Dodgers News and Notes: NL West Standings, Mookie Betts’ Health, and More

(Tim Heitman/USA TODAY Sports)

The Los Angeles Dodgers have finally lost a game in the Albert Pujols Era.

It was, of course, too good to be true, that the Dodgers would not lose again simply because Pujols is now on the team, but it was fun while it lasted. Their loss Wednesday night to the Houston Astros snapped an eight-game winning streak.

That loss to the Astros came after an emotional night where the Dodgers faced Houston, with fans, after much of the cheating scandal information came out. It was also Clayton Kershaw’s first time on the mound in Houston after that infamous Game 5 of the 2017 World Series. Emotions ran high, Kershaw was dominant, and the key players in the 2017 World Series produced with the bat. Justin Turner hit his first home run in a while, and Chris Taylor was 2-for-4 with two RBI as they routed the Astros 9-2.

Wednesday’s game seems like a let-down game after the emotions were so high for Tuesday’s game, as the Dodgers only mustered two runs in a 5-2 loss.

Andy Martino, who covers New York baseball, has a new book coming out June 8th called Cheated. It details some previously unknown info, and seems to say that the Houston Astros most definitely cheated their way to a World Series win. We Dodger fans knew this, but it is good to have more credible reporting on it than just want Rob Manfred would have us believe.

The Dodgers now move on from the past and back home to take on the San Francisco Giants for a four game set starting Thursday night. As they just swept their division rivals last week, and they are both still fighting to get back to the top of the NL West, the Dodgers should have no problem getting their energy back up, especially in front of the Dodger Stadium crowd.

As of Thursday afternoon, the San Diego Padres still led the NL West with a record of 32-19. The Dodgers and Giants are both a game behind at 30-19. The Giants have won their last two games against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Pitching matchups for the series are Thursday, lefty Alex Wood and David Price in what will be a bullpen game for the Dodgers; Friday, right-hander Anthony DeSclafani and Walker Buehler; Saturday, righty Logan Webb and Julio Urias; and Sunday’s matinee will be right-hander Kevin Gausman and Clayton Kershaw.

While the Dodgers have been mostly hot as a team, their leadoff batter has not been. Mookie Betts is now batting .247 for the season with a .792 OPS. In his last seven games, he’s slashing .192/.323/.385. with a homer and six strikeouts.

In an article today by Fabian Ardaya in The Athletic, Betts maintains that his recent slump has nothing to do with his health and there could be no reason for his not producing at the bat.

“No reason for my performance,” Betts said Wednesday. “I don’t have any excuses. Sometimes you just don’t play well. I’m not here to say this is why, that it’s this, that and the other.”

Mookie has missed time this season for a back issue and again when he was hit by a pitch on his forearm. Last weekend, he was given time off in conjunction with an off day to give him some rest.

The article goes into great detail about where Betts is so far this season in comparison to other seasons. Some fans wonder with the return of Cody Bellinger and Zach McKinstry this weekend if it would behoove Betts to go on to the 10-day injured list.

Regardless of what happens with Betts, we all hope that he can regain his prowess at the top of the lineup. Some time off here might help him when it counts later in the season in a tight pennant race.

5 thoughts on “Dodgers News and Notes: NL West Standings, Mookie Betts’ Health, and More

  1. I’d just like to say that I’m not expecting anything much out of Belli for the first week or two he’s back. He hit a couple of homers but not much else on his rehab assignment and that was against AAA pitching. He didn’t hit well before he got hurt at the beginning of the season.

    The good news is that he can’t do any worse than the guys we threw into the lineup to replace him and he’ll be a major upgrade defensively.

    1. I was thinking the same thing Jefe. 3 for 16 with no walks. He’s not ready to hit ML pitching. How long will it take? Nobody knows.

      Mookie says he doesn’t have any excuses. Ok. I guess believe him. He’s just not right yet. But this team does not look nearly as lethal with him leading off and OPS’n over .900.

      I hope we see this team whole eventually this season. We are still competitive even running on less than all cylinders, but this team won’t win a championship with Betts OPS’n .790 and Peters, Neuse, and Pujols in the starting lineup.

  2. That Peters home run was impressive. Then he gets called out on ball 4. That must have been discouraging. I know it’s getting tiresome watching it happen night after night. Lakers won again. All’s right this morning. At least in the immediate sports world. The rest of the world continues to lose its mind. Time for alien intervention. Show yourselves dammit. It’s time to be taught some of that Pleiadian love.

    1. I get the idea that if DJ were playing for the Orioles and knew that his position in the lineup would be there every day no matter what, he would continue to improve and quite possibly become a decent major leaguer. That, however, will not happen with the Dodgers because he is so low on the depth chart.

      I think he has definitely made some progress as he has gotten more at bats and I hope the time he spends at OKC (probably starting this weekend) will lead to even more improvement. Right now, he really isn’t a viable lineup option here nor is he a really decent trade chip. I wish him success in ultimately fulfilling one of those two scenarios.

      1. Well said Jefe, though I do think he might get something decent back in trade. He hit a 110 mph line drive 380’. That’s impressive. I keep him around though. If he can start hitting line drives the home run will come. Send him down where he can get 5 at bats a night. A spot just might open up again later in the year.

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