04/24/2007 11:06 PM ET
Wolf: Dodgers stay grounded
Randy Wolf is 3-1 with a 3.38 ERA over his first four starts this season. (Jon SooHoo/Dodgers)
It's always good for a club to start off on the right foot. It's important to try and sustain it, but maybe it is even bigger to know that it isn't always going to be perfect.
We're pitching well, we're getting timely hits and we're doing well with runners in scoring position. We're focused and we're playing good baseball. But while we want to keep that going and it's good to know we're capable of playing like this, we also understand that it's not always going to be like this.
So far, we've won both at home and on the road. You don't really want to be lopsided -- winning at home and not doing so well on the road and vice versa. We don't rely on the three-run home run. We put hits together and produce runs. When you combine that with good pitching, it usually doesn't matter where you're playing.
We have a great mix of older guys who have been very successful in their careers and younger guys who are going to be very successful in their careers. Even the young guys, though, have some good experience having gone through what they did last year and getting into the playoffs.
This club lost a lot of consecutive games after the All-Star break last year, but they persevered and came back and made it to the playoffs. I've never been in the playoffs, so even though I'm an older player, some of the young guys have a leg up on me in postseason experience. That experience is huge for them and I'm hoping to gain some this year.
One of the young guys who has really impressed me so far is Russell Martin. This is the beginning of his first full year as the Dodgers' everyday catcher and he handles it well. He seems beyond his years, which is a great quality for a young catcher, particularly. He had a huge hit for us on Saturday night with a walk-off grand slam in the 10th inning against Pittsburgh. It's always a big lift when you win a tight game that could go either way.
At the end of the year, you don't want to look back and identify games that you may have given away. You need to win the games you should win and you need to win some of the games that you really shouldn't win. That was an example of a game in which they had it the whole time but we persevered. When you win your division by two games, games like that stick out.
Playing on the East Coast last year, I didn't know that much about Martin. Now, having spent the spring with him and watching him closely, it's obvious he's going to be a very, very good player. I'm impressed with the way he's always trying to improve. He's a good hitting catcher, but he cares just as much about his defense and the way he communicates with his pitchers. He is about making himself better and the team better. Guys like that don't come around every day.
From what I hear, the guys who were here on the Dodgers last year were pretty disappointed and angry when the Mets beat them in the playoffs. A lot of these guys seem to feel that they have something to prove this year.
Veteran left-handed starter Randy Wolf is in his first season with the Dodgers after playing his entire eight-year career with Philadelphia. Off to a 3-1 start with a 3.38 ERA over his first four starts, Wolf has helped his new team take the early lead in the NL West.