Happy Monday Dodgers fans! Let’s start our week off looking at some numbers. Hyun-Jin Ryu has a 1.26 ERA and the Dodgers have 48 wins, tied with the Houston Astros for best record in all of the major leagues.
According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, in what I think is a way-too-early stat, the Dodgers’ magic number is 81, halfway to clinching the NL West. They currently have a 10.5 game lead over both the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Colorado Rockies.
But of course, as we’ve stated many times here, it really doesn’t matter what happens in the regular season, aside from maybe being able to secure home field advantage throughout, it matters what happens in the postseason. And the scary numbers are what worry Dodger fans the most.
One of the other things we’ve talked about here many times is the state of the bullpen. It is the low mark of the team, and most likely to be the thing that hinders the Dodgers from getting that World Championship.
Per Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago, Kenley has a 7.88 ERA on no days rest so far this season, which is seven earned runs over eight innings pitched. He has a 1.74 ERA with one or more days rest, which extrapolates to only four earned runs over 20.2 innings pitched.
The Dodgers are lucky in one respect that their starters go much deeper into games than league average, and that will overall help the bullpen. But that doesn’t necessarily apply when it comes to the closer role, especially if the Dodgers have a couple tight games in a row, as they did over the weekend against the Chicago Cubs.
The Dodgers need, in essence, a second closer. Someone who could be relied upon to come in and take some of the pressure off of Kenley to come in and throw in back-to-back-to-back games. Jansen, of course, having the closer mentality, would probably not want to hand the ball to another pitcher to close out the game. But with his medical history, and the fact he’s had so much work both in the regular season and the playoffs over the last three seasons, it would be prudent for the Dodgers to acquire some one capable of high leverage situations.
In Game 5 of the 2016, Jansen worked the seventh and the eighth, and Clayton Kershaw came out and pitched the ninth to win the series. Why would it be so different for Kenley to have another reliable backup, should the Dodgers find themselves in many close situations in the playoffs? I personally would love to see Sean Doolittle, currently with the Washington Nationals, join the bullpen. He’s seen time both as a setup man a closer, and also is the type of guy that would fit in perfectly in the Dodgers clubhouse.
Once again time will tell what direction the Dodgers will take. The Dodgers Front Office has waited until very close to the deadline to add pieces the last two season. With so many teams looking for relief help this season, I’m hoping they’re more aggressive and go out and get that bullpen arm sooner than later.
The Dodgers continue their home stand, starting a four game series Monday night against the San Francisco Giants. Pitching matchups with be
Tuesday- Shaun Anderson and Clayton Kershaw
All game times are 7:10 PST