggot-inducing, fly-attracting .241/.271/.268 -- 268 slugging!/.539. Against left-handed pitching, Juan Pierre might be the worst player in baseball. 112 at-bats against lefties that's basically an automatic out.

Vs. Righties, he doesn't look so bad. He doesn't look any good, either -- .296/.328/.358/.686 still isn't gonna win any awards and certainly doesn't deserve a starting job -- but neither would it be the team's number one problem.

So maybe I've been thinking too big. Benching Juan Pierre? It's the right thing to do, but won't happen soon.

Platoon Juan Pierre? That's an idea that Colletti and Little could wrap their minds around. Do it.

Fun with Splits: Batter's Counts

In the thin air of Coors, nothing gets out of the infield for Juan. In fact, only one ball made it past the pitcher's mound.

1. Grounded to pitcher. #340.
2. Sacrifice. #341.
3. Grounded to short. #342.
4. Grounded to pitcher. #343.

Pace: 534 outs.

Juan's 343 outs are still good for the major league lead by one over Rollins.

* * *

Welcome to Fun with Juan Pierre's Splits Week. This week, we will be looking at individual lines on ESPN's Splits page for Juan Pierre. Scintillating information there.

Today, we look at his batter's counts.

For example, what count do you think is Juan's favorite for putting the ball in play?

If you said 0-1, you were right! Juan has 80 at-bats in which he put the ball in play on an 0-1 count, the most of any count. Juan has 26 hits with four doubles in this situation, leading to a .325/.325/.375/.700 record! Hey, he's slightly above his own average with a strike against him!

Not surprisingly, Juan does poorest with 2 strikes against him. Unfortunately, this happens a lot more often. In 221 plate appearances with an 0-2, 1-2, 2-2, or 3-2 count, Juan has 42 hits, 11 walks, and has been hit twice. That's .202/.248/.236. OPS of 484.

When does Juan do his best? Also not surprisingly, after 2-0, 3-0, and 3-1 counts. (You will be happy to know that Juan has not yet swung on a 3-0 count this year.) In a grand total of 16 plate appearances, Juan has four hits (including a double!) and an astounding 7 walks. In these situations, he is .444/.688/.555/1.243! As long as the pitchers don't throw strikes, Juan Pierre hits like Barry Bonds.

Unfortunately, those 2-0, 3-0, and 3-1 situations have only happened to Juan 16 times this year. Compared with, I'll remind you, the 221 plate appearances with two strikes.

More fun with splits tomorrow.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Big Frank bunted and scored. But Juan?

Things have been cuh-ray-zee at work. Boss is out, meaning I get to do his job in addition to my own. Swell.

But last night I got a chance to catch up with my favorite team and my least favorite player.

1. Singled to short. Erased on Martin's double play.
2. Singled to left. Stole second, went to third on the throwing error, would score.
3. Lined to second. #338.
4. Bunted out to the pitcher. #339.

Then replaced in a double-switch.

Not a bad game for Juan. Not bad at all. 2-for-4 with a stolen base. Fine.

But let's talk about that fourth at-bat. 7th inning, Dodgers holding on to a 2-run lead. Bullpen, as everyone knows, is pretty taxed (tho that's been better very recently) and as a result has been slightly shaky (tho that too has been better recently). Takashi Saito sat out seven games with pain in his back -- who knows if he'd be effective. Any more runs the Dodgers could get would be extremely useful.

There are two out. Dodgers are on first and third. I'll remind you -- two out.

Pierre bunts. With two out, he bunts.

I mean, did he expect that to work? That only seems to work in Danny Kaye songs.

Juan is supposed to be good at this, but he has not impressed me so far. Seriously, unless this supposedly prodigious talent somehow starts showing up, the only way he's gonna reach base is through the Miller-Hiller-Haller Halleujah Twist.

