DODGERS’ CURRENT RECORD:
77-60, First Place in the National League West
Four games ahead of the San Francisco Giants
Let me get this straight…
This is a team that at one point was eight games out of first place.
Whose entire starting rotation – including their ace, who’s considered by virtually everyone to be the best pitcher in baseball, Clayton Kershaw – has been injured at one time or another.
Which has forced them to start 19 and 20-year olds from as low as AA ball on the mound.
And who has used the disabled list a major league record 27 times.
As of today, these Los Angeles Dodgers are currently in first place by a season-high FOUR GAMES!
Justin Turner (#10), one of four Dodgers who made Zack Greinke (pictured) pay for leaving L.A. by hitting one of five home runs during the 10-2 Dodger win over the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium on September 5th. Photo courtesy of theolympian.com
From the perspective of someone who’s been a Dodger fan for a long time, whose allegiance to this ball club was passed down from his grandparents,
To say that the Dodgers have done a tremendous job to this point is a significant understatement.
Of course I say this knowing that there are 25 regular season games left and knowing – from my background in baseball – that anything can happen.
But I also must say that things are not only looking optimistic, particularly with the knowledge that Kershaw will return after more than two months against the Miami Marlins this Friday,
But also that fate has been seemingly smiling on the Dodgers these past few weeks.
The Giants, who after sporting baseball’s best record before the All-Star break are an MLB-worst 16-31 since then, have been one factor in the Dodgers’ surge.
However, it has also been things like Corey Seager having a rookie season that’s undoubtedly the envy of any as with his 24 home runs and team-leading .316 average, nothing will make sense in the sports universe if the shortstop is not the National League’s Rookie of the Year by a unanimous vote.
Joc Pederson, Yasmani Grandal, and Justin Turner have likewise been crushing the ball as they, along with Seager, each have at least 20 home runs.
Kenley Jansen has been his usual dominating self with his 41 saves (out of 47 chances) – second in the National League and in MLB – his 1.82 earned run average and his nearly 10 to one strike-to-walk ratio.
And Dave Roberts has done such a good job keeping the team together in light of all the injuries; he should be getting some Manager of the Year votes if not actually win that award.
But the one moment that has solidified my conviction of the fates going the Dodgers’ way as of late happened in Denver against the Colorado Rockies on August 31st, where with two outs in the 9th inning an the team on the verge of getting swept, this happened:
And this coming from a raw rookie who hadn’t been up from the minors for too long!
Knowing what I know about baseball, it would be foolish of me to proclaim that these Dodgers will be firmly ensconced in the World Series as there are nine other very good teams, especially the Chicago Cubs, who will have something to say about it.
In fact, should the Dodgers make the post season, they will be seen by virtually every baseball fan outside of Southern California as the villain due to the fact that the Cubs, whose last World Series appearance was barely two months after the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, ending World War II in 1945, are having a season for the ages to this point and are heavy favorites to break perhaps the most famous curse in sports history (after the Boston Red Sox, who broke their curse in 2004); 108 years without a championship.
Indeed, if those Dodgers don’t make the Fall Classic for what would be the 28th year in a row, I will be certainly rooting for those Cubbies from the North Side’s Wrigley Field.
For the time being, however…
I’ll enjoy this good fortune that these Dodgers are having.
And hope that it continues as this year’s stretch run heats up.