Coffee and Clippings: Dodgers Execs Build for Postseason

Bill Plaschke (@BillPlaschke) from the LA Times breaks down the Dodgers executives and how they have built for the postseason…

“Once you get to postseason, nothing goes true to form,” said Colletti. “We have tried to add guys that give us a safety net.”

It starts with starting pitching. The Dodgers have what appears to be a perfect postseason rotation, but look closer. Clayton Kershaw has a 5.87 earned-run average in five postseason games. Zack Greinke has a 6.48 ERA in three postseason games. Hyun-Jin Ryu is in uncharted waters in his first major league season.

To hedge his bets here, Colletti acquired calm veteran Ricky Nolasco, who has the powerful safety-net number of a 2.27 ERA in 11 Dodgers starts.

Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) of ESPN talks about the Wisconsin restaurant group that has recently cut ties with Ryan Braun…

Milwaukee Brewers slugger Ryan Braun, who in July accepted a 65-game suspension for his ties to the Biogenesis performance-enhancing drug scandal, still is seeing fallout from corporate America.

On Thursday, SURG Restaurant Group, the company that manages restaurants in Wisconsin affiliated with Braun, announced it will sever its relationship with him.

“We’ve appreciated the relationship we had with Ryan over the last several years, and the entire SURG family wishes him success in the future,” Michael Polaski, CEO and co-owner of SURG, said in a statement.

Adam Kilgore (@AdamKilgoreWP) of the Washington Post looks at the doubts Jayson Werth has erased this season…

In August of last year, Jayson Werth had doubts. He could not hit balls over the fence in batting practice. Surgery had left him with plates and screws holding his left wrist in place. He could still launch an occasional home run in a game, when his bat met the ball in the right spot at the right time — “accidents,” he said. In BP, he lacked the raw power he had felt in his swing his whole life. “You wonder if it’s ever going to be the same,” Werth said.

In the spring, he started hitting batting practice fastballs out of Space Coast Stadium. The doubt disappeared for him, and now, months later, it has for everyone else. Written off after a bleak first season as a Washington National and diminished after a broken wrist in his second, Werth has bashed his way to the top of National League leader boards and the fringes of the most valuable player discussion.

Also from the LA Times, Steve Dilbeck (@stevedilbeck) reports that Clayton Kershaw has won the Branch Rickey Award for his charitable actions…

Sometimes those who give, just have to receive.

It’s not like Clayton Kershaw has never been awarded anything of significance before (see: 2011 National League Cy Young), but Thursday’s honor just may hold a special place for him.

At a news conference at the Denver Athletic Club, Kershaw was selected as the winner of the 2013 Branch Rickey Award.

Named after the former Dodgers executive who broke baseball’s color barrier by signing Jackie Robinson, the Rickey is designed to honor those in baseball who contribute unselfishly to their communities and who are strong role models for young people.

John Tomase (@jtomase) of the Boston Herald looks at Shane Victorino and Jacoby Ellsbury’s efforts in the triumphant win over the Yankees last night…

Our brains have an easier time understanding the big picture when it can be illustrated by a series of snapshots. And no Polaroid better captures the Red Sox than the winning run against the Yankees in last night’s whipsaw thriller.

The box score will show Shane Victorino scoring Jacoby Ellsbury from second with a one-out single to right in the 10th. But that simple summation doesn’t do the many moving parts justice.

Boil baseball down to its essence, and it really doesn’t get any better than the voraciously competitive Victorino continuing his improbable run of right-on-right success by narrowly avoiding a check-swing strikeout against Joba Chamberlain before fighting a 96-mph fastball into right field, followed by Ellsbury staring down the cannon arm of Ichiro Suzuki in a bang-bang play at the plate.

Tim Britton (@TimBritton) of the Providence Journal talks about reliever Craig Breslow and his success with the Red Sox…

 Koji Uehara has justifiably grabbed the late-game headlines for the Red Sox, what with a season that’s quickly bordering on the historic. But if Boston wants Uehara to matter down the stretch and into the playoffs, it has to give him the ball with a lead.

That’s where Craig Breslow comes in.

Breslow is one of the unsung heroes of this Red Sox team, a pitcher whose very nature seems to suggest an unsung quality. By virtue of being a left-hander, Breslow has had to overcome the stigma that he should be used only against left-handed hitters. His lack of dominant, strikeout stuff has prevented him from being used more frequently in late-inning roles, at least to start seasons.

  • vjp81955

    Werth has been a pleasant surprise, as have the Nationals been of late. There may not be enough time left to gain a wild-card berth, but the Nats at least can close with a good feeling for whomever takes over as manager for 2014 (Scioscia? Girardi? Matt Williams? Knorr?)