The Los Angeles Dodgers are currently halfway through a six game, East Coast road trip. After winning two of three in Philadelphia, the Dodgers now head up I-95 to New York to take on the Mets.
In both of their wins, the Dodgers needed a rain delay to get their offense going. The offense fared well against the Phillies bullpen until, of course, a bullpen game by the Phillies stymied the offense on Thursday.
The Dodgers pitching staff did a good job holding the Phillies offense down, allowing only four runs over the series to a team who had entered the series having won eight straight. David Price and Mitch White both allowed two earned runs over 4.0 innings each – otherwise they Dodgers bullpen completely shut down the Phillies.
The team also did something they had done only once since the All-Star break, which is win the first game of a series. These two wins to take the series were at the tail end of four straight wins by the Dodgers, something they have not done since the beginning of July.
But as usual, the offense, although now started by speedy Trea Turner, has still been inconsistent. Turner started his Dodger career hot, but achieved just three hits in Philly. The offense left 50 men stranded in Philly, and once again couldn’t either couldn’t get men on base, or left the bases loaded like they did in the ninth in Thursday’s game, down only one run. Close games have become one of the Dodgers’ nemesis this season.
On the flip side, Cody Bellinger has shown signs of finally breaking out of his recovering-from-shoulder-surgery slump. While not always getting hits, he seems to be seeing the ball much better and taking longer at bats, fouling off pitches until he gets the one he wants. AJ Pollock continues to hit well, continuing to probably be the biggest surprise of the season on the offensive side.
But once again, the Dodgers have key players headed to or once again on the injured list. Mookie Betts was placed on the IL Wednesday, and flew back to Los Angeles to more testing done on his hip. It is hoped that rest will be the cure his hip needs – but no one knows at this point if that is what will work.
Justin Turner was removed from Sunday’s game with left groin discomfort. He was unavailable all of the Phillies series, and was hoped to be activated for the upcoming Mets series. But after Thursday’s game, manager Dave Roberts said that he would not be in the lineup on Friday, and there would be conversations Saturday as to his health.
If the Dodgers can continue to win every series, in a two out of every three pace, they will be well set for the playoffs. Those playoffs are pretty much a given at this point. But if the Giants keep playing like they are, there will be no making up the 4.5 game deficit the Dodgers are dealing with in the NL West.
Getting healthy and getting to offense consistent is the goal for right now, and the Dodgers have definitely shown that they are headed in the right direction to achieve just that.