Saturday, April 13, 2024
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The Dodgers are on Top of The World

Rojas HR

The last time I wrote was right before the August 1 trade deadline. The Dodgers were still trying to figure out their pitching and had a slim lead in the NL West over the Giants and Dbacks. The Dodgers traded for complimentary pieces, such as former fan favorite utility player Enrique Hernandez. They traded for Cleveland shortstop Amed Rosario and then worked a deal with the White Sox for veteran starter Lance Lynn and former reliever and pouty face Joe Kelly. They also acquired multiple inning workhorse Ryan Yarbrough from the Royals. I actually liked the trades and all of the players have performed very well. Hernandez and Rosario have been scorching the ball and Lynn has solidified the Dodger rotation. Even Miguel Rojas has hit a couple of home runs this month.

Since those trades the Dodgers have gone 14-1 in August and now sit 10 games ahead of the Giants in the NL West. Arizona is currently in third place 13 games behind the Dodgers. San Diego is buried in fourth place and not a factor in the postseason picture. A well timed Dodger hot stream combined with all of the other NL West teams falling straight into the toilet means the Divisional race is all but over. The Dodgers are so far ahead, the pressure is off with this comfortable cushion.

Now the attention turns to putting together the postseason roster. Clayton Kershaw has finally returned healthy. Julio Urias seems to have figured out his problems, and rookie Bobby Miller continues to develop into a front of the rotation mainstay. The bullpen has performed admirably as well. Yarborough has been a nice addition as a piggyback bulk inning guy. He’s helping shoulder some of the workload from the short starts, taking some innings off of the rest of the bullpen.

Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman are having historically excellent seasons. Will Smith is one of the best catchers in the game. A lot of people like to complain about Max Muncy, who has struggled to hit above .200 all year, but the slugger has hit 28 home runs. That is why he is in the lineup. He’s a legitimate power threat. The Dodgers need to get DH J.D. Martinez healthy in time for October.

The Dodgers have turned on another gear, and have done it in a very short time span. It’s incredible to watch and speaks volumes to the strength of the organization. If anyone should get some credit for this, it’s manager Dave Roberts. Friedman gets him the players, but it’s Roberts who has to manage and put together the pieces every season. He’s not the best Xs and 0s guy, but he creates a great clubhouse environment. He does it year after year.

The Dodgers have a great team and for once, I have nothing more to complain about for now. I am sure you all were sick of hearing it. I think we can expect another deep postseason run. I would prefer to see the Dodgers win another title, but I acknowledge that it is extremely difficult. The Dodgers enter the final game of the Milwaukee series looking to win their eleventh consecutive game. The Marlins come in after for a series and then the Dodgers hit the road for series in Cleveland and Boston. The Dodgers are entering the stretch drive in perfect position.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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Scott Andes
Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

32 thoughts on “The Dodgers are on Top of The World

  1. Wow! Seems the Dodgers got just what the doctor ordered, and I don’t mean DR (Roberts).

    The Dodgers took advantage of the change of scenery, adding a few surprise acquisitions to spark the team to some impressive wins… the soft schedule did not hurt. Who needs rehab stints at OKC when they have a run of games against the Bottom Feeders of MLB. The win streak carried over to the Brewers series, where the bats stayed hot, and the pitching was impressive. Although I am still not happy with the inability of the starters to provide some length, it gave DR a chance to try out a possible innings burner named Yarbourgh. Also not too happy with the early exit to Urias, who just managed to dispose of 18 straight batters. An opportunity for the bullpen to get some relief for a change…. DR was lucky the pen came through.

    The weak NL western division added to the sudden increase in the division lead!

    We’ll take what we can get! Go Dodgers! Keep the Pedal to the Metal! Don’t look back!

  2. I echo BlueFan’s comment of a couple of months ago, it’s going to take some luck. But! It’s a joy being a fan of the Dodgers for this “era.”

    Let’s hope it continues.

  3. Well, sometimes good things have to come to an end. The winning streak has ended. Leave it to Gonsolin to make sure it followed script. What really puzzles me is that the Dodgers knew Gonsolin has been a disappointment all season and was dealing with an unspecified elbow injury for 4-6 weeks. With the starting rotation already a shambles, they failed to make a move for at least a couple of solid starters before the trade deadline. They did not need a superstar, expensive rental. They got “lucky” and took a chance with Lynn, and he has delivered so far. Seems Urias has gotten some of his mojo back, and Kershaw continues to baby his mystery injuries. Bobby Miller has proven to be a Godsend!

