Dodgers: Patience is Paying Off for the Dodgers

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 31: Left fielder Matt Kemp
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 31: Left fielder Matt Kemp /

“Century Boulevard (we love it)
Victory Boulevard (we love it)
Santa Monica Boulevard (we love it)
Sixth Street (we love it, we love it)
We love L.A.” — Randy Newman

If you’re a fan of a team based in Los Angeles (and if you’re reading this I think it’s a reasonable assumption that you’re a Dodger fan) then the odds are that you’re as enthralled with Newman’s anthem “I Love L.A.” as most other cities’ fans seem to be with the fairly obnoxious chant of “Beat L.A!”

And there is a certain amount of pride one has when chanting those lyrics during a ball game, or when making one’s way down Century Boulevard, or Sixth Street, or riding down Imperial Highway and hearing them on the radio, feeling civic pride well within you.

But those feelings are quite often replaced with ones of frustration when Imperial Highway or Santa Monica Boulevard is congested with traffic. It is a problem we have unfortunately had to deal with, a tradeoff when we consider how many people want to live here in one of the greatest cities in the world, so impatient are we to experience all that Los Angeles has to offer.

It is not easy to be patient.  For the last 30 years, Dodgers fans have not so patiently been waiting for another World Series Championship. After coming so tantalizingly close last year, the 2018 season couldn’t come fast enough. Spring training seemed to drag on endlessly as fans didn’t bother debating if the Dodgers would make the playoffs, but who their opponents would be on the way back to the World Series.

But after a disappointing 13 games and only four wins, a different kind of impatience reared its ugly head and some fans were all ready to give up on the season, such is the fickle manner of the fair weather fan. And although it’s something of a cliché to say that it’s early and we should be patient, there is some wisdom there.

More from LA Dodgers News

That does not mean the Dodgers should sit back and take it easy. As reported by Bill Shaikin, Clayton Kershaw said that “ ‘It’s early, we’ll figure it out’ doesn’t really work, you’ve got to figure it out at some point. I don’t really like that saying. There needs to be a sense of urgency every game out there.”

Ironically, the Dodgers are now displaying their sense of urgency with patience.  Heading into Friday’s with the Nationals, the Dodgers have won four games in a row since their dubious 4-9 start averaging eight runs per game. More telling, however, is that Dodgers hitters have taken 20 bases on balls in those three games after having walked 40 times in the previous 13 games combined.

It is this discipline, this patience at the plate, this focus and determination that was the hallmark of the team’s success in 2017.  The Dodgers are seeing more pitches, putting more stress on the opposing pitcher, tiring out the defense, getting better pitches to hit in more advantageous counts, and finding more runners in scoring position due to the free passes.

Next: Dodgers minor league players of the week for week two

This type of “traffic” on the basepaths is what makes Dodgers fans love L.A and come the postseason, can turn all the streets of Los Angeles into “Victory Boulevard.”