September looks different for these Dodgers, very different. Within the first week of the month, the Boys in Blue have not looked like their normal selves, as the pitching and offense have not been at their usual championship-worthy levels. Don’t get used to it, though, because before you know it, the Dodgers will hit their stride again and we’ll go back to being amazed with their caliber of play.
I’m not denying that these past ten games haven’t been tough to watch—they have been. The Dodgers have not looked like they did in July, but guess what? It’s okay. July was crazy for this team. Nobody could have predicted it, and I think some of us thought it was too good to be true. This slump is simply the bad that comes along with the good. It’s what comes along with the legendary baseball we witnessed in the summer.
We embraced the good when it came, so we can’t lose faith now.
With rosters expanding, the Dodgers are welcoming a new wave of talent. Whether its guys we’ve seen before, like Joc Pederson and Trayce Thompson, or new faces like center fielder Alex Verdugo and pitcher Walker Buehler, change is coming to the Dodgers this fall. There’s no guarantee that all of these September call-ups will make the playoff roster, but there’s always the chance that they’ll impact this team immensely. Cody Bellinger is the best example of that. The Dodgers Triple-A team in Oklahoma City began transitioning Buehler to the bullpen about a month ago, with the hope that he can make a big impact on the major league bullpen in October. Though how Buehler will perform in the majors has yet to be determined, his Triple-A stats are quite convincing, ending 2017 with a 3.35 ERA, while pitching 88-2/3 innings and holding his opponents to a .208 batting average.
The past ten games do not determine how the Dodgers will play in the postseason. What does determine that is the overall performance in the 100+ games that came before.
October may not have an ending like Kyle Farmer‘s walkoff hit against the Giants—maybe it will be better, there’s no way to know. We still have a month left in the regular season. Within a month earlier in the season, the Dodgers went from being a playoff contender to the World Series favorite—they’ll get out of this slump in no time.
October could look a lot like July for these Dodgers. There probably won’t be as many walkoffs, and there might not be as many epic come-from-behind wins, but we saw great baseball in July. We saw this team give everything they had, and prove to people why baseball is so beautiful. We saw beautiful baseball in July, and we’ll see it again in October. Bellinger just broke the Dodger rookie record for home runs. History will remember that far more than this losing streak.
October is going to be different for these Dodgers, the same way July was different than June. Between the additions of Buehler and Verdugo, and the way this team has played this season, I’m not worried one bit.
October will be different, it always is.
(Sarah is an 18-year-old soon-to-be college student from Southern California, who currently manages her own blog, “The Ground Rule Double.” She has recently joined the TBPC crew, and will be publishing a story each Wednesday. Follow Sarah on Twitter: @SarahManinger)