    The bullpen has been a plus lately, the addition of Varland was another “lucky” acquisition. Varland has shown an ability to burn innings and douse fires. After getting the early call to stop Catman’s bleeding, will the bullpen have enough to cover the starters in today’s doubleheader?

    Gonsolin needs to go down to OKC or Rancho to work on issues and reset, or find out what’s up with his elbow. The Dodgers cannot afford to let Gonsolin try and work out his problems during the run to October. These last few games are too important to “punt away”.

    Offense has slowed a bit, returning to form, posting a miserable 1-7 RISP, 10 LOB, 9 K’s. Well, I think last night they just gave up after Catman’s 3.1 inning, 8 hit, 4 walks, 5 HR, 10 ER performance….Understandable. Their .194 Clean up hitter may hit a HR once in a while, but still is proving to be the big hiccup in the lineup. If the Dodgers continue to play him (they really have no choice) they at least need to push him down in the lineup. Love Max, but he has no place in the heart of the lineup.

    Let’s see if the Dodgers can get “lucky” before Hilary arrives.

    Go Dodgers!

  4. Another game “punted away”. The Dodgers had plenty of opportunities to put Syndergaard away early, but they squandered many opportunities, and allowed the discarded Thor and Calhoun to get last laugh.

    Another team they should beat, instead they stumbled, going 2-7 RISP, and 9 KO’s. Another stat I have failed to point out are the non-productive outs. 6/3 groundouts/flyouts. Rally killers Muncy (WHY is he batting in the 4-hole?) and Peralta (GIDP) continue to fail in critical situations.

    Bobby Miller pitched well, but made a few bad pitches that Cleveland did not waste. In the 4th inning Miller gave up four straight hits, including a homer. Smith continued to call for breakers which Miller was hanging over the plate… Guardian hitters were looking for it. In the 7th, Miller was on fumes and quickly got into trouble. Ferguson (2 inherited runs scored and 3 of his own) could not stop the bleeding and he allowed the game to get out of reach.

    Let’s all hope for a little luck, and the Dodgers can escape Cleveland with at least a series win.

      1. Aside from the embarrassing loss to Thor and Calhoun in game one, the Dodgers faired well and managed to take the series.

        I thought I was watching the movie “Major League”….waiting to hear Bob Uecker call the game. Cleveland is a terrible team, the stands are empty, they even managed to throw a pitch “just a little inside!”. Exactly why they should not have lost game one the Syndergaard and the hapless Guardians,

        Oh well, off to Boston and reunion with JT!

          1. Game 2 vs. BOSOX.

            “PUNT!… It’s time for Dodger Football!” Dodgers forgetting that baseball season is not over yet.

            Dodgers beat themselves, again. 2-13 RISP, 14 LOB, 12 K’s

            Urias pitched well, but too many bad pitch calls with two strikes on the batter… Whose fault, Smith?

            Yes, Muncy hit a 2-run HR…. Big deal. He chose to attempt a “Statue of Liberty” play in the 7th with bases loaded….Three hittable pitches with the bat on his shoulder, caught looking, and gets tossed for arguing, along with DR. Yes, that was a bad called 3rd strike, but there is something called “Protect the Plate!”. Muncy should not be batting in the heart of the lineup, PERIOD!

            Embarrassing loss. I guess they have to hope to get lucky and go for the series.

  5. Unfortunately, our Dodgers are only “On Top of…” the NL West, not “the World”.

    Fortunately, they may limp into the playoffs, as the NL West allowed our Dodgers to maintain their 12 game lead… all teams following suit and losing on Saturday.

    With an unstable pitching staff, wasting away opportunities, and “punting away games”, they will not go far in October. Whoops, “Did I say that, again?”

  6. IMO, the Dodgers are just a great team. In order to be an elite team, don’t you think for one, they need an elite pitching staff? They are a few arms short in both starting and relief. For two, they have to stop beating themselves and blowing scoring opportunities. Yes, they have been able to score a lot of runs thanks to Mookie and Freddie, but they still manage leave a ton of RISP, and strike out way too much. With their inconsistent pitching staff, they cannot afford to waste away runs.

    Just my opinion, which doesn’t hold water to well. I just cannot sugarcoat it for you overly optimistic Dodger fans.

