One week into the Dodgers‘ 2018 season and a lot of fans are letting the negative thoughts run in their heads. It’s not the optimal start to the season we were all hoping for, but it’s still not time to panic.
Seven games ago, I thought the pitching would be the number one issue with the Dodgers. Clearly, that is not what the issue is. Sarah graded the opening week performances of the pitching staff yesterday, and, overall, the grades are pretty good. No, it would be the bats that have yet to find their thunder early in this season.
This is not to say that I am especially worried, but it surely hasn’t been fun watching at-bat after at-bat end in disappointment. It’s also not fun watching other teams do well. Arizona already has a complex with the Dodgers, and to lose all three games against the Diamondbacks, for lack of a better word, sucks. The Pirates, expected to do nothing this year, started 4-0. Shohai Ohtani, who chose the other team in the Los Angeles area, has two homers. And, of course, Giancarlo Stanton, who a lot of fans coveted, has been hitting bombs for the Bronx Bombers. Aside from the Cubs, all the other teams around the majors that were expected to be playoff contenders are playing like it.
There are definite points of concern. There seems to be an awful lot of looking at strikes. The power hitters have yet to look like they are such a thing. And Kenley….well many people have hypothesized about what might be up with the All-Star closer. I’m hoping it’s something as simple as not being fully healthy, and in time he’ll back to his awesome self. If that’s what it is, though, he needs to come out and say it, and get it taken care of sooner rather than later.
The Dodgers have a history of starting slow. Add to that, they played more games than any other team last season, sans the Astros. Last September, they didn’t get to .500 for good until the end of the month.
For fun, I went back and re-read some posts from last year, both during the Big Slump and the beginning of the season. From September:
“So why then does winning remain so elusive lately? There’s excuses that they simply ran into really hot teams, like the Diamondbacks. Injuries that deconstructed the ideal lineup. Once the losing started, maybe they got in their own heads, and everyone is trying to do too much and it’s all backfiring. Social media has some great theories….”
From June 9th, headline and story, “Dodgers Hope Justin Turner Provides Spark to Sputtering Offense”
“To say the Dodgers offense has been lackluster lately is an understatement. After scoring 10 runs in Milwaukee last Friday, the Dodgers have only scored five runs in five games since then.”
And from April, “Dodgers Opinions: “There’s No Need To Panic Just Yet”
“So, the title of my story on Friday was ‘Dodgers Head Into Arizona With High Expectations’. The Dodgers didn’t meet any expectations, really, losing two of three to the Diamondbacks and losing another spot in the division. Now they head into San Francisco, where the Giants are all kinds of not good, just lost their best pitcher to a freak (dumb) accident, and Dodger fans might revolt if the Dodgers do not do well against them.”
It might seem a little cliché to say that everything old is new again, but this is definitely not uncharted territory for the Los Angeles Dodgers. They start slow. They are streaky. And they still remain a very, very good team, even if they aren’t playing that way at the moment. They have a day off Thursday, and may end up having Friday off as well, as rain is forecast for the entire day in San Francisco. A little time off, relaxing, and getting their mindset back might be just what the doctor ordered.