Player Depth Propels Dodgers During Historic Run

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Yesterday on Twitter, I joked that maybe I would just write a column today based on all the insane stats these 2017 Dodgers have piled up. That in itself would be a pretty awesome piece. Heck, I could just fill a piece on Cody Bellinger stats alone and it would be an unbelievable and intriguing read.

Yesterday’s game was about as crazy as any game I’ve ever seen. It was the longest nine-inning game in Dodger Stadium history, and it had enough story lines to fill all those hours. Another writer I follow (@90feetfromhome) writes articles about all the thoughts she has watching her Detroit Tigers play. I wish I had had the foresight to write down all the thoughts I was having as the games progressed.

It started with all of us worrying about Brandon McCarthy and his seemingly new case of the yips. Being down 5-0 early had Dodgers thinking that the nine games won in a row was fun, but it was probably the end. Until it wasn’t. We all know what happened next – the home runs, is the wild pitches, and everything else in between.

This team is relentless. The lineup is stacked top to bottom, and you never know who it’s going to be to beat you. There’s also people like Justin Turner who hits basically every time he’s at bat, and Bellinger, who is always a threat for a long bomb. Joc Pederson or Yasiel Puig hang out at the bottom of the lineup — also significant threats for hitting home runs. Kenley Jansen hit a double yesterday, for Pete’s sake.

The best thing about this team, though, is its depth. And that has been tested mightily this season. It’s a good thing that the team is basically carrying six starting pitchers, as each one except Clayton Kershaw has been on the DL this season. The bullpen, save for Jansen, is a revolving door of arms going either to the DL or the minors. And yet, they are one of the top pitching staffs in all of baseball.

The offense has seen one of the league’s best third baseman in Turner go on the DL, only to have him pick up right where he left off, leading the majors in batting. Their first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, the perennial “butter and eggs man”, hit the DL for the first time in his career, and then again for the second time, for who knows how long. They lost their starting left fielder Andrew Toles to ACL surgery early in the season. Pederson collided with Puig in the outfield, and was out for awhile with concussion symptoms. Second baseman Logan Forsythe went on the DL for awhile with an toe issue.

The list of players the Dodgers have placed on the disabled list goes on and on. And so, incredibly, does the winning. They are in the midst of a 10-game winning streak. They’ve won 41 of their last 55 games.  They are on pace for 107 wins, which would be a franchise record. They’ve taken over the lead for the toughest division in baseball, now sitting 2.5 games ahead of second place Arizona.

This is all is a mute point, however, if once again the Dodgers fail to make it to the World Series. They will need to make some moves to get another starting pitcher to help shore up the pitching staff behind Kershaw. Another reliever would probably help, too. In sacrifice, they will lose one or two or more of those prized prospects in the system, and perhaps a current player as well. But it will all be worth it because this is the time, this season, this bunch of players.  This team is too good to not make it to the ultimate prize. And if this regular season is this fun, just think of how fun the postseason will be.

(FOLLOW ANDY ON TWITTER: @DODGERGIRLINPA)

 

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