While many fans of the Dodgers anticipated a much tighter division race at the beginning of the season, the final meeting between Los Angeles and San Francisco at Dodger Stadium this year has little impact on the way the NL West is turning out.
Before Monday’s first pitch, the Dodgers own a full 19-game lead over the Padres. The Giants are still on the southside of .500 with a 64-68 record and 27-1/2 games out of first place.
Just because the NL West is wrapped up, though, doesn’t mean the Dodgers can breathe easy, as there’s still plenty of work to do. The Mets are certainly in distance to contend for homefield advantage, plus the Dodgers still have a ton of decisions to make for multiple parts of the roster over the final 29 games.
The starting rotation remains one of the biggest discussion topics for fans, as injuries have played a huge role over these final few months for the prospective playoff outlook. A lot of the playoff success could depend on the health of veteran Clayton Kershaw, especially if Tony Gonsolin is unable to return at 100% in a reasonable time frame.
The good news for Gonsolin is that the MRI on his forearm Friday came back clean and he played catch at Dodger Stadium in the outfield over the weekend. If everything goes well, the righty could return to the team on September 15.
Reliever Brusdar Graterol’s MRI on Friday also came back clean, leading some to believe he could potentially contribute down the stretch. Both Victor Gonzalez and Tommy Kahnle continue to progress on their respective rehab assignments, giving the team some options on fortifying the bullpen, especially on a somewhat vulnerable front end.
While the position-player portion of the roster appears to be relatively set, there are seemingly a handful of battles determining which players will prospectively receive the most postseason playing time. Although hiss starts are few and far between, Trayce Thompson continues to make a strong case as the starting left fielder over fellow righty hitter Chris Taylor. In some ways, Thompson could even make more sense as better options over Joey Gallo or Cody Bellinger, regardless of the opposing pitcher’s handedness.
Right now, Thompson is hitting .293/.389/.564, while Taylor is batting .223, Bellinger .202 and Gallo .193 since his arrival in Los Angeles.
Although Gavin Lux has been fighting problematic neck issues, he figures to play an important role as the club’s primary second baseman in the playoffs.
Lefty Andrew Heaney gets the ball in Monday’s opener for the Dodgers, and an impressive stretch run could see the lefty be a potential playoff contributor, especially if injuries continue to plague the pitching staff over the next four weeks.
11 thoughts on “Dodgers Host Giants for Final Time in 2022”
For most of us the answers appear to be simple (and common sense) but for the dodger brass, who knows? That might be why we’re had little success in the post season. Course there are 25 teams with worst problems than that.
Roberts says it is a meritocracy. That is obviously a change in how he has run the club during his tenure. Roberts plays his veterans even when they are hitting around the Mendoza line and he has other options. Vargas should play every day. I would sit Bellinger and let Thompson play center. I am afraid Roberts will fall back to his usual way of doing things and the Dodgers will waste another year as he has not ever managed the Dodgers as a meritocracy. But I have hope he does what he says rather than how he has operated in the past. Regardless of the outcome this year it has been a great run and the team has the talent to win the WS. It takes good management, staying injury free to key players, and a bit of luck to win.
Your opinion there T and I totally disagree. Vargas is a prospect, and as last night showed, he is not the immediate answer. He has skills, and next season he will no doubt be in the conversation. But, Roberts needs to keep his vets sharp and since in my estimation, there is zero chance Vargas makes the postseason roster unless he totally goes nuts, Roberts needs to get Taylor, Gallo and Bellinger as close to playoff ready as he can. They will probably carry the main guys they have now. Alberto is going to need AB’s. Barnes is actually hitting for a higher BA than Bellinger, Muncy and Gallo.
Also T, Bellinger is not going to sit. He is still the better CF of the two. Problem is this, Thompson is hitting RHP better than he is left. But last night he struck out all 4 of his at bats. While Trayce has played well, he still has not hit lefty’s.
Don’t think so M. Everyone knows what Bellinger and Gallo are capable of ( or rather incapable of) based on the past 3 years, and thompson for that matter, so let’s see what the young guys can do, not based on 4 at bats. What exactly would be playoff ready for Belli and Gallo? The mendoza line? Been a terrific year even with 2 anchors ( now 3). Almost certainly we have a couple of prospects that can hit over the mendoza line.
Oops. I do agree with you though Bear that that’s exactly what Roberts will do.
I agree with Bear. This year’s playoff team will be stacked with veterans. We win or lose with them. And it’s rather well known that the best regular season team wins it all around 25% of the time. Winning a record number of games is meaningless to me.
My opinion hasn’t changed since early in the year – if our starting pitching is rested and ready, we will win it all. If it isn’t, we are vulnerable. And it’s also my opinion that Roberts will have little if anything to do with the outcome. In the end, it will be our players, our veteran players, that win or lose.
Everyone gets to have their opinion. Taylor has always been a strikeout machine for as little power as he has. His worth is his utility. He is a good defender no matter the position. I would not bet on him finding his stroke as he has been struggling this year. Bellinger continues to be a head case and we can only hope he decides to make contact like he did last playoff. Thompson struck out last game but hit the dagger in the Padre game. He is batting 285, his OBP is 380 and his OPS is 928 so despite what Scoop says the numbers say he is more effective than the majority of the line up. Plus he plays an excellent defensive outfield in all 3 spots. As far as who wins it depends on the pitching and if there are any heinous in-game pitching decisions. When you are playing in the playoffs you are playing against teams that are on par talent wise. Every error, every mental mistake and bad bounce is magnified. And yea Luck has a lot to do with it.
Muntzy’s gonna catch Bellinger soon.
Or maybe Bellinger is catching Muncy. Lol