Pace is 533 outs. Juan is still in the major league lead with two outs more than Rollins, but the Phillies have still played two fewer games than the Dodgers. That is some stellar outmaking by J-Roll.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

so very busy

ignoring capitalization typos spelling commas and other rules of grammar i am just here to remind you that juan pierre still stinks


1. grounded to pitcher #331
2. grounded to first #332
3. fouled to right #333
4. walked would score


1. grounded to second #334
2. flied to left #335
3. grounded to first #336
4. grounded to second #337

so juan's last good game was on saturday and since then he's 1 for 15 with 2 walks and a sacrifice which is really pretty stinky and he's on pace for 535 outs and of course he still leads the league by four over rollins

so sorry ive been out of commission and ill try to watch more outs very soon peace out

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Post: All Billz

Kudos to Chad Billingsley on his excellent performance. Jeff Kent -- you were the star hitter of the day. James Loney -- nice homer. Love ya, James.

And then there's Juan. So is the hot streak over?

1. Sacrifice. #327. I know, I know, 71and91 -- we'll get to it. Things have been busy at work. Still, regardless of whether you think the sacrifice is a good idea -- what's he doing sacrificing in the FIRST INNING? Surely, that's insane. It's getting to the point that I think when Juan sees a guy on first base, he automatically bunts.
2. Grouned to second. Like old faithful. #328.
3. Singled to right. Would score.
4. Flied to left. #329.
5. Grounded to second. #330.

Pace is 534 outs.

Juan is now seven outs ahead of Rollins for the major league lead, but the Dodgers have played two games more than the Phillies. Given Rollins' prodigious outmaking abilities, this is going to go right down to the wire.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Freak show

Wow, I'm glad I didn't watch that.

1. Flied to right. #323.
2. Flied to left. #324.
3. Flied to left. #325.
4. Flied to center. #326.
5. Walked. Stole second, advanced to third on wild pitch, stranded.

Sad for Broxton and sad for Kemp. They are two of the guys on this team who are getting it done, and I'm guessing -- from the play-by-play -- that they are going to get called out in tomorrow's dog trainer. Too bad.

We know, we still owe the treatise on sacrifices, but we just don't have it in us. It's been a tough week at Chez Kavula. We'll get to it, I promise.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

A beautiful day for a ballgame

Nice day at the ballpark. Penny struggles early, settles down, and gets the win. Matt Kemp, a beautiful three-run shot. Even Juan got in on the fun with two RBI hits:

1. Flied to left. #321.
2. Singled to right. RBI.
3. Doubled to left. RBI.
4. HBP.
5. Flied to right. #322.

Very good game for Juan.

Pace: 532 outs.

Rollins plays the night game in San Diego and can take over the major league lead if he has a terrible day.

This is the city. Los Angeles, California. I work here. I count outs.

I need to make this quick -- just the outs, ma'am, just the outs -- but rest assured, I will address the topic of the sacrifice when I have more time.

Here, for the moment, are Juan's latest plate appearances.

1. Singled to second; stole second; stole third; got stranded. He's been hellfire on the basepaths lately -- much, much better than he's been.
2. Grounded to first. #318.
3. Fielder's choice; erased on Martin's double play. #319.
4. Grounded to short. #320.

Just one ahead of Rollins (319) for the major league lead.

Pace: 534 outs.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Breaking News: Pierre Not Worst Player in MLB!

If you'd told me that the Dodgers would score 9 with Derek Lowe on the mound, I'd have been very happy.

But the best-laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft agley, as Adam West once said.

1. Singled to center. Would score.
2. Grounded to first. #315.
3. Doubled to right. One of the Juan's best-placed hits I've seen.
4. Grounded to second. #316.
5. Flied to center. #317.

Three total bases makes this a good game. Three outs too, of course.

* * *

Loyal OutWatcher 71and91 has been asking some very astute questions this week. After I've been noting that Pierre has made more outs than anyone else in the majors, he wondered who the worst players in outs-per-plate-appearance.

JimBilly4 was kind enough to list the top ten. In case you didn't tune in yesterday to the lively comments, here's what he compiled:

0.778 Miguel Olivo
0.748 Omar Vizquel
0.743 Khalil Greene
0.741 Bengie Molina
0.743 Pedro Feliz
0.741 Felipe Lopez
0.735 Chris Young
0.735 Alex Gonzalez
0.734 Ryan Zimmerman
0.730 Juan Pierre

By this standard, Juan isn't the worst outmaker in baseball -- he's tenth-worst.

