How Long Can the Dodgers Sustain?
The Dodgers are now 10-3 after losing 2 of 3 games versus the Milwaukee Brewers. Game one was lost to the same Javy Guerra to came in and dominated the 9th inning yesterday, game two was lost because of some questionable decisions and calls in the 10th inning and game three was won because the bullpen remained solid.
So who are the Dodgers really?
Are they the team who we saw take 9 of 10 versus supposedly inferior opponents?
Or are they the team we saw lose 2 of 3 versus the Brewers?
My answer is yes to both questions.
See, here’s what I take from this Milwaukee series. The Dodgers aren’t going to score too many runs outside of the middle of their order, they play great defense, they have 2 real good pitchers, 2 solid pitcher and the #5 is iffy and they have a solid bullpen that the Angels wish they had.
Now, I will agree, they beat weaker opponents to get to their hot start but San Diego is probably the worst in baseball and outside of losing 3 to the Dodgers, the Pirates are 5-4, and their 5-7 record is only 1 win behind the Brewers.
Oh and those same Pirates just won 2 of 3 versus the Diamondbacks who are 3 games behind the Dodgers, so they Dodgers have now seemingly won 4 games and lost 2 versus quality opponents, and won 5 of 6 versus poor, that looks a lot better now doesn’t it?
I don’t think we have seen all the team can do, Dee Gordon is in a bit of a funk, hitting .192 and a .263 on base percentage (OBP), and for a lead off hitter, that is quite poor. Luckily Ellis has picked up the slack with a .398 OBP, so when Gordon finally hits like we know him to, we will see a more dynamic team.
The next is James Loney but he always starts slow and gets better as the season goes on. He started off the season without a hit in his first 5 games but since then he is 7 of 22 for a .318 average and that’s right about what I expect for Loney.
While Juan Rivera has hit well for average, and driven in some runs, he hasn’t shown any power yet with no home-runs and 2 doubles but he has 7 RBIs in 12 games for a 87 RBI pace, which is about what I expect from him so no complaints.
I really don’t expect Kemp to continue hitting like this…then again he is gunning for 50/50 so you never know, I almost expect him to bang out 40+ this season easily, and if Ethier follows with 25+ and 100 RBIs, this team can be a contender.
In order for the Dodgers to keep their winning ways, they don’t really need to hit. They need to average 4 runs per games and their bullpen needs to keep itself together. Right now I feel they have the best bullpen in baseball. The only downers are Coffey and Elbert and with only 2 innings behind him, I feel Elbert will make up for it in time but I’m not sure about Coffey, then again we don’t really need him. With Lindbolm, Guerrier, Guerra, Jansen, Wright and MacDougal, along with Elbert, why do we need an 8th guy?
Yeah, this team can sustain and I fully expect this team to go wire to wire and win the division, not because I’m a homer but have you seen the rest of the NL West? I just don’t see it…and when Matt Kemp wins the MVP, the Dodgers will be seen as a true threat in the playoffs this year.