Dodgers: Will Sunday’s win turn into much-needed momentum?

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 15: Matt Kemp (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 15: Matt Kemp (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /

On Sunday, fans finally saw the version of the Dodgers that they’re used to, and the team may finally have some momentum. The question is, how long will it last?

Jackie Robinson changed the game, and that change was celebrated on Sunday at the Ravine. 71 years ago, to the day, number 42 made his major league debut, becoming the first African-American player to ever put on a major league uniform. He will forever be remembered as one of the greatest and most deservedly adored players baseball has ever seen.

How did the Dodgers honor him? They did one of the best things they could’ve done. They went out and won the game.

The game, started by Clayton Kershaw, was as close to a must-win as an April game can be. Chris Taylor homered, and Yasiel Puig slid into home like he thought the ball had barely beat him there.

On Sunday, we saw vintage Kershaw. We saw him in near perfect form, giving up one run on two hits, no walks, and twelve strikeouts. Taylor drove the ball. Chase Utley ran like he was still a rookie.

So, was yesterday’s win over the Arizona Diamondbacks the win that the Dodgers needed to get back on track?

The first thing to know is this; momentum cannot be measured by a single win. This game, this single and potential low-impact win may not mean anything come next Sunday. This win, the Dodgers 5th win of the season, will probably mean far less than their 80th, or 90th, but this was the game the Dodgers needed to get back on track. It was the game they needed to turn things around.

For the first time all season, the Dodgers offense and their defense were on the same page. LA pitching gave up less than half the number of runs their starting lineup scored. One-third of the players in that lineup have batting averages over .300.

What makes Sunday’s win even more important is that it was against the Diamondbacks, who have haunted the Dodgers in the regular-season for quite some time now. For the first time in 6 months, the Dodgers were not the team that gave up four homers to J.D Martinez, but rather the team that beat the D-Backs in three games in the NLDS.

This week, the Dodgers will play a three-game series against the Padres before returning home for a star-studded series against the Washinton Nationals.

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After a devastating loss on Wednesday night and two tough losses to Arizona, the Dodgers needed to win this game. They didn’t need to win it for themselves, or for their stats, but rather for the fans, and for everyone out there who think the Dodgers won’t, or can’t live up to the hype.

The Dodgers can live up to the hype. In fact, they create the hype. I don’t know how else to describe the vibe at the Ravine on Sunday.

Don’t worry about the Dodgers. Yesterday proved that they are still capable of playing like the team we’re used to seeing.

How long will all of this last? One week? Two months? An entire season? We can’t answer that yet. We can’t, but what we can do is hope that we see this team in October.

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Should this momentum pick up, whispers of the World Series will be full-blown cheers by the summer.

And this slump, this brief and disconcerting slump, will be left in the past where it belongs.