Sunday, September 23, 2018

Defying the Odds (but not Inevitability)

So, the Dodgers are a few games away from winning the NL West. If this was March, it wouldn't be a shock. If this was May, it definitely would be.

The Dodgers had one of those unlucky stretches where all their viable pitching options got injured, most of their lineup was slumping, and the teams that they kept to Wild Card threats last year, the Rockies and Diamondbacks, took hold of the division, leaving them to sort of mope around in third and fourth for most of the year. And that was kind of depressing, especially considering that these guys nearly won the World Series last year.

But once this team reconfigured, got healthy, and found the strike zone...things immediately got better. I don't know how it all turned around at once, but seeing this team rise from third and become a true contender was pretty damned nice, even grabbing Manny Machado out of the claws of Philadelphia (for now), and getting bit players like Brian Dozier, Ryan Madson and David Freese to help with the playoff push. And the lineup went from just Matt Kemp doing well to the rest of the offensive, like Chris Taylor, Justin Turner, Yasiel Puig and Cody Bellinger, springing back to life.

And yes...once Clayton Kershaw stepped off the DL, he was back to his normal, unhittable self. Which definitely helps.

So, in a matter of days, I can only imagine they'll be grabbing the third seed, and securing a spot in the NLDS against the Atlanta Braves. And now that they're here, they need to prove that they're better than a team that's been good all year. The Braves have only improved once they figured out the winning combination, and while the Dodgers' pitching may outweigh the Braves', they have some crafty elements that may still stymie LA during this series.

A Dodgers run could definitely happen, even if it's a bit less likely than last year. But seeing as Jansen's back to his old tricks, and Puig's hot as hell...I'm certainly not ruling it out.

Coming Tonight: This year, the Red Sox have relied on three veterans to fill the shoes of the injured Dustin Pedroia. Here's the best of the three.


  1. It's nice to see the Dodgers have righted the ship (unless they play the Cubs). I'm hoping the Rockies can eek out a few more wins to knock the Cardinals out of the WC

    1. That would be the preferable option for me as well.