Two of these ten players, Chris Young and Ryan Zimmerman, are extraordinarily young (22 and 23) to be playing in the majors. They have had terrible seasons to be sure, but one can make the case that their teams need to give them major league at bats to figure out what kind of players they will be. I give those two guys a pass.

Felipe Lopez was good as recently as two years ago, but declined seriously last year and has continued that decline this year. I suppose he could bounce back, I guess, but two straight years of declines make me wonder.

Everyone else on the list -- from Olivo to Vizquel to Molina to Gonzalez to Pierre -- has been terrible. Most of the rest of these guys play SS or C, which means that replacements are very hard to come by. Most of them, too, are not on the list of most plate appearances, meaning that their managers at least have the good sense to drop them in the batting order and possibly not even play them every day.

These are the players that Juan Pierre compares to this year. He's not the worst player in the major leagues -- he is merely among the worst. That's the starting fielder for the Dodgers, one of the favorites to make the postseason. A large-market, storied team. A team that laughs at the likes of the Kansas City Royals. That team starts a player in center field every day who is among the worst players in baseball.

I'll also note that Pierre makes more money than anybody on the list above, but that's neither here nor there.

Pierre's only chance is to maintain his current hot streak. I certainly hope he can do it. Even if he can, he has a lot to make up for.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Point, Counterpoint

Nice to see the Dodgers take 2 of 3 from the Phillies, who can mash.

Juan got to keep his hit streak going, but not a great day for the center fielder.

1. Singled to center. Erased on Gonzalez's double play.
2. Popped to third. #312.
3. Grounded to short. #313.
4. Grounded to third. #314.

Pace: 535 outs.

Pierre is still tops in the majors in outs made -- three ahead of Rollins.

To address loyal OutWatcher 71and91's point from yesterday, a point of information: here are the top players in MLB in plate appearances, followed by their On Base Percentages and Slugging Percentages.

Rollins 334 / 523
Sizemore 389 / 462
Reyes 382 / 443
Uggla 320 / 476
DeJesus 353 / 396
Pierre 316 / 339
Jeter 401 / 470
Utley 404 / 583
Roberts 404 / 447
Rios 359 / 541

To me, that looks like a bunch of all-stars with three exceptions. By and large, players who are getting as many opportunities as Pierre is getting are either getting on base a lot, hitting for power, or both. There are three exceptions.

Dan Uggla's 320/476 isn't terribly impressive, but he does play second base, the third-most difficult position on the diamond after catcher and shortstop. I haven't looked it up; it's quite possible that a slugging percentage of 476 is good for a second baseman and that Uggla should be grouped with the rest of the guys. Don't know off the top of my head, but it deserved to be noted. I'll point out that he plays for Florida, which is kind of lost as a franchise at the moment.

David DeJesus's slugging percentage, 396, is low enough that I'd like to see a higher OBP, but on the other hand, an OBP of 350 isn't bad by any means. Plus, he plays center field (like Pierre), the fourth-most difficult position on the diamond. And he plays for Kansas City, which has been lost for a franchise for a long time.

I'll point out that Juan Pierre's production, 316/339, is far, far below these two guys. And he plays for the Dodgers, who are in a large market, hanging onto first place, and should know better.

So the excuse that "Juan makes a lot of outs because he gets a lot of plate appearances" doesn't hold water. Everybody else who gets a lot of plate appearances is better than he is, and usually, better by quite a bit.

We don't judge Pierre on the basis of his total outs made; we judge him based on his production, which affects his total outs made. Still, we will continue to count his outs because it's a shorthand, a focus point, something to do every day, an ever-larger number that reminds the Dodger management of his mediocrity and that the team could be better just by sitting Pierre and playing Kemp and Ethier and Gonzalez every day.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Nothing to see here

Last night's game was like an accident on the 405. I just didn't wanna know. I tuned in about once a half-hour, saw that it'd gotten worse, and just stayed away. Cooked dinner for Mrs. Kavula instead.

Let's just count the outs and get ready for today's 12:10 game.

