The Dodgers Are Really Good and I’m Loving It
It’s still early. It’s only May. The Dodgers will choke in October. Clayton Kershaw doesn’t have the heart to pitch in the postseason when it counts. You can’t buy team chemistry.
We’ve heard all of this from competitors and their fans, but the Dodgers are not listening because they are busy hitting homeruns. A lot of homeruns.
This could be the year. 2015 sounds like a nice sounding World Championship season. It has been 27 years, and I’m ready. Things haven’t even all clicked just yet, but this Dodgers team is impressing with monster homeruns and a shutdown bullpen despite the early season injuries and starting rotation issues.
Carlos Frias (3-0, 2.13) vs. Jarred Cosart (1-3, 3.67)
Kenley Jansen will be back on Saturday. The Dodgers bullpen has been lights out so far this season just when the Dodgers needed the extra help. The losses of Hyun-jin Ryu and Brandon McCarthy were not ideal, but the depth the new front office created during their offseason flurry of moves sure has paid off. Mike Bolsinger and Carlos Frias seem to be the best pitching options to slot into the fourth and fifth starting spots until Ryu returns, and I’m okay with that.
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Mike Bolsinger only made one big mistake in his win over the Marlins on Tuesday night. Giancarlo Stanton‘s stadium clearing solo homerun was the lone run for the Fish, and Bolsinger stepped up to pitch admirably in his second start of the season. Bolsinger was born in 1988.
Carlos Frias pitches hard, and he looked great in his last start. Frias defeated the Brewers in Milwaukee, allowing 3 runs on 6 hits with 6 strikeouts and a walk on 84 pitches. Frias will be going for his fourth win in a row against the Marlins on Wednesday. His first victory in April was out of the bullpen. Other than that one disastrous road start in Colorado last year which skewed his numbers, Frias has been relatively solid. It will be the first time Frias has faced the Marlins.
Jarred Cosart, the 24-year old right-hander, will be going to the mound for Miami in an effort to stave off the three-game sweep. Cosart has lost in his last two starts, and he only lasted four innings in his last outing against the Giants. He allowed 4 runs on 6 hits with 2 strikeouts and 3 walks. Cosart has never faced the Dodgers. Howie Kendrick is the only current Dodger to have an at bat against Cosart. Kendrick has 3 hits and 3 RBI in 9 at bats against Cosart.
Frias and the Dodgers will try to keep Giancarlo Stanton in the park and Dee Gordon off the base path. Gordon has yet to steal a base in the series. Yasmani Grandal threw him out at second in the series opener. Dee is 0-for-8 in the series so far. Stanton, on the other hand, joined an elite group of players who have hit a homerun out of Dodger Stadium. The ball hit the top of the roof of the left field pavilion before bouncing into the parking lot. Stanton is hitting .333 against the Dodgers with 10 homeruns and 21 RBI.
The Dodgers are making history, and it’s thrilling to watch. Walk-off homeruns, 21-hit games, bullpen dominance and comeback wins have propelled the Dodgers into first place. When the Dodgers score four runs or more, they are unbeatable at 19-0 on the season. They have a 15-2 home record, and they have now won 10 straight home series at Dodger Stadium. The Magic Castle has been sprinkled with that Blue pixie dust again this season circa 2013.
May 11, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Miami Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon (left) and Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier before the game at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
The Dodgers are doing this all without their superstar right fielder Yasiel Puig who has been sidelined with a hamstring strain. Clayton Kershaw has yet to find his groove. Two of their frontline starters are injured, and they haven’t even had their closer this entire time. The early season success has really been a team effort which was created with such depth and versatility in order to counterbalance the weak links in the starting rotation as well as the injuries.
The real question is whether the Dodgers can sustain this success into and during the postseason. After handily winning the N.L. West for the second consecutive season in 2014, the Dodgers couldn’t bring that magic into the postseason disappointingly. It’s one thing to hit tons of homeruns in the regular season, but their bats have to stay hot in October as well.
Then there’s this guy named Dre. Andre Ethier, the forgotten and often jeered outfielder, has started off his tenth season in Blue with a bang. Ethier went 5-for-5 on Tuesday against the Marlins, and the veteran is now hitting .329 with 5 homeruns and 13 RBI. I never doubted that Ethier still can provide value to this team, and I was disappointed to see fans turning on him after battling through injuries in recent seasons.
The Dodgers lead the majors with 51 homeruns in their first 32 games. They also lead all of baseball in OBP (.354), SLG (.488) and OPS (.842). This might be the best hitting Dodger team we have seen in years, and they’re doing it with bench players like Justin Turner, Alex Guerrero and Scott Van Slyke.
This is fun.