The Los Angeles Dodgers maybe, finally, are starting to hit their stride. On their east coast road trip, they won five of six, including a weekend sweep of the New York Mets.
The road trip included multiple rain delays, scorching heat, and two extra inning games. But the Dodgers kept battling and won the two extra inning games, something they had struggled with in the past. The rain delays in Philadelphia seemingly invigorated the offense, as their only loss there was the day with no rain delay.
And yet the Dodgers only managed to gain one game on the San Francisco Giants. They are four games back of first place with 44 games remaining for both teams. The Dodgers have both the Pirates and Rockies in their near future so this stretch could be a good stretch to pick up another game or two on the Giants, who somehow have not hit a skid so far this season.
If the Dodgers are going to manage to climb a few games in the standings, and go far into the playoffs, they are going to have to clean up their defense. Sunday night’s game featured multiple miscues, like Trea Turner being unable to catch a toss cleanly and turn a double play. Corey Seager was unable to tag a runner inches from him and ended up being late on a throw to first that would’ve gotten the batter out. And Will Smith threw to third to try to get a runner that wasn’t close, instead of throwing to first for the sure out.
All of these mistakes caused starter Max Scherzer to throw many more stressful pitches. Scherzer was removed in the sixth inning with 94 pitches and two earned runs allowed. Had some of those innings ended when they should have, Scherzer might have been able to pitch the seventh or beyond. Granted he left with a 9-2 lead so it was an easy decision to take him out then, but him having a huge lead is not always going to be the case.
Since Scherzer was removed with three innings left to cover, manager Dave Roberts turned to lower leverage relievers to finish out the game and in true Dodgers bullpen fashion they tried to make the game interesting. Darien Núñez allowed two earned runs and the Mets had many more missed scoring opportunities. While these guys probably won’t be pitching in the playoffs it would be nice to not have to have a huge lead for them to pitch.
ESPN put up a graphic describing how much WAR the Dodgers have lost by how many injuries they’ve had this season. According to the chart, they have close to 10 games lost. The Giants have lost five, and without those injuries the Dodgers should be tied or a game ahead in the standings. Still having the second best record in the majors is a testament to their depth.
The Dodgers are now home for a seven game home stand where they will face the Pittsburgh Pirates for three, the Mets again for four, then a quick trip down to San Diego for three and back home to face the Colorado Rockies and Atlanta Braves to finish out the month of August.
Trevor Bauer is expected in court on Monday at 8:30am in the civil hearing on the temporary ex-parte domestic violence restraining order against him. The trial is expected to take multiple days. New information was published in the Washington Post over the weekend that Bauer has had another restraining order against him in the past. The woman’s accusations against the pitcher are very similar to the ones in the current case, with him beating her and leaving her with bruises and blood in her eyes, which she received during sex without her consent. The Dodgers have yet to comment on any of these allegations, new or past. Bauer and his lawyers released statements via his Twitter account on Saturday.