1. K, swinging. #310.
2. Flied to center. #311.
3. Singled to center.

That's it. Then Little put Kemp in center.

Let's put it behind us, boys! Go get 'em.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Making Things Happen

Fun win last night and a fun night at the ballpark. Pierre played a big part -- really swinging the bat well lately and a terror on the basepaths.

Last night's game, though, was an example of why we don't like the guy even when he does well. We do not like his game.

Here's his start, which helped the Dodgers, nodoubtaboutit:

1. Infield single. Would steal third and score.
2. Singled to right. Would steal second and score.

The stolen bases were fun to watch, no doubt -- if by fun you mean anxiety-inducing, which we do. Juan's been getting such a better jump the last few weeks that it's hard to begrudge him this success.

Hard, but not impossible.

The thing is, Juan would have scored both his runs whether he'd stolen those bases or stayed put. On the first, he was on second after the Martin grounder; Nomar eventually doubled, which would have brought him in (as he'd still have been on second after Loney's flyout). On the second, just after Juan stole second, Martin walked (which would have pushed Juan to second anyway) and then Kent homered. So whatever the risk of the stolen base was -- even if Juan was 90% probable to have those two bases stolen -- it shows why the stolen base is rarely worth the risk.

You can say that with those two SBs, Juan was "making things happen," but we believe that it was not Juan but the extra base hits, slugged by Garciaparra and Kent, that made things happen. The stolen bases are footnotes.

Anyway, that's good enough production for one day, so Juan called it quits from there.

3. Grounded to short. #307.
4. Grounded into double play. #308 & #309.

Of course, even though we don't like his game, there's no denying that Juan's playing well right now. He is reaching base at a very acceptable clip, which is his job, and he is scoring runs, which is also his job. However he chooses to do that is up to him. The OutWatch feels that the way he is choosing to do it is a method that isn't likely to last long, but all we can do is keep on top of the situation, point out when the hot streak ends, and repeat and repeat the meme. You can count on us to do that.

* * *

Juan's last ten games: .362/.375/.447 with 6SB and 1CS. That's great, of course. If he does that for the rest of the season, he'll be a valuable player. Let's just say that we're not shutting down the OutWatch just yet.

* * *

Juan's pace: 538 outs, which would be a Dodger record by a fair margin (20 outs) and the fourth-highest single-season total of all time.

Juan's lead over the other outmakers: 6 outs.

Monday, July 16, 2007


Language is a funny thing: the only meaning words have is how they are used. Sure, dictionaries are useful reference tools, but they do not so much define words as chronicle their usage.

Today's redefinition: the phrase "pretty terrific."

After Juan posts this on Sunday:

1. Bunt single, in which Juan runs both inside and outside the baseline, yet is not called out. Lucky Pierre!
2. Lined to center. #304.
3. Walked.
4. Sacrifice -- another successful squeeze. #305.
5. Ground to short. #306.

...that means that for the weekend, Juan was 5-for-14, all singles, with a walk. Couple of sacrifices mixed in there.

We can call that "pretty terrific." .357/.400/.357. But remember: this is the very, very best we can expect from Juan Pierre. This is his amazing hitting streak. This is, for Pierre, like Furcal's three-straight four-hit games; this is Pierre's version of Loney's debut this year. This is what it looks like when everything is clicking for Juan. And I have to say: it's good, no doubt about it, but not... what's the word... great. When everything is clicking for other players, they become unstoppable offensive forces; they become Babe Ruth or Ty Cobb for a week. When everything is clicking for Juan Pierre, he becomes Shane Victorino for a week. He becomes a useful player, and that's all. Useful.

It's sad to me that I now define "useful" -- even "very useful" -- as being synonymous with "pretty terrific." I used to have a higher standard for the pretty terrific. Now I just want useful. What have I become?

While I'd agree that it's meanspirited to pick on Juan after his... sigh... pretty terrific weekend -- after all, the Dodgers swept the Giants and moved into first place, and I'm a happy fan -- I'll point out that this weekend only put into focus what I hate about this guy. While it's nice to see everything go right for him -- finally -- it just reminds me that a player who needs everything to go right in order to be useful is not a player I want on my team.

