The Home Debut Of Rod Barajas Awaits

There has been so much national media coverage of the Dodgers today, no doubt as the nation prepares for the home debut of Rod Barajas. The Phillies come to town atop the wild card race, with the Dodgers several games behind. The Dodgers really need to sweep, perhaps not only the Phillies, but the Giants as well this coming weekend.

I like really obscure baseball statistics, especially for things that aren't the easiest to track (even more if I'm not the one doing the tracking), so this stat from today's Dodgers game notes blew my mind: tonight's starters, Hiroki Kuroda and Roy Halladay, are the top two pitchers in baseball over the last three seasons when it comes to breaking bats.

Fewest Batters Faced Per Broken Bat Since 2008
Pitcher BF per Broken Bat
Roy Halladay 18.8
Hiroki Kuroda 20.8
Fausto Carmona 22.5
Cole Hamels 22.9
CC Sabathia 24.0
minimum 1,000 BF; Source: STATS LLC

Broken bats is one of those things that you don't think much about, let alone think they are being tracked somewhere, by someone.

Halladay thew a perfect game in Florida earlier this year, and is the first pitcher to face the Dodgers in the same season of a perfect game since Randy Johnson, who pitched against the Dodgers three times in 2004 after his perfect game against Atlanta.

Deconstructing Kemp

You will never find a more detailed and thorough breakdown of a player and his performance than Chad Moriyama's analysis of Matt Kemp over at Memories of Kevin Malone. An excerpt can't possibly do it justice, but here is one:

Now going back to my original hypothesis, I believe Matt Kemp’s contact struggles stem from his inability to hit fastballs rather than curves and sliders, and as far as I can tell, the statistics back me up on this.

In 2009, he was worth 23 runs above average against fastballs and -4.3 runs above average against off-speed pitches. In 2010, he is worth 2.6 runs above average against fastballs and -3.8 runs above average against off-speed pitches.

If you only read one article on the Dodgers this year, it has to be this one. Except for everything ever written at True Blue LA of course.

Notes

Get your guesses in for Xeifrank's game simulation here.

Game Time: 7:10 p.m.

TV:Prime Ticket

Baseball Reference Preview | Box Score | Gameday

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