The Dodgers swept the Marlins, as they should. It was a typical Dodgers series, a close game, a blowout, and an (almost) blown save by the bullpen.
The Dodger starting pitching was stellar, allowing only one earned run across 20 innings of work. Hyun-Jin Ryu, Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler combined to showed the All-Stars that they were. Kershaw and Buehler both had double digit strikeouts, 10 and 11 respectively. Granted it was the Marlins, but they had all their pitches working. Ryu had a bit more problems, but still managed to work around his early issues and allow only one run with seven strikeouts.
The offense was firing on all cylinders too, after they got over their jet lag from the east coast trip. They scored 21 runs, and hit six home runs by five different player.
The bullpen, of course, still leaves a lot to be desired. Combined with the sketchy defense of late, it makes for some late inning headaches.
There’s not much that’s changed over the whole course of the season. The Dodgers are a powerhouse team with great starting pitching, and their bullpen needs help. We can talk about all the ways that it can be improved but no one really knows what’s going to happen. It’s a broken record that hopefully will only be played out a few more times, as the trade deadline is fast approaching.
It’s a saturated market, as the Dodgers are not the only team that needs bullpen help. The Dodgers, as we know, are well suited to meet any team’s demands, although they are always reluctant to actually part with any high level talent. This season may take a little bit more to get the higher level reliever needed to finally get the Dodgers that elusive ring. So, a few things to watch for over the next nine days. Who gets moved? A couple teams are looking for a big league player in addition to prospects.
This has lead to a lot of people thinking that the most likely candidates be traded from the current 40-man roster is Joc Pederson. His recent, albeit sometimes rough transition to part-time first baseman had led to speculation that the Dodgers are trying to showcase his versatility.
Keibert Ruiz, the Dodgers’ number one prospect, has just been promoted to Triple-A Oklahoma City, again leading to speculation that one of the catchers in the Dodgers organization is going to be traded, be it Austin Barnes, Ruiz, or fellow prospect Will Smith. As much as fans may clamor for Barnes to be gone, as his offense has left much to be desired so far this season, his defense and rapport with the pitching staff is a huge reason why, this late in the season, he will not be the one who is moved.
The Dodgers will make a big move at the deadline – but it’s a strange offseason, and the hard deadline on July 31st. President of Operations Andrew Friedman stated to Sportsnet LA- “In the offseason it’s easier for teams to deal guys that are big parts of the team. The emotional part of it in season, when you’re living with them day to day, it’s harder. It’s one of those things, we’re just going to have to wait and see and react and be as aggressive as we can be without being stupid. And also plan for contingencies if something doesn’t line up.”
We as fans are just left to wait and see what the team looks like come August 1.