Juan's pace is 539 outs. He remains the major league leader in outs made, five ahead of Rollins and six ahead of Uggla.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

300 -- prepare for glory! Or, if not glory, mocking!

Juan Pierre began the game at 298 outs, meaning he was very likely to hit 300 before the day was through.

Not content to make just two outs, Juan doubled his pleasure, then went one better.

1. Grounded to short. #299.
2. Flied to center. #300.
3. Singled to right. Would score on Kent's homer.
4. Singled to left. Stole second. Would score on Kent's single.
5. Bunted to pitcher. #301.
6. Grounded to second. #302.
7. Flied to left. #303.

Still, that's a serious contribution -- his hits came at the right time. Not Juan's worst day.

His pace is 539 outs. He began the day three outs ahead of Rollins and Uggla; Rollins made just two outs and Uggla just one (three walks for him!), so Juan Pierre is the first man in the majors to reach 300 outs.

Not what John Sebastian intended

Welcome back, your dreams were your ticket out

1. Grounded to first, #296.

Welcome back, to that same old place that you laughed about

2. RBI single. Stole third. Scored.

Well, the names have changed since you hung around

3. Sac. #297.

But those dreams have remained and they've turned around

4. Fielder's choice. #298.

Who'da thought they'd lead ya
Back here where we need ya

5. Singled to center. Would score.

Yeah, we tease him a lot, 'cause we got him on the spot... Welcome back!

Three outs ahead of Rollins. On pace for 536.

Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Catching up, getting ready for the second half

All apologies, gentle outwatchers. After being levelled by a cold during a cookout on July 4 -- and JimBilly4, you know that I will continue to blame your cute, infectious daughters -- I tried to soldier on, but had to make a few sacrifices due to health. The OutWatch was one of them. Fortunately, the All-Star break gives me time to catch up. Where was I?

Ah yes.

THURSDAY. The Dodgers lost this game, to the Braves, 8-6.

1. Grounded to second. #280.
2. Singled to left. Would score.
3. Tripled to center. Would not score. C'mon, Dodgers -- when Pierre does something good, you have to take advantage of it!
4. Flied to left. #281.
5. Grounded to second. #282.

FRIDAY. The Braves leave and the Dodgers get the Marlins... and lose, 6-5, in 10 innings.

1. Grounded to second. #283.
2. Grounded to short. #284.
3. Singled to right. It was an RBI, and he scored on Martin's homer.
4. Flied to right. #285.
5. Grounded into double play. #286 & #287.
6. Popped to short. #288.

SATURDAY. Marlins beat on Derek Lowe and Dodgers lose, 7-2.

1. Grounded to short. #289.
2. K, swinging. #290.
3. Singled to center. Stole 2nd.
4. Singled to right. Would score.
5. Grounded to second. #291.

SUNDAY. Desperate for a win, the Dodgers got one, beating up the Marlins 9-3.

1. Reached on bunt single. Scored on Martin's homer. Just think how awesome this team could be if Martin could be knocking in Pierre all the time... alas, only half that tandem is operating.
2. Singled to left. Would score.
3. Grounded into double play. #292 & 293.
4. Fielder's choice. #294.
5. Flied to center. #295.

Yeah, an OK series. 7-for-21 with a triple. Also responsible for 16 team outs in four games, including six in the 6-5 10-inning loss. Not saying that the loss can be pinned on Pierre -- Saito did blow that save -- but Pierre didn't help at all. 30 outs in 10 innings, right? One-fifth of the team's outs -- your center fielder, ladies and gentlemen.

Pace: 537 outs. Leading the majors! But Jimmy Rollins, it should be noted, has played one fewer game than Pierre has and is only 2 outs behind.

* * *

It's the second half. Time for an evaluation, and, if needed, a new start.

This is a great opportunity to look at Juan's stats for the year. He is batting .282/.311/.338, which is far off last year's horrid pace of .292/.330/.388, mostly in power. I do believe it's possible that Juan can pick up the pace hitting singles in the second half to bring his yearly OBP up 20 points... but ohh that slugging percentage. Juan used to hit doubles and triples somewhat regularly: 32 doubles and 13 triples last year. This year, those are down to 13 and 4, so far, putting him on pace for 23 and 7, a significant falloff.

