It wasn’t too long ago — right when the Dodgers were at the tail-end of one of their notorious, first-half offensive lulls — that we put together our first installment of trade deadline articles, recommending a handful of potential barter candidates who could conceivably help boost the Los Angeles offense down the stretch run of the regular season. Just a short time later, however, Justin Turner returned to the lineup from a hamstring injury, and using a Cody Bellinger bat of all things, ignited the run-producing sleeping giant that every Dodger fan knew existed from the first day of the 2017 campaign.
At that particular moment, we pointed out how a slew of cast members were underachieving with batting averages well under the .250 mark — Joc Pederson and Logan Forsythe were hovering just at or below the Mendoza line, perennial butter-and-eggs man Adrian Gonzalez was struggling just to stay on the field, and despite a few admirable power surges, Bellinger and Yasiel Puig were hitting .241 and .233, respectively.
Since that time, though, we all know what Bellinger has done. His slash line has improved to .270/.341/.665, and his number of long balls has nearly doubled to lead the senior circuit with 22 bombs. Puig has seemingly gotten right back on track, elevating his average a whopping 14 points and increasing his home run total to 13. Forsythe has 10 hits over his last 10 games, and his average is still escalating to a respectable range. Corey Seager has caught fire, and his HR total is now in double digits as his average is approaching the .300 mark. And Gonzalez is finally being afforded the time he needs to heal properly, hoping to return for a productive run during the second half of the season.
But perhaps more importantly, it appears if everyone up and down the lineup is contributing in a complete team effort, leaving all of the individual achievements as secondary consolations, with the primary goal being to win ballgames.
The offense is amidst a very, very special run. Eric Stephen of True Blue LA pointed out that after Wednesday evening’s victory, the Dodgers have scored eight or more runs for a fifth straight game for the first time since 1945. All this amidst a six-game winning streak, within a time frame that’s seen the club victorious in 12 of their last 13 contests. The current stretch of wins is also the third six-game winning streak over the past four weeks — a period that has seen the club go 20-6 overall.
Per Bill Plunkett of the Los Angeles Daily News, in the current series against the Mets, the Dodgers have now hit 12 home runs, including three by Grandal, with a different player having a multi-homer game each night — Bellinger on Monday, Seager on Tuesday and Grandal on Wednesday. Plus, the squad has outscored the Mets 30-8 in the first three games of the four-game series.
Finally back in sole possession of first place in the NL West, the Dodgers will continue to re-write the team record books if their current pace of offensive play extends into the homestand. And if the club stays anywhere near its present state of production at the plate, any sort of offensive upgrades at the trade deadline may be the last thing on anybody’s mind.
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