LOOGY Down (2006 NLDS)
The 2006 Los Angeles Dodgers were a veteran laden group that was breaking in some young talent for the future. The Dodgers had veterans like Jeff Kent, Nomar Garciaparra, and J.D. Drew. But that year also saw the debuts of future young talent such as Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp, Russell Martin and Chad Billingsley.
In an up and down year, the Dodgers were able to clinch a wild card spot and were a pretty balanced team. They could hit leading the National League in batting average, hits, and on-base percentage. They could also pitch placing fourth in ERA and giving up the fewest home runs.
The strength of it’s staff included a bullpen with depth. One of those arms was Joe Beimel, a left hander who got lefties out. Left-handers only .236 against Beimel and in the month of September as the Dodgers fought for a playoff spot all batters only hit .204 against him.
The reason Beimel was so important to the Dodgers was because of who their NLDS opponents would be. The New York Mets had the best record in baseball with a potent lineup. They hit 200 home runs and came in third in runs scored.
Their left-handers did struggle against left handed pitching. They hit .237 compared to .261 against right handed pitching, against Beimel the Mets didn’t score any runs and hit just .143.
The Dodgers wanted to Beimel for their Mets series to keep their left handers off the bases in late tight situations. It never happened.
Beimel cut his hand on a glass while drinking in a New York bar. He would be lost for the series. The Dodgers were swept in three games. The pitching staff struggled having a 5.76 ERA in the series, left handed batters Carlos Delgado, Cliff Floyd, and Shawn Green were especially effective all hit above .300 while driving in six of the Mets 19 runs for the series.
The bullpen struggled with out Beimel giving up 11 runs after the 6th and beyond. Beimel originally lied about his accident saying he was injured in his hotel room, only divulging that he had been drinking in a bar after the team had been swept in three games.