So why are the Dodgers just one game out of first place? The Dodgers have been getting by based on great pitching. Their batting has improved somewhat in recent weeks -- thanks, I believe, without looking it up, to the performances of Kemp, Loney, and Martin. They rank 19th among all MLB teams in runs scored -- that's distinctly below average. On the other hand, their team ERA is fourth in all of baseball. It is unlikely that the pitching will get even better, since they're already near the top in the sport; in fact, I wonder if the pitching can continue to be as great as it was in the first half.

Clearly, the Dodgers will need every run they can get on offense; there is only so long that the team will be able to accommodate bats like Pierre's and Garciaparra's. If neither shows significant improvement in the next couple of weeks -- and really, I'm not holding my breath -- it's time for a major change.

It's frustrating to note that the Dodgers are not fielding the best team they can among the players available to them right now. The team would be better if Pierre sat in favor of Kemp and Ethier both playing every day. The team would be better if my former favorite player, Nomar Garciaparra, went on the DL and tried to figure out what was wrong with him in favor of Wilson Betemit -- yes, Betemit -- playing 3B every day. Otherwise, it just seems like the team is treading water.

Not that that's so bad -- treading water might be good enough to get to the playoffs... after all, the team is just one game out of first. Getting to the playoffs might be the goal, but I wonder if I really need to witness another 3-losses-and-out performance like last year (and has been the Dodgers' norm since the world championship in 1988).

In order to make the playoffs, and to make a splash when they get there, the Dodgers should bench Juan Pierre and play an outfield of Gonzalez, Kemp, and Ethier. Juan Pierre should be a pinch hitter/pinch runner.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Other Facts Include: Grilling Steak Helps Fight Global Warming

My favorite Probably Not True Fact that I Just Made Up: all of Juan Pierre's good games come in Dodger losses.

It would be fairly easy to go back and check on this fact. He hasn't had all that many good games -- and I think for most of them I went out of my way to put the words "good game" into the post, so one could just search for that phrase. I remember the extrabase extravaganza in Florida, and that time he walked twice... ahhh, memories.... okay, seriously, there have a been a handful of other good games and it would be easy enough to see if they came in Dodger wins or losses. I'm not going to do that, though. I'm going to stick with my Probably Not True Fact that I Just Made Up and see if anyone notices.

Anyway, last nice, case in point. Good game for Juan Pierre. Mark Hendrickson performs about as well as could have been expected. Brett Tomko: Not So Much.

1. Doubled to center. Stole third.
2. Grounded to short. #279.
3. Doubled to left.
4. Singled to left.

That's a good game, made even better by this: bottom of the ninth, two out, Dodgers on first and second, Pierre due up, and... Little hits for him! Takes the bat out of his hands! On a night when he went three-for-four with two doubles and a SB! It didn't work out, which makes me sad, but it was still the right move. A very small step on the OutWatch's Long March to Victory, By Which I Mean Juan Pierre's Benching!

Pace: 531 outs. Juan falls way behind Rollins in the race after the Phillie shortstop goes 1-for-5. Rollins is at 283 outs. (Of course, bear in mind that Rollins is also OPSing 835 and plays shortstop, while Pierre is OPSing 642 from center field. Just sayin'.)

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Worst yet

Words fail me.

1. Sacrifice. #273.
2. Popped to short. #274.
3. Grounded to short. #275.
4. Hit back to the box. #276.
5. Force play, #277; Caught Stealing, #278.

Six Dodger outs for Juan Pierre. In eight offensive innings. In a season of uselessness, this game saw Juan at his uselessest.

Pace: 536 outs. In extra innings, Rollins also makes 6 outs, though he required 13 offensive innings to match Juan's uselessness. Still, each of those outs counts just as much, and the bottom line is that Pierre is still one back on the major league lead.

