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.