Second of a two-part series.
If there is another baseball team that’s playing better than these Los Angeles Dodgers at this moment, I’d very much like to meet them.
After all, what other team has not lost since the all-star break, going 6-0 in that span; and on the road no less as the Dodgers’ ten-game winning streak away from Dodger Stadium is their longest since 1955!
To illustrate how long ago it has been, they were based in Brooklyn then, with Jackie Robinson and Duke Snider among their stars.
And to add a little excitement to this recent fortune of theirs, the Dodgers’ last two wins were of the late-inning comeback kind, rising from an 8-4 deficit to beat the Toronto Blue Jays on July 23 and being one strike away from defeat on July 24 before tying the game on an Andre Ethier single, the team then scoring five runs in the tenth inning for a 8-3 win.
As a reward for their surge, L.A. has taken over first place as they are now a game and a half ahead of the Arizona Diamondbacks!
If it wasn’t for Matt Kemp having to go on the disabled list for an injured ankle suffered in Washington, D.C. against the Nationals on his first day back from a previous trip to the DL, things would be perfect in Dodgerland right now.
But I’m digressing, as the issue is whether the Dodgers, at this point of the season, can be considered buyers or sellers as the July 31 trade deadline approaches.
I have a ready answer for that:
NEITHER – because they have already bought, notably starting pitcher Ricky Nolasco, who arrived from the Miami Marlins on July 6 and has been solid in manager Don Mattingly’s rotation, throwing 5 2/3 innings against the Blue Jays in his last start and sporting a 3.13 earned run average in L.A.
Carlos Marmol, who was once a relief ace for the Chicago Cubs before coming down with what I call “Charlie Brown Syndrome”, meaning that he hasn’t been able to consistently throw strikes or get anybody out, came to the Dodgers in exchange for Matt Guerrier on July 2. He spent some time in Double-A before being called up this week, but was roughed up in his first appearance on Wednesday.
As for whether the Dodgers will be on the move to acquire more players in the next few days, I don’t think that’s likely to happen, because everything’s pretty much set not only in the pitching staff, but among the position players as the depth is good with guys such as Jerry Hairston, Jr., Nick Punto and Skip Schumacher.
Not to mention that the outfield, with Carl Crawford, Andre Ethier and particularly Yasiel Puig along with Kemp, has four top-notch athletes for three spots.
The question now is if these Dodgers can maintain their strong play as July turns into August and the dog days turn into the stretch run in September; while they are not expected to sweep every series, the next few months will be very important.
WHAT DO YOU THINK L.A. HUBBERS – CAN THE DODGERS MAINTAIN THEIR STRONG PLAY AND WIN THE N.L. WEST?