What a difference a week makes.
Last Friday, the Los Angeles Dodgers were starting a home stand after going a very uneven 4-3 on the road against the Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates.
Now on this Friday they are heading to San Diego having completed a perfect six game home stand, sweeping both the St Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Phillies. Included in that was the most runs scored in any three game series at home, where the Dodgers laid 46 runs on those Phillies. They capped that home stand with an epic grand slam walk-off by Max Muncy, who now leads the majors in home runs.
Along the way, Clayton Kershaw was named NL Pitcher of the Month, and James Outman was named Rookie of the Month. Kershaw punctuated the end of the month by taking a perfect game into the fifth inning against the Cardinals, and ultimately going 7.0 innings allowing only two hits and striking out nine.
Now Kershaw looks to continue that momentum in to San Diego as the Dodgers look to take a little retribution for last season’s NLDS series.
Muncy reflected on last year’s early exit after the historic 111 win season.
“Ultimately, the goal is to win, so if you didn’t accomplish that, that’s a failure,” Max Muncy told the L.A. Times. But I think along the [way], you can accomplish so much, and you can have so many successes and other things that’s not a failure. So for me, it’s a two-part thing.”
“When you lose in that sort of fashion, I think that stings a lot more than just being outplayed,” Muncy continued. “Obviously, everyone is gonna say they outplayed us, and that’s probably true. But to me, it was more, they just brought so much more energy and were so much hungrier for it.”
For their part, the Padres started off the season slowly, but thanks to sweeping the Giants in Mexico and taking two-of-three from the Cincinnati Reds, are finally above .500. They currently sit 17-15, third in the NL West, 2.0 games behind the first place Dodgers.
The Padres have put a lot of money into their team over the last few offseasons. Their lineup boasts some of the best power hitters in all of baseball.
New guy Xander Bogaerts leads the team in most offensive categories, including home runs, hits, and OPS. Juan Soto, while batting only .227, leads the team in RBI and walks an average of once a game. Manny Machado has not yet quite gotten it going but we all know he is dangerous at any point.
Friday night Kershaw will face off against Yu Darvish, who so far is 1-2 with a 3.60 ERA. Saturday’s matchup will be Dustin May and Blake Snell, and Sunday night’s game, which will air on ESPN, will feature Julio Urías and Joe Musgrove.
2 thoughts on “Dodgers Look to Carry Momentum into San Diego”
The Chris Taylor Problem?
Short Answer: He caught the Bellinger disease.
Long Answer: He has a very grooved swing with a long load. He’s like a golfer using a driver off the tee. The bat appears to be going the same place. If the pitcher happens to hit the bat with a pitch, a basehit may result. But it looks like pitchers know that they need only to put the pitch in the strike zone where his swing is least effective, and they do that over and over.
He seems to be a decent guy who takes the game seriously; there must be some adjustment of that swing that would help.
KT3 needs to stop swinging for the fence on every pitch and every count. Needs to shorten up his swing and concentrate on making contact.