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LaRoche Day Thoughts

If the scouting reports are true, what we saw out of Andy LaRoche yesterday is what we're going to be seeing for a long time. Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus had this to say about LaRoche prior to this year (paraphrased, because I don't have the book with me). "LaRoche does not have notable power, his prospect status comes from his ability to hit for high average and draw watch. However, he makes solid contact so consistently that 20 to 25 of the line drives he smashes over the season are going to go over the fence."

That pretty much covers LaRoche's day yesterday.  In his second at bat he smoked a line drive into the gap that ended up bouncing over the fence for a ground rule double. The next time LaRoche stepped to the plate, he crushed another drive to left that just missed flying over Matt Diaz's head. LaRoche certainly isn't perfect right now, he almost swung out of his shoes when Mike Gonzalez threw him a fat 2-0 fastball in the ninth, but if LaRoche can keep ripping the ball like he did today, he'll be here a while.

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When you have an .045 BABIP, something has to give. Coming into yesterday's game, Chin-Hui Tsao had retired 24 straight batters, but it takes a ton of luck for any pitcher, let alone Chin-Hui Tsao, to pull that off. In Tsao's case, this involved letting opposing hitters put 21 balls in play and only one of them getting turned into a hit. Obviously, this couldn't last and yesterday was just good old fashioned regression to the mean.  Billingsley's outing didn't seem all that bad to me either. The hit he gave up to Saltalamacchia looked like a solid piece of hitting. Chad's pitch appeared to be out of the zone and Saltalamacchia reached down and got it.  Woodward's hit was a clean single, but I can't fault a man for giving up just one hit.

While it would have been nice for the Dodgers to finish X-0 when leading after the sixth inning, they probably don't have the best bullpen ever. Something had to go wrong eventually, and today it happened. Until it becomes a trend, there's nothing wrong with that.
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With his pinch hit home run, Wilson Betemit is no longer has the lowest OPS amongst Dodger regulars. The follower board now stacks up like this:

Ramon Martinez - .460
Rafael Furcal - .570
Wilson Betemit - .609
Wilson Valdez - .610
Juan Pierre - .632