Dodgers Start Road Trip Firing On All Cylinders

(Photo Credit: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

We are now in the second half of the season. Through exactly 30 games this year, the Dodgers stand with the best record in the league at 22-8. With the August 31st trade deadline rapidly approaching, teams will look to add their final pieces to their World Series puzzles. Teams will be reluctant to trade their prized prospects for perhaps only a 30 game rental of a top player. The Dodgers have made several big moves through the past couple of seasons, but it will be interesting to see if Andrew Friedman and the front office will make a splash this year.

The Dodgers have put up a 9-1 record through the last ten games, and the team appears to be firing on all cylinders despite a couple of injuries. On Sunday, when they honored the late great Kobe Bryant, the Dodgers belted seven home runs.

The bullpen that has given fans a nervous breakdown in the past has been one of the major strengths this year. Newcomers like Brusdar Graterol, Jake McGee, and Blake Treinen have been nice additions to the pen. McGee, who was released by Colorado amid recent struggles, was signed just before the season began. He’s posted 0.90 ERA so far, although pitching away from Coors Field probably also helped a bit.

Treinen, who had a down year last season after having stellar All-Star campaigns, has looked to find his filthy movement back on his sinker and has posted an 0.75 ERA. Graterol is probably one of my personal favorites to watch, as he is still really young at 22 years old, but has some of the craziest stuff in the game upwards of 102 MPH. Caleb Ferguson has had a nice start in the season, also posting up 0.79 ERA. Kenley Jansen has posted a 0.77 ERA and hasn’t blown a save opportunity so far this year. Overall, the bullpen is quite in form, hope is left that this form will continue in October.

During the seven-homer party on Sunday, Mookie Betts belted two. Betts has now enjoyed a three-homer game and a two-homer contest. The best thing about this is we have a dozen years more left of Betts. He leads the team in homers with 11 now, just ahead of Bellinger who has eight. Bellinger hit a walk-off homer on Saturday, the first walk-off win of the year for Los Angeles. It was quite the celebration as Bellinger had no idea he hit the ball out until reaching first base. Bellinger has now homered in four of his past five games. He’s been hitting the ball well, even making loud contact on outs. His average raised now to .211 after it was tethering around the low .100s for a bit.

Fans were concerned about Bellinger’s early-season struggles, but now he has found himself in more of a groove. It is unfortunate we won’t see this team throughout a full 162-game season. It’s been quite fun to watch Betts alongside Bellinger and Kershaw pitching with increased velocity.

If the Dodgers put up anything close to a 22-8 record in the second half of the season, the best record will be theirs to lose. Although there had been reports of MLB discussing a bubble format for the postseason like the NBA and MLS, there hasn’t been anything settled. It would be much sweeter to see the postseason at Dodger Stadium even if it’s only cardboard cutouts in the pavilion.

As the second half begins, the Dodgers will make a trip up North for their only remaining series in San Francisco. This will be the last series against the Giants this season, as the Dodgers are 5-4 against the Giants so far. The two teams split an opening four-game series at Dodger Stadium, then met a couple of weeks after when the Dodgers narrowly took two games out of three. Since then, the Dodgers have moved to first place in the National League West, and the Giants have hung around last place, although they’ve shown some success recently.

The three probable starting pitchers for the upcoming series are Julio Urias, Clayton Kershaw, and Walker Buehler.

Urias will look to have a longer outing, as his last appearance only lasted 1.2 innings in which he gave up four hits, one walk, and a run. The Dodgers will face Johnny Cueto, who they’ve seen multiple times this year, in the opener.

Tuesday’s first pitch is set for 6:45 p.m. Pacific time.

6 thoughts on “Dodgers Start Road Trip Firing On All Cylinders

  1. Our bullpen has been nothing short of spectacular. Question is how much reversion to the mean will there be? Just as Graterol, Treinen, McGee, Fergie and Kenley have been great at the same time, will they all have some regression at the same time?
    Rumor has it that Hader might be available for the right price. Anybody interested? He’s been in 8 games this year and hasn’t given up a hit yet. Still only 26 years old and has 3 years of control remaining. I think the price would probably be too high, but I’d be interested if any of you have a trade suggestion for him.

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    1. Depends on what they want. I think Hader would be an excellent addition to a really good bullpen. But I am more concerned about their performance against lefty’s and the starters actually eating some innings. For some reason, Stripling is flaming out and I would not trust Urias too much in the playoffs. He is way to erratic for me. My idea in the first round since it is a 3 game series, is do not burn your aces first. Give Gonsolin or May the ball. And that way you have Buehler and Kersh to win the last 2 games if you happen to lose the first one because who ever they play, today it would be the Rockies, they are going to go with their # 1. Why waste Kersh or Buehler against their ace?

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  2. Don’t look now but Max is starting to swing the bat. Urias on the other hand just looks like he has no clue what he’s trying to do out there. It’s a shame with the talent he’s got but I don’t think he ever gets close to realizing his potential.

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    1. Right now Alex, I trust May and Gonsolin a lot more than I do Urias. He is not pitching well at all and you have to wonder just how long they will let his leash be. He is putting massive pressure on a bull pen that has been spectacular. They may have given up 4 last night, but they would not have pitched at all had Urias defended two three run leads. To me, Kike and Joc have outlived their welcome. Nice to see Joc get a RBI double, but he has been pretty bad all year, and Kike, since his excellent 1st game of the year has steadily gone down hill.

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      1. I don’t remember Urias having these kind of command problems when he first came up, but I could be mistaken. I don’t know if his current problem is mental, physical or bad strategy but the shoulder problem he had is considered more serious than TJ surgery. I remember when he was rehabbing Keith Law said pitchers who have that surgery many times don’t make it back successfully at all. I just wonder if he’s 100% healthy and wouldn’t be surprised to see a short trip to the IL for him within the next week or two.

        I have never been a Lance Lynn fan but must admit the more I see of what he’s doing in the last couple of years the more I’m becoming a believer. The Rangers will have a very active market for him so based on past behavior, Andrew may not make the best offer. The Yankees are desperate. I fully expect them to wind up with one of the big three (Bauer, Clevinger, Lynn).

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      2. I do not think Clevenger is going anywhere. Bauer likely does not fit in with a team like the Yankees, even as desperate as they are for starting pitching. The Indians are still in the race by a lot. So, them trading a piece like Clevenger is not a given. And the Yanks can go after a multitude of guys because in the Al especially, there are more teams out of the race than the NL, where everyone except the Pirates have a shot. Even the Marlins are surprising everyone. Ray from the D-Backs will no doubt be available. As for Julio, his velo is down. he does not pound the strike zone. His pitches look good enough, and remember you do not have to throw 100 to win in the majors, but, his control is mediocre to me. He leaves way too many pitches up in the zone. He is 2 years removed from his surgery, he is totally healthy. It is command and location. His location sucks and his command is not all that good.

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