The Dodgers are facing a tough road to make it back to the World Series. With the loss of Kenley Jansen, a starting rotation not always looking as sharp as they could be (see Clayton Kershaw, Kenta Maeda), and very close divisional race, the next few months are going to be interesting indeed.
JT was hit by a pitch in spring training, fracturing his left wrist. When he was activated in May, it aligned with a 25-11 run that turned the Dodgers season around. Turner hit the DL again in July with a strained right groin. He returned to the lineup August 2nd and promptly hit a two-run homer. In his last seven games, he’s slashing .360/.484/.560.
Bellinger has been having a rough sophomore year. Even though he has 19 homers, he has had several long stretches where he hasn’t had any hits at all. Starting August with an 0-for-13 slump, he seems to be turning it around. He broke his previous slump by going 4-for-11 with two extra base hits. Last night in Denver, he was 3-for-4. In his last seven games, he’s slashing .458/.500/.625. His swing looks back to the gorgeous swing we saw last season.
And finally, one of the first half heroes, Muncy may have found that swagger again. He went into a slump after the All-Star Game and participating in the home run derby. From July 26 to August 8th, he had just four hits in 36 AB. He’s 4-for-5 in his last five AB with two homers in two games in Colorado. Muncy is still leading the team in homers with 26.
I’m not going to lie, I’m worried about the pitching staff. They’ve had a lot to deal with in terms of injuries, and with Kershaw not quite himself, no true shutdown starter. Maybe they don’t need one and they can patch together a solid nine innings. Julio Urias may be used in longer inning relief as a bridge to whomever will be closing out the game. Maeda may again be relegated to the bullpen. The Dodgers will probably need to be creative in how they handle this. But the as long as the aforementioned hitters keep their bats hot, along with the likes of Brian Dozier and Yasmani Grandal, they could possibly take some pressure off a depleted pitching staff.