So far so good for the Dodgers as the last third of the 2020 season nears. They still are the only team yet to lose a series in all of MLB, their run differential is 50 more than any other team, and they have the best record in the land by two games over the Tampa Bay Rays.
We all know that the best regular-season record means nothing come playoff time, especially in a season where there’s a best of three play-in round where one team can get hot for two games and take out the best team, and especially in the case of the Dodgers, that team has a left-handed arm with a great curve ball.
And we all know the Dodgers’ issues with getting their offense going in the playoffs. But maybe this shortened season will have their bats hot at the right time and not petering out. And even more hopefully, their bullpen will hold up.
The Dodgers bullpen has been legit this season. The addition of Blake Treinen to the bullpen arsenal has been an impressive one. Through 16 appearances, he has 14 strikeouts and a 0.98 WHIP. I also have a hunch that the addition of Alex Wood to the bullpen will reap benefits. “I’m good with whatever they need me to do. I feel good, my stuff feels good right now, so I’m excited,” Wood told reporters upon his return from an IL stint. “I’m just ready to contribute with whatever they need me to do. I’m just glad to be healthy and throwing the ball well.”
In addition to the stellar bullpen, the Dodgers have been winning as of late while missing at least one key bat in the lineup. Mookie Betts was out for a game, and then both Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger have been out for the past two games. Bellinger was dealing with a sore right lat after some cage work. He returns to the lineup for Thursday’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, playing first base and batting in his normal cleanup spot.
Turner, for his part, remains out of the lineup, as he was placed on the IL Wednesday with a hamstring injury he sustained during last Friday’s game. He will be eligible to return next Wednesday.
On Thursday, JT was named the Dodgers’ nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award. Justin, with his wife Kourtney, are very active in the Los Angeles community. They are both very involved with the L.A. Dream Center, where they have assisted in serving hundreds of thousands of meals throughout the pandemic. They have also donated meals to doctors, nurses and staff at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. The Turners have also served as honorary hosts for CHLA’s Walk and Play L.A. event the past two years, helping raise funds for the hospital and hosted CHLA’s Winter Wonderland during the holidays.
The Turners are also very active with military members and their families through the Justin Turner Foundation. Among other things, JT has instituted a Military Monday, a program soliciting nominations through social media and selecting a military family to receive an all-inclusive gameday experience at Monday home games.
“Being nominated for the Roberto Clemente Award by this great organization is something that my wife Kourtney and I are so proud of, and it’s truly an honor to be recognized,” Turner said. “We feel so fortunate to be able to give back — especially during these hard times due to the coronavirus — and support our homeless veterans, hospitals, schools and youth sport. We have the greatest fans in all of baseball who support us year-round, and we have a duty, a responsibility to give back to the community above and beyond.”
Fans can vote for the Roberto Clemente Award nominees beginning today at mlb.com/clemente21. The site features bios of each nominee and the voting will continue until the end of the regular season on Sept. 27.