The Los Angeles Dodgers won their second series in the month of June after their two-game sweep of the LA Angels, and it was somehow executed with a masterful bullpen game (of all things) on Wednesday night.
But how about the offense continuing to come through? And the defense?! Things are far from perfect, but this two-game turnaround after an embarrassing sweep at the hands of the San Francisco Giants has renewed the good vibes.
Someone who's worked his way back from a massive hole he dug to begin the season is David Peralta, and his developing situation should have fans in an even more optimistic place with the trade deadline approaching.
Andrew Friedman admitted the Dodgers need to focus their efforts on the pitching front, but their bench is a bit suspect. They have a lot of guys playing out of their natural positions and others who have been downright dreadful, so fans are concerned about the health of the starting lineup and depth on a nightly basis.
Peralta seemingly filling the void he created could save the Dodgers from making an extra, largely unnecessary transaction ahead of Aug. 1. Probably best to save those prospects for more demanding positions and not outfielders.
David Peralta's resurgence can save Dodgers at 2023 trade deadline
Peralta's first 25 games of the season were dreadful. Then he rebounded a bit in the month of May with a .295 average and .786 OPS across 20 games. Pretty good. In June? He's gone nuclear. Through Wednesday's play, he's hitting .410/.465/.615 with 2 homers, 6 RBI and just 6 strikeouts in 14 games.
And he's making an impact on defense, too. On Wednesday night, he grooved in a dart from left field to nab a runner at the plate in what was a crucial out to help the Dodgers to a narrow 2-0 victory. For a guy who's typically been a negative dWAR player, he's at a robust 0.0 right now for LA. He has 4 Defensive Runs Saved. His -1 Outs Above Average isn't the end of the world for a soon-to-be 36-year-old coming off back surgery. We'll take it!
Peralta's now hitting a respectable .271 and his .710 OPS and 90 OPS+ are no longer weighing the team down. It seems all he needed was about six weeks to put his back surgery in the rearview as he worked out the kinks.
If a semblance of this play holds, fans will owe the team an apology after questioning why he was brought in for $6.5 million when it seemed like the front office was trying to cut costs.