Alright, apologies to my absence the past week and half or so. College finals and being lazy got to me. In addition to that, I was paying attention to the Stanley Cup Finals since that was the only interesting Championship series that just ended. Yes, I’m talking about the NBA Finals where the Warriors swept the Cavaliers for their third title in four years. The NBA is a joke now. We all know that whatever team Lebron decides to sign with during the offseason will just end up back in the Finals to face the Warriors. The NBA just wouldn’t know what to do if Curry or Lebron weren’t in the Finals every single season from now on. Anyways, this is a Dodgers blog and not a all around sports blog.
Since my last post, the Dodgers have been on an absolute tear. I figured that I’d stop doing the play-by-play of each series the Dodgers play and just talk about the games in general. I’ll still talk about the pitching, hitting and bullpen but I don’t want to sound like I work for ESPN by doing so. Is that too “uppity”, I don’t want to sound like I’m from ESPN? Oh who cares, they only talk about the Red Sox, Yankees or Lebron anyways.
It’s been since May 29th since I last posted something on my blog and now I’m back to posting two times a week and occasionally a third post on Wednesday’s. Monday and Friday posts will be about the games the Dodgers have been playing. Wednesday posts will be more of a specialty post where I talk about All-Star game Voting, upcoming series to watch or pay attention to and Interviews with Season Ticket Holders from Dodger Stadium!
Yesterday, June 10th, I celebrated my 20th birthday the only way I know how; by going to a Dodger game! The Dodgers played the Atlanta Braves, one of the best teams in the National League and one of the best teams in baseball. So far in the three game series, each team had won a game. The Dodgers won on Friday night, 7-3, and the Braves won on Saturday night, 5-3. On Sunday, I was fortunate enough to see Ross “The Boss” Stripling pitch and continue his dominance. Stripling only allowed two runs which came via Solo Home Run’s from Ozzie Albies and Freddie Freeman. Side note, Freeman and Albies are currently the front runners for the All Star game at their respective positions, first and second base. Back to the game.
The Dodgers scored seven runs on Sunday. Three of those runs were from Home Run’s that Max Muncy, Logan Forsythe and Kiké Hernandez. The other four runs came from Matt Kemp, Kiké Hernandez, Logan Forsythe and a bases loaded walk from Max Muncy. On their way to winning the final game of the series, Stripling was in line to pick up his fifth win of the season. While doing this, Stripling dropped his ERA on the year to a ridiculous 1.65! That’s a Kershaw number right there. The Dodgers would win this game by a score of 7-2.
Since the last time I posted, the Dodgers have a record of 7-2 in that span. They swept Colorado, won the series against Pittsburgh and just won the series against Atlanta. The Dodgers may be struggling in certain areas on the field but they are taking down some of the top teams in baseball at the same time. Of course, they have yet to put together a significant winning streak to the point that they can overtake the Diamondbacks or Rockies for first place. I believe that once they do this and take control of first place, they won’t leave first place for the rest of the season.
Right now, the hitting is producing. Cody Bellinger, who was in a horrendous slump, is finally starting to break out of it. This past week during the series against Pittsburgh he hit a Home Run in each game and continued that performance into Friday night where he hit another Home Run for the fourth game in a row. AHHH, that’s the Cody Bellinger that everyone remembers from last season. In addition to that, Bellinger was a triple shy of the cycle during the last game in Pittsburgh. Yes, Bellinger is still striking out a bit too much and his average is awful but, he is definitely trending in the right direction after this past week.
The entire Dodgers offense is trending in the right direction. Muncy is continuing to dominate at the plate. Joining him in this recent offensive burst, Joc Pederson is finally regaining his 2015 form when he was an All-Star that hit 25 Home Runs before the All-Star Break. Last but not least, we cannot leave out Matt Kemp. I criticized Kemp and I was one of the people that was saying that he’d be traded before the season began. Boy was I wrong. Matt Kemp is one of the best hitters in baseball right now and is getting the credit he deserves. Kemp is currently in the lead for one of the three outfield spots in the All Star game. Who would’ve thought that Matt Kemp would potentially be STARTING at the All Star game this year? Every game, Matt Kemp continues to prove me and all of the critics wrong. I personally think that if Matt Kemp were to continue his performance, he’d be in line to receive “Comeback Player of the Year” and possibly get a few MVP votes as well. I doubt he will win the MVP but I think he would get some votes.
The issue that continues to plague the Dodgers this season is their health. Dodger pitching is running so low on fresh and stable arms. It’s amazing how well Dave Roberts is managing the pitching staff. With Ryu, Kershaw, Hill and Maeda on the Disabled List, you’d wonder how the Dodgers have remained relevant to this point. Key guys like Ross Stripling, Alex Wood and Walker Buehler have been keeping the Dodgers afloat. Although it seems like Buehler may go on the Disabled List because of a recurring rib cage injury that was caused by a Trevor Story line drive. Hopefully that’s not the case. Buehler is a candidate for National League Rookie Of The Year this season and going on the Disabled List may affect his chances.
Nonetheless, this entire Dodgers team is starting to mold together and get on the same page. Regardless of what’s happened over the first two months of baseball, I still believe that the Dodgers will be sitting at the top of the National League West at the end of the season.
The first interleague matchup for the Dodgers is this week as they take on the Texas Rangers. This quick two game series should be a no brainer for the Dodgers, the Rangers are one of the worst teams in baseball. However, the Dodgers did get swept by the Reds so I guess literally anything can happen in this world. The biggest draw to this series and the reason why I’m going tomorrow night is to see our lord and savior, Bartolo Colon. Colon is the scheduled starter for the Texas Rangers tomorrow night and I couldn’t be more excited to see an opposing pitcher. Anyways, let’s go Dodgers!