Well, I have to admit that I was wondering if it really would, but it seemed like the Dodgers were cursed. Everything they did went wrong. Roberts couldn’t manage. The hitters couldn’t hit and the pitchers couldn’t pitch. Players were dropping like flies and the ones who weren’t seemed useless.
I knew it would happen. I knew the Dodgers would break out… but my confidence was starting to get shaken. I hoped it would happen. My rational mind told me that this was substantially the same team that just about won it all last year. Yes, some pieces were different, but not THAT different. Kenley Jansen was out of sorts. Scott Alexander may not be Brandon Morrow but I thought he would be a lot more than what we saw early.
The youngsters looked bad because they were pressing. Therealten summed it up:
I believe like Mark that every player has tried to do too much. There is a fine line and a delicate balance in playing hard and playing relaxed. At their very best the Dodgers have a talented team, but when they are not playing with that edge they are mediocre or worse. Losing Turner, Seager and Kershaw, and slow starts by most has put tremendous pressure on all areas of the team. Turner is such a key who takes pressure off others and can get the key hit when needed. He also oozes confidence while being a true leader. He cannot do it by himself but the pressure goes directly to him giving others a chance to relax.
Well, the Dodgers turnaround has coincided with the return of Justin Turner. Almost all the players are heating up: Puig, Taylor, Muncy, Barnes and Pederson come to mind. Jansen is back, Alexander looks like a keeper and there are other bright spots. I can sense a change in attitude, confidence or momentum – call it what you want, but these guys are re-energized!
As horrid as the Dodgers have been, they are only FIVE, count ’em 5 games out of first place. Taking over first might come sooner than later. Case-in-point: When Rich Hill went down early in his last start, it could have demoralized the team, but it did the opposite. These guys are back and are on a mission again. They may not reel off a 42-8 streak (although they could), but they will likely win the West and head to the post-season again.
It won’t be easy, but it’s easy for me to see the talent on this team. You don’t win 104 games one year and turn into crap the next. Not with this amount of talent. Bad streaks happen, but talent rises to the top. Watch and see!
By the way, Cody Bellinger is about to break out too. I’ll be at the Ravine tonight…