While some fans of the Dodgers will need a bit more time to recover from the nightmare Game 5 of the 2019 NLDS, other fans are already looking toward next season, at least in terms of gauging how the bulk of the player roster could look.
Despite having one of the most prolific offenses in baseball, the postseason success of the Dodgers this year may ultimately fall on the shoulders of the starting rotation.
Perhaps the more relative question is exactly how good has the Dodgers‘ rotation been lately?
The trade deadline is always fodder for talk about who won, who lost, who made the greatest improvement to their team. The Dodgers were heavily scrutinized for their lack of big moves this year.
Beginning the year in the starting rotation, Ross Stripling was going into the season prepared for any role. The righty said in an interview last offseason that all he wants to do is win, so he was prepared to relieve as well as start. Last year, Stripling was in the pitching roles of reliever, middle-man and starter.
While many fans of the Dodgers have attributed an extremely potent offense to the team’s success so far this year, the starting pitching has undoubtedly been the backbone of the squad’s consistency.
Hyun-Jin Ryu is on a very impressive run as of late, coming off of his 31st consecutive scoreless inning last Sunday at Cincinnati. Not only is Ryu the hottest starter in the Dodgers‘ rotation at the moment, he’s also one of the most effective starting pitchers in baseball. Ryu has been consistently putting together good outings all year, and one can only imagine his numbers at the end of the season if he’s able to stay healthy.
If there’s one thing the 2019 Dodgers have proven they’re good at, it’s being streaky. A four game winning streak followed by a six game losing streak and now they’re in a five game winning streak.
As the Dodgers try to fight themselves out of their current five-game losing streak, it’s hard to say exactly what it might take to get back in the winning column. It could be an offensive explosion, or it may be a stellar start from a member of their starting rotation. Or, it might even take a flawless multi-inning effort from a highly-criticized bullpen.
There was quite a bit of news coming out of the Dodgers‘ camp on Tuesday, specifically developments regarding the status of the team’s starting rotation.