Over the last couple of days, the Dodgers on multiple occasions were an inning away from moving into first place in the NL West. After losing three out of four games to the first-place San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles now stands three games out first. Even though the Dodgers are still 20 games above .500 with all their injuries, the fans still expect more with all the team’s talent.
Kenley Jansen has blown three consecutive saves and unfortunately has received quite a few boos at Chavez Ravine the past couple of days. A string of a few bad games has overshadowed the good year he’s had so far.
A wild ninth inning on Thursday gave the Giants a 5-3 win, providing San Francisco with a huge momentum swing. Although the two teams meet next week in a three-week series in San Francisco, the Dodgers will have to put together the pieces before it’s too late.
You really can’t do anything regarding the injuries, but perhaps adding some talent to the clubhouse can change that. For those fans not confident in Jansen, I’d like to know whether they’d consider trading for Craig Kimbrel, who is having a career year and is expected to be on the trading block. Other options could be the Pirates’ Richard Rodriguez or old nemesis Ian Kennedy from the Kansas City Royals.
Overall, the main problem the Dodgers need to address is adding starting pitcher depth, as injuries have decimated the starting rotation. Some position players after coming back from injury are not getting their mojo back. Cody Bellinger has struggled tremendously this year. Over his last 20 games he’s 5-for-69.
The NL West is going to be one huge dog fight the rest of the way. Many wondered how long the Giants could keep up their good baseball. It looks like they’re here to stay. The Dodgers can very easily erase the bad memories from this week’s series if they take care of business next week in San Francisco.
However, this may very well turn out to be the hardest divisional race the Dodgers have had in the past eight years. At the end of the season, it is quite likely the Dodgers will be in the playoffs, but they’d obviously prefer to be divisional champs to avoid the dreaded Wild Card round.
Next week’s series against the Giants may be the most important one of the year. If the Dodgers do not take care of business then, it might mean the Giants eventually capture the division.
Before the Dodgers meet the Giants, they will have to take care of the Rockies who come to town for a three-game series beginning Friday. Pitching matchups for the series are righty Chi Chi Gonzalez vs. David Price, left-hander Kyle Freeland vs. Tony Gonsolin, and righty Jon Gray vs. Josiah Gray.
The two teams last met right after the All-Star Break with the Dodgers taking two out of three and being an inning away from a sweep.
The first pitch for Friday’s opener is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. Pacific.