In a season full of surprises the continued success of Dream Weaver stands as one of the biggest. Jeff last saw major league duty in 2007 and given his performance many expected that to be his swan song season. Jeff however had other ideas and parlayed a chance meeting with Colletti into a NRI (Non Roster Invitation) and has taken it from there. He didn't make the team out of spring training but plugged along in AAA and got his 1st chance on April 30th and has never looked back. With a string of solid outing he has solidified his position as a key member of the best bullpen in baseball and has been solid in most of his spot starts.
His ERA+ of 129 is the 2nd highest of his career and way better then any thing he did in his previous Dodger stints where his high before was 102. With a VORP of of 9.9 he sits 7th on the team. Jeff has contributed as a spot starter and a long man and while he hasn't been spectacular what he has been is useful and that is much more then any of us imagined when we heard that Ned was bringing up him on April 30th. Or me anyway, I had zero faith that Jeff Weaver could put together more then 10 innings of useful work and he's proven me to be wrong once again.
Let us hope the Dream Weaver can weave some magic one more time before the all-star game.
His opponent was also a long shot to be pitching in the major leagues this season. MIke Burns is a 31 year old journeyman who was a graduate of my alma mater the California State University, Los Angeles Golden Eagles (Los Angeles, CA). He hadn't pitched in the major leagues since 2006 with the RedSox and all those games were in relief. He hadn't started a game in the major leagues until this June 2nd. He is basically the Brewers pitching version of Mitch Jones except he's still in the majors. His first three starts were okay but he got hammered in his last start. If he doesn't do well this could well be his last start in the major leagues.
Last night the Dodger B&B All-Stars tried to give the game away but Matt Kemp would not let them with a grand slam in extra innings and then his own Willie Mays Hayes moments to end the game. If you have not seen the catch you owe it to yourself as a baseball to take a look, I promise you this catch has not been over hyped, it is simply a thing of beauty. His little attempt at the end to run up the wall ala Bo Jackson was a nice ending considering Eric was comparing him to Bo just a few hours earlier.
Speaking of Eric, he's out of internet reach but in the top of the 9th he predicted that the Bison would win the game with a home run. He was only one inning short of a stunning prediction.
From Dodger Game Day Notes:
TYING THE MICK – Dodger left fielder Manny Ramirez walloped his ninth homer of the season last night and the 536th of his career, placing him in a tie with Mickey Mantle for 15th all-time. Ramirez is now just 12 shy of Mike Schmidt, who stands alone in 14th place. Ramirez is now hitting .318 (7-for-22) with three homers, nine RBI, six runs scored, and a .423 on-base percentage in seven games (six starts) since being activated from his 50-game suspension by Major League Baseball. The club is 5-2 over the seven games.
JUMPIN’ JULY – Dodger outfielder Matt Kemp has been on fire in his eight games this month, hitting .500 (15-for-30) with a homer, nine RBI and a .583 on-base percentage. Kemp leads the Dodgers with a .503 slugging percentage and last night connected on his third grand slam of the season and fourth of his career in the decisive 10th inning. According to Elias, Kemp is just the second player in Dodgers’ history to hit an extra-inning grand slam on the road. Arky Vaughn also accomplished the feat on July 26, 1943 at Forbes Field.
► The Oklahoma native is one of only four Major Leaguers with at least 10 doubles, 10 homers, and 15 stolen bases this season. The list:
Player 2B HR SB
Ian Kinsler, TEX 18 20 18
Derek Jeter, NYY 17 10 17
Mark Reynolds, ARI 16 24 15
Matt Kemp, LAD 12 11 19
Source, STATS, LLC
► Kemp has been phenomenal when batting in the No. 8 spot in the order this season. In 14 starts there, the 24-year-old is hitting .540 (27-for-50) with two homers, two triples, three doubles, eight runs scored, a .589 OBP, and a slugging percentage of .800
MASHING MARTIN – Russell Martin stayed hot last night, going 3-for-5 and raising his July average to .387 (12-for-31). Since making his Major League debut against the Brewers on May 5, 2006, Martin has enjoyed great success facing Milwaukee, batting .382 (26-for-68) with five homers and 17 RBI in 19 games against the Brewers. In 10 games at Miller Park , Martin is batting .400 (16-for-40) with two doubles, two homers, and seven RBI.
Game Time Saturday, July 11 2009 4:05 PM PDT