Sunday, October 11, 2009

Manny Playing Possum?

Before the series against the Cardinals even started, TBS broadcaster Bob Brenly speculated that Manny was playing possum in order to lull opposing pitchers into thinking that he is unable to turn on a good fastball.

In the past, Manny has been known to setup pitchers early in the game by taking certain pitches that he is capable of hitting hoping that he will get the same pitch in a later at-bat when there is an RBI opportunity. He had an absolutely atrocious month of September, leading people to speculate that whatever he was on before has worn off.

However, the problem seem to be too big for even a possum. The problem appeared to be Manny pressing a little too hard. Most of his swings during his struggles were long, power swings. Also, his timing was off, making him late on even a low-90s fastball. In addition, pitchers were challenging him with a lot of inside fastballs and breaking balls because he couldn't turn on them like he did in the past.

Even if you don't believe the possum excuse, you have to admit that Manny is beginning to get his timing back at the plate. In his last couple of games, it is noticeable that he was capable of getting his bat on pitches. Though he went 1 for 8 in the first 2 games against the Cards, Manny was able to drive the ball, which was a problem during the Dodgers' most recent losing streak. Also, no Dodger could get it going again Wainwright in Game 2, including Manny. In Game 3, he was able to jump on a lot of first pitch fastballs that he promptly hit in the power alleys for 2 doubles. He also got another single, going 3 for 5 (.308). Still no homers for him, but at this moment, anything you can get from Manny is a bonus and much needed against either the Rockies or Phillies.