By Scott Andes
In case you missed it, the Dodgers have gotten off to their best regular season start since 1981. The Dodgers have the best record in all of Baseball at 9-1, and they have won six in a row. I know that their competition has been lackluster to say the least, ten games against the padres and Pirates, but wins are wins no matter who you play. Matt Kemp has won his second consecutive NL player of the week award. (6 HR 16 RBI .487-19 for 39) Actually this is his third straight, because if you remember, he won it the last week of the regular season in 2011 and then the first two weeks of this season. The last time a player won three consecutive player of the week awards was in…oh wait, nobody has done it, since the award’s inception in 1974. The only other player to win consecutive player of the week awards was Tony Armas, who did it for the Oakland A’s in 1981. Why anyone pitches to him is beyond me? Kemp eats fastballs for breakfast.
How did the Dodgers get to this point? Here is how, the Dodgers are ranked at the top of the league in nearly every single category for hitting, pitching, and defense. Don’t believe me? Sure, why would you? Because of the last two plus years of non-existent offense, ownership saga, and bullpen collapses, most people are in complete denial and shock over the fact that the Dodgers are the best team in Baseball.
Well yuck it up doubters, because the Dodgers are red hot, and continuing to doubt this team would be a grave mistake.
The Dodgers are ranked sixth in the National League in Batting. They rank fourth in home runs (10), second in RBI, (50), second in runs scored (50), third in on-base percentage, and fourth, yes fourth in the league in OPS.
Still don’t believe me? Take a look at the pitching staff, which despite a few bullpen meltdowns, walkapaloozas, and general shakiness, the Dodgers still have one of the best pitching staffs in the league. The boys in blue are fifth in the league with a 2.97 staff ERA. The bullpen is five for seven in saves, (Guerra has all five), the staff ranks second in the league in batting average against (.201), and strikeouts (93).
The defense has been even better during the streak. The Dodger’s air tight defense is the best in the league. They have allowed the fewest errors, and lead the league in fielding percentage. (yes I know FP is dumb, but I don’t care, it is still impressive)
So there you have it. When you have one of the toughest pitching staffs in the league, and an offense that is at the top in every single category, and an airtight defense that doesn’t make any errors, you are going to win many ballgames.
Now do you remember how many negative Nancies we had during the off-season? A lot of people didn’t even pick the Dodgers to finish third, and now look at them? I couldn’t be more proud of the Dodgers. Remember what many so called “pundits” said before the season about the Dodgers? They said that that this team didn’t have the talent to win. Kemp and Kershaw would regress, Ethier couldn’t hit lefties or play defense. Dee Gordon wouldn’t get on base enough to bat in the lead-off spot. A.J. Ellis can’t hit, the bullpen was too young, or had one too many mediocre vets.
I guess all of those pundits were wrong weren’t they? Sure the Dodgers still have a lot of problems to work through. The bullpen middle relief has been shaky, the rest of the non-Kemp/Ethier lineup isn’t hitting much if at all, and Don Mattingly’s bullpen management leaves much to be desired for. Still however, we have new owners taking over at the end of the month, the greatest sportscaster ever, the most beautiful ballpark, a solid pitching staff led by the reigning Cy Young award winner who is the most utterly dominating pitcher of our generation, air tight defense, the best position player Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, and a never give up attitude that manager Don Mattingly has instilled in every player. Mattingly may not be the greatest in-game manager, but he sure runs a great clubhouse. Team chemistry has been excellent. Not one player is mouthing off, or not hustling, or making stupid comments. You can best believe if any player starts hot-dogging it, they will face stiff consequences, because Don Mattingly won’t be having none of that. Kershaw is awesome, Billingsley is stepping up to be the number two guy behind Kershaw, that we had hoped he would be, oh and Matt Kemp is OPSing like a billion, and is on pace to hit 89 home runs.
With that being said, the Dodgers begin a six game road trip, and a three game set in Milwaukee. Some feel this is their first true test of the season, but in reality it is just another series, in a long season. The way the Dodgers have been playing, I will take them to win two out of three. So what was that about the Dodgers finishing at the bottom of the division? I hope the experts keep picking us to finish third, or fourth. I love being the underdogs. We will just keep proving the experts wrong. Haters get some. It’s our time now. Looks like it is going to be a Blue summer guys! Go Blue.
In case you missed it here are some videos and images of the best plays and performances of the last week. Enjoy!
The last time the Dodgers were the last MLB team to have just one loss, was the year 1955, and I think we know how that season turned out right? Go Blue!