    1. They were one of the greatest teams ever last year and lost.

      All they need is luck, they are good enough to beat anyone.

  7. Game1 Braves vs. Dodgers:
    Lynn dug too deep a hole. DR pulled him way too late.
    Lots of runs on both sides, but Dodgers just blew too many opportunities.
    1-9 RISP, 7 LOB,
    Costly error by Muncy.

    Dodgers “punt away” game one of crucial showdown.

  8. Well, forget about the playoffs, Bluto.Urias arrested again for domestic violence. He has been suspended once (20 games) already. I’m sure heavier suspension this time for 2nd violation….probably rest of year. Dodgers should cut ties with him for sure.

    What a wasted season. I hope they don’t hurry Buehler back too soon, just because of this.

    1. On one hand, I totally agree. The whole plan was heavily contingent on Urias

      On the other hand, we still have luck! Kershaw gets hot Lynne gets hot, outman, heyward , and or Muncey go on a tear Chris Taylor? We always have luck with baseball.

      1. Luck…. Truly our only real hope now.

        A wasted season.

        A wasted talent.

        A disappointment to devoted fans.

        He has betrayed his fellow teammates, who we’re relying on him for a run to the pennant.

        His days with the Dodgers may be finished. I cannot see him coming back. I’m sure some idiot owner will pick him up. Maybe he can join Bauer in Japan, or follow the blood money to Mumbai, or Dubai… someplace that has no morals or regard for human/woman’s rights.

        A sad day in Dodger Baseball. The Dodgers had invested a lot in Julio.

        1. We’ve been through this Scott, it has an outsized impact in the playoffs. Why not hope for it? Sadly, the Dodgers with the aforementioned issues almost now need it!

        2. Heh Heh, Bluto is just an overly optimistic Dodger fan who believes in miracles, if you ask me Scott. If he enjoys watching this Dodger meltdown, so be it. I just cannot find this to be entertaining in any way.

          Kershaw admittedly trying to fly to end of season on one wing, and good wing is not his pitching wing.

          Lynn’s finally come back down to earth, after his miraculous start with the Dodgers (no thanks to the below par opponents he faced early on). HR Derby pitcher for Freddie next year.

          Urias on Administrative Leave… probably done for the season.

          No guarantees that Buehler and Kelly will be effective, if and when they return.

          Muncy also fighting injuries, and his mental demons, both offensively and defensively.

          Offense out of sync…. When Freddie and Mookie are hot, Muncy, Outman, and CT3 are cold. and when Freddie and Mookie are cold, Muncy, Outman and CT3 are stranded on base (RISP).

          So goes the Dodgers 2023 season.

          1. Yeah, I generally have enjoyed almost every year of the Guggenheim regime.

            Even some of the McCourt ones, but they were harder to enjoy because there was too much (for me) seat of the pants flying

  9. Dodgers get phish’d in Miami in game 1. Limping to the playoffs.

    Kershaw struggles, searching for command and trying to carry the Dodgers on his sore shoulder.

    Not a good sign after the disturbing news regarding Urias. Just 5 innings, 5 walks, two jacks. I think shoulder is worse than the Dodgers make it to be.

    Offense not too good either. 3-10 RISP, 6 LOB, 10 KO’s.

    We need some luck, for sure.

      1. Well, not really too much to enjoy at this point Bluto, unless you enjoy watching the Dodgers squirm and wiggle like a worm on a hook.

        Face it…The season is a bust. A patchwork starting rotation which looks like it will be led by “Ace by Default”, Rookie Bobby Miller, who has actually done an excellent job. An abused and overused bullpen. The offense continues to struggle with RISP, too many KO’s,.. Mookie and Freddie cannot do it alone.

        The Dodgers just May moonwalk into the playoffs, since there are really no viable challengers in the NL West…there may not even be a NL West Wild card contender, imagine that.

        Winning the NLDS is a longshot. Only consolation this season will probably be clinching the NL West against the Padres. Beyond the NL West title, they will definitely need a lot of luck. So, don’t hold your breath, Bluto…. You may just turn “True Blue” for real. You won’t need any face paint.

        1. No idea what that ending stuff was about.

          Just enjoy the young kids, the excellent vets and those in-between who are developing.

          Can’t let Uriah’ deeds or Kershaw’s resilience get you too far down. Great team, great org.

          Anyway, I think you see it differently. No worries.

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