On Monday night, the Dodgers scored 10 runs, five days after being beaten by an offensively dominant Oakland team, 16-6. For the first 10-12 games of the season, many asked: “Where oh where is the Dodgers’ offense?”
If that night proved anything, it’s that the Dodgers’ offense is on the field, and up to the challenge; right where it should be. Add in a seven-run outburst on Tuesday night, paired with a 13-run mark on Wednesday, and one would begin to think the bats are back on track.
On Monday, the Dodgers took the Padres deep twice, with homers from Matt Kemp and Yasmani Grandal, who both spent time with San Diego earlier on in their careers. Those homers helped Hyun-Jin Ryu to his second win of the season. Tuesday saw another long ball from Kemp, while utility-man Max Muncy spearheaded Wednesday evening’s attack with a bomb and two RBI of his own.
The Dodgers are deep. That’s no secret. That depth, however, leads to a multitude of options for Dave Roberts when he fills out the lineup card. After all, the skipper has used 17 different lineups in all 17 games of the season. Monday’s lineup, however, may just be what the Dodgers need to get them out of this slump, and back into first place.
BREAKING DOWN MONDAY’S LINEUP:
- Taylor (CF) .208AVG, 16-77 w/ 3HR
- Seager (SS) .254AVG, 18-71 w/ 1HR
- Hernández (2B) .222AVG, 10-45 w/ 1HR
- Bellinger (1B) .304AVG, 21-69 w/ 2HR
- Kemp (LF) .347AVG, 17-49 w/ 3HR
- Grandal (C) .352AVG, 19-54 w/ 3HR
- Puig (RF) .215AVG, 14-65 w/ 0HR
- Farmer (3B) .273AVG, 6-22 w/ 0HR
Aside from Hernandez in the three-hole, I love this batting order. It’s no Murders Row (few, if any lineups ever will be again) but it is undeniably good. What really works about it, is that other than maybe Seager and Bellinger, there are no big names on this list, proving that you don’t need to have a star-studded lineup in order to succeed.
Grandal, a player many thought would be traded this offseason, leads the team in average and is tied with Taylor and Kemp for home runs. The Dodgers don’t need to change the game, they just have to win.
Another aspect of this lineup that I really like is Kyle Farmer at third. His defense has been solid and he has the power needed to hit for extra bases. He’s not Justin Turner by no means, and the Dodgers, as well as their fans, are on the edge of their stadium seats awaiting his return. Turner, however, is injured, and I would much rather he be injured now as opposed to later on in the season. The Dodgers can win without Clayton Kershaw. They can win without Cody Bellinger.
They can win without Justin Turner. In fact, they already have been.
There is a lot I like about this lineup, but the one thing I would change is I would flip Kemp and Grandal in the order. Grandal, the way he’s been hitting, would be able to drive in Bellinger or at least move him over to second or third.
The lineup will be reshuffled again once Turner and the recently injured Logan Forsythe come back, making it look something like this;
- Taylor (CF)
- Seager (SS)
- Turner (3B)
- Bellinger (1B)
- Grandal (C)
- Kemp (LF)
- Forsythe (2B)
- Puig (RF)
The other day I was thinking about just how deep this team really is. This team, with the help of a few minor leaguers, have another winning team within their already historic organization.
Here is what a Dodgers lineup could look like made up of primarily bench players and utility men;
Chase Utley (1B)
Kiké Hernandez (SS)
Max Muncy (3B)
Austin Barnes (C)
Andrew Toles (RF)
Joc Pederson (LF)
Tim Locastro (2B)
Alex Verdugo (CF)
Though October is a long ways off, the Dodgers are 4.0 games back of first place, and that is a gap they want to close, sooner rather than later. I don’t expect Roberts to send the World Series lineup out there every game, but if they want to beat the D-Backs and take back first place, they may have to treat every game like it matters.
If they do, they could find themselves back there this fall, playing for another pennant.