Whew! What a season it’s been for the Dodgers and their fans, and we still have a couple of weeks to go. This roller coaster season has been full of surprises – especially the kind that no one could have seen coming. The crazy, record-breaking winning streaks followed by a crazy, record-breaking losing streak blew us all away.
I doubt ol’ Nostradamus could have predicted those happenings, but before the season, Scott and I put on our pointy blue fortune-teller hats and made some predictions of our own for the season. Let’s look back on mine and see how many I nailed:
Clayton Kershaw is going to carry this team through the playoffs and on to a World Series Championship like Dodgers pitching heroes of the past. We won’t know the answer to this one until we get into the postseason, so the jury is still out. That said, Kershaw has been showing signs of being human, such as slowing way down in the sixth inning yesterday, and walking two before giving up the first grand slam of his career.
In fact, Kershaw has so far surrendered the most home runs of any one season this year. I still have faith in my prediction that Kershaw will rise to the occasion when the postseason arrives. Result: To be seen.
Andre Ethier will have brief success and then flame out quickly. I thought Captain Clutch would come back from 2016’s leg injury, re-injure himself again right away, and drop out before the All-Star break. Turned out I was half right. He hurt his back early, and missed most of this season. He’s back in the dugout now, and looking decent. I wish the Granderson ridiculousness would end quickly, so Andre can get more at bats. Result: 50% right.
I’ll fruitlessly search for a decent craft beer at Dodger Stadium that’s locally brewed. Beer-drinking Dodgers fans who live close to Dodger Stadium are blessed by living in an area surrounded by local brewers. However, you wouldn’t know that if you’re a fan from out-of-town visiting the stadium. The Dodgers do offer one stand dedicated to one local brewery, and a few stands carry a few cans from a couple of others, but that’s about it. Technically, my prediction was wrong, but the Dodgers woefully lack in support of local brewing companies, and for a brand that loves the green as much as they love blue, they are seriously missing out on a cash cow. Result: Fail.
I’ll miss at least one play of the night while standing in a food line. I did miss a couple of home runs while standing in line, but nothing that made or broke the game. Result: Fail.
Hyun-Jin Ryu is going to have a Dodgers career year. After fighting off Ross Stripling in Spring Training for a spot in the starting rotation, Ryu quietly put together a solid year on the mound. As Kenta Maeda faltered, Ryu emerged as a dependable arm. For a brief time Ryu looked like he might take a spot from Yu Darvish when the ex-Ranger couldn’t buy a win with the Dodgers. Ryu has stumbled, but as I mentioned, the southpaw is a fighter, and he’s looking to play a valuable role in the playoffs. Result: Correct!
Another Dodger hero of mine will falter this year, Adrian Gonzalez. Here’s more from my prediction: “His weapon won’t be the long ball…RBI singles and some well-hit doubles until the butter and eggs begin to melt. His playing time will sharply drop after the All-Star break.” I didn’t see him fading due to a lingering injury, but unfortunately, this prediction also came true. Result: Correct!
Andrew Toles will take advantage of Ethier starting the season on the DL and make it very hard for the skipper to keep him on the bench. Welp. What coulda been. Toles also suffered from Ethier disease and lost a season. Sigh. Result: Fail.
Scott will have his annual “The Dodgers stink, they’ll never win again” phase, and I’ll calmly talk him through it. This one is a bit unfair, because I can probably run this one every year and pick up an easy win. I’ll chalk it up this time, and never use it again. Result: Correct!
I’ll constantly hear my inner-voice version of Vin Scully calling plays in my mind. This one turned out to be true as we all walked through our first post-Vinny season. Time and again, I heard Vinny call out’ “Deuces are wild, He’s surrounded by crocodiles, the rabbit is loose, a little nubber…” and many other Scullyisms. I hope they never fade away too much. Result: Correct!
I’ll have a sad moment when the reality of this being the first season without my mother to share it with hits me. This one was only half-correct. I did miss mom, but at the same time, I felt her with me, watching the boys in blue, or as she lovingly called them, “those screwballs”. Result: 50% correct.
Score: 50% with one pending. Batting .500 isn’t bad. I hope the Dodgers will do just as well as the season plays out. They might well get there if they would just stop playing Granderson.