In Which, in a Rambling, Nearly Nonsensical Post, I Blame Mother Kavula for All This Nonsense

When I was a small OutWatcher, on the occasions when I took a test in elementary school, Mother Kavula would often ask me how I did on the test. I would report my score, and then, Mother Kavula's next question, invariably, would be to ask how the neighbor's kid -- my best friend at the time -- did on the test.

This was grating and not a fun experience and has led to all sorts of insecurities and bad feelings that have no doubt led me to doing something as inane, pointless, and obnoxious as counting outs...

...but I bring this up because it is not without some pity -- yes, pity -- for Juan Pierre that I ask:

Ohhhhhhh, Juan, why can't you be more like that nice Russell Martin boy?

Look, I realize that it's not fair to compare every player to an All-Star, which is -- yay! -- what Russell Martin is. I also realize that Russell is not perfect. He grounds into double plays. He strikes out with the bases loaded. But it's easy to love his game. I love the fact that he's homegrown, a Dodger through and through. I love his patience, the way he looks for the right pitch to hit. I love the way he works with his pitching staff, seeming to get along with everyone, from the mercurial Penny to the Owenwilsonesque Derek Lowe. I love that he is a catcher.

Just as I find it easy to love everything about Russell's game, I hate everything about Juan Pierre's game. Even when things work out for him, I just shake my head.

Yesterday, case in point. First, let's go through the plate appearances by Juan-for-five:

1. Flied to left. #269.
2. Flied to center. #270.
3. Grounded to first. #271.
4. Bunt doubled to shortstop. Stole third, scored on a Martin single.
5. Grounded to first. #272.

I know it's not really possible to ignore the four outs -- and believe me, I'm not -- but it's the bunt double that I want to talk about. At the time that Pierre hit that bunt double to short, the Dodgers were hanging on to a 3-1 lead over the Braves. They really did need an insurance run, and Juan did his part. He got the results -- that's all that matters, right?

No. Juan was clearly bunting for a hit, something he's done well in his career but has done very poorly this year. Chipper Jones was in on the grass at third, ready to make the play.

Then Juan screwed up the play and popped up the bunt. He also hit it way too hard.

Normally, that results in an out... but Juan got very lucky. The pop-up bunt went over Jones's head, bounced just past third base, and immediately squirted away. Juan got into second.

I hate that play. I hate everything about it. I hate the bunt, I hate that he screwed up the bunt, and I hate that it worked out for him, even if it meant that it was good for my team in the short term, because it's something that the management will be able to point to as a sign that Juan is a player who "makes things happen" and deserves a spot in the lineup, which just drags down the offense.

Juan is a below-average major-league hitter. He needs to be benched. The three every day outfielders need to be Gonzalez, Kemp, and Ethier. Kemp and Ethier switch off CF duties until we see which one plays the position less poorly.

Sigh. Juan, if only you were more like Russell Martin, who came up with four fabulous hits, including a very pretty double in the fifth that scored Furcal and tied the game. If you were like him, I wouldn't count your outs. I'd just enjoy your game.

Instead, I'll point out that you are one off the major league lead for outs (Rollins has 273) and on pace to make 531 by the end of the year.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Back in business

The move went easy, like Sunday morning, thanks for asking.

All I was able to find out about the Dodgers was that they dropped Friday and Saturday but then got behind a great Chad Billingsley performance on Sunday. Let's get the details, by which I mean a certain player whose name rhymes with Juan Pierre.


1. Singled to right! Stole second! Stole third! Scored! Great start, Juan!
2. RBI single to center! Went to second on an error! Got to third on a balk -- a balk!! Awesome.
3. Singled to center! Stole second! Wow!
4. Lined to short. #261.
5. Grounded to short. #262.


1. Flied to center. #263.
2. Grounded to second. #264.
3. Bunt single to catcher! Stole second!
4. Sacrifice. #265.
5. Grounded to third. #266.


1. WALKED! But erased on Martin's DP.
2. RBI single to center! Stole second! Scored on Martin's single!
3. Grounded to third. #267.
4. Flied to left. #268.

A very good weekend for Juan! 5-for-13, BB, 5 SB, 2 R, 2 RBI! That's very fine indeed. Please keep up the good work.