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News » Like the Dodgers or not, the numbers don't lie

Like the Dodgers or not, the numbers don't lie

Like the Dodgers or not, the numbers don't lie

"It's thinner than it used to be, but I don't think Colletti's strategy is the reason. They've graduated guys to the big leagues. They haven't drafted quite as well recently as they did earlier this decade, but they haven't done badly, either."

So far, Garland and Padilla have combined to go 2-0 with a 2.60 over three starts. Just how Colletti drew it up, right?

But come October, the Dodgers will need the starters who were in the organization long before Aug. 1, 2009 — Billingsley, Kershaw, Hiroki Kuroda, Randy Wolf.

One scout pointed out this week that the Dodgers "still don't have that power arm" to shut down a team in the postseason. And the popular perception is that the Dodgers' rotation pales in comparison to that of potential postseason opponents like the Cardinals, Phillies and Giants.

We seem to have forgotten that the Dodgers began last postseason as something of an underdog, an 84-win team beginning the NL Division Series at Wrigley Field against the 97-victory Cubs. We know how that turned out.

Kuroda, while not a prototypical power right-hander, won both his starts in the postseason last year. He is scheduled to return Sunday after taking a line drive to the head in mid-August. If he pitches in September (and October) the way he did right before going on the disabled list, the Dodgers might have their Game 1 starter after all.

Wolf, the older lefty, and Kershaw, the younger lefty, have been good since the All-Star break. Billingsley hasn't. Come to think of it, Billingsley wasn't very good in the playoffs last year, either.

He's young and talented and was named to the All-Star team earlier this year. But he's still inconsistent. Colletti, though, stressed that the scrutiny doesn't belong on one pitcher alone.

"We have pitchers that are capable, obviously, or we wouldn't have won as many games as we have," Colletti said Thursday. "Those numbers wouldn't be what they are if we didn't have quality people and quality pitchers."

Oh, right. The numbers that say the Dodgers have the best batting average in the league. The numbers that say the Dodgers have the best ERA in the league. The numbers that say the Dodgers have the most wins in the league.

A lot of teams in baseball would love to be this flawed.

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Author:Fox Sports
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Added: September 4, 2009

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