I Knew This Would Happen…

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…

Posted by Mark Timmons

We started LA Dodger Talk in 2001. This site is about giving another perspective outside of the average day-to-day reporting. We don't do game recaps or such things -- lots of sites do that well. I value sabermetrics, but don't think they are the "end-all-be-all.". This is where you should start your day as a Dodger Fan. Welcome! We'd like to hear your voice.

This article has 31 Comments

  1. Welcome to LA Mark! I too was a little worried. Only because of the fragile nature of our starting pitchers, and Roberts desire to keep putting Baez out there in pressure situations. When Kershaw’ tendinitis happened I thought, “O great! Now we are in real trouble!” But then, the bats started to warm and Maeda had a solid outing, then they got to Washington’s two best pitchers, and you saw the fire in Kemp’ belly etc. Whew, what a wild ride its been so far! Hope your presence at the Ravine tonight keeps the mojo going!

  2. On the last thread, Watford mentioned Chase Headley. I think he would have been a good pickup for the Dodgers if JT were still out, I think at 34 years-old Chase was just going through the motions in SD and he might be very valuable in the right situation… BUT he needs to play everyday. He’s a switch-hitter and could be a nice piece. I see Atlanta wanting him.

  3. Mark, nothing is for certain, but for the most part I agree with your sentiments, which pretty much go along with what I’ve said before, that you’re never as good as you are when you’re at your best, and never as bad as you are when you’re at your worst.

    For the most part this year the Dodgers have been at their worst. If they reach their best they might well go 42-8. But most certainly, barring the unforeseen, they are most likely going to be a lot better than they have been. And if luck has anything to do with it, we can probably expect that the ball will start bouncing in the Dodgers’ favor.

    Without Cory Seager the Dodgers are probably not as good as last year, but they are still a very talented team. And although they may not fully fill that hole, I think most of us recognize that they have the capability of filling it to some degree, within the constraint of remaining below the luxury tax threshold, be it through the farm system and/or a trade(s).

    Five games out with 116 to go is nothing. Everyone should ask themselves if they would think the Dodgers had an insurmountable lead if they were five games up with 116 to go.

  4. Mark, I’ll email you once I know exactly what time I’ll show up tonight. Looking forward to meeting you!

    As I”ve said since April, I 100% expect us to be playing in October. Whether it be with 104 regular season wins or 91, we’ll be there. After having the worst start in LA Dodger history, we’re 5 games out. This will start getting fun soon!!!

  5. Hey airybody…

    I’ve been busy messing with other folks, in the spirit of good nature…no disrespect intended…just dugout shannanigan type stuff…

    Did y’all know that Frank Robinson, coined the term MVP.

    Matty for President!! I think he has a chance to win!

    Anyhoo, I have others to keep in line, somewhere’s…

    Y’all stay the course and keep the faith!! Peace, Love and Go Dodgers!!

  6. Again – WOW. They are still 6 below .500, 4th worst record in the NL, and in 4th place out of 5 in their division. While I hope that they can turn the season around, it’s only 4 games. Did you forget the games that they played just before the 4 they just won? They were 1 – 10. Against the likes of the Marlins, Reds and Padres. Let’s see if they can keep it going for a while before getting too excited.

    1. I get it. They have been bad. But truthfully I get excited every time the Dodgers win a game.

      The Nationals are 4 games out of first place in the NL East. They have a better record than we do but I think they still have a very good chance to win the division.

      The Dodgers are only 5 games out of first in the NL West. Likewise I think they still have a very good chance to win the division.

      Not that big of a hill to climb – especially considering the number of games that are left.

      1. I don’t look at winning the division as that big of a deal. What’s it gotten us these last five years besides heartache and sleepless nights? For me it’s a WS championship or bust. Get off my lawn. Signed, Grumpy Old Man

  7. This is exactly where we should show excitement! As in a come from behind walkoff win the season starting as rotten as it did makes things all the sweeter. While I still have that gut feeling the team isn’t quite yet whole I do have that gut feeling it soon will be. I stated it would take very little for Dodgers to start steamrolling and when they do it’s near impossible to stop em. Eyes and guts! Screw the stats. Stats just don’t give what it takes for me to get excited.

    1. I agree Quas…the comeback bullpen DH game against Sherzer was pretty special, and then completing the sweep with a comeback win over Strasburg made a statement! I got excited, too! Now they have to keep it going and they get their first chance at the Rockies who have not been hitting while the Snakes play the 1st place Brewers on the road. There is a real chance to gain more ground and get closer to .500 on this home stand. The Indians are in 1st place with a 22 and 23 record! Someone has to win every division, why not the Dodgers?

      Mark-enjoy the games and bring some of your magic! I expect a full report on what you see up close.

      1. Well the high today is suppose to be 66, and the humidity is at 80 percent, and at game time, it is suppose to be 63.

        I hope Buehler is ready to make another big start, and pitch like our other starters have been pitching, lately.

        And I wonder who brought this weather to town, because this feels much more like Indiana weather.

        But it also sounds like good weather, to hit a few out tonight, so I hope Cody does break out, tonight!

          1. That figures, but in my family, we always blame our family in Indiana, when they come out here, and the weather isn’t good.

            But the humidity at 70, will hopefully, help some balls fly out of there tonight.

            And I would love to see Cody break out tonight, too!

  8. Maybe it’s time the team names a captain (Davey Lopes being the last). I nominate Red Turner.

  9. There’s definitely a reason to be optimistic after watching the last four games but let’s not get too crazy here.

    This Dodgers season and their ultimate success or failure hinges on pitching… starting pitching and the bullpen.

    If the Dodgers do make it into the playoffs this year (and I believe that the will) they will not have Walker Buehler in their rotation. Rich Hill continues to scare the hell out of me and we have to hope that Kersh & Ryu both make a full recovery and can pitch effectively for the rest of the season and into the playoffs. I do like Wood a lot though… he’s a fighter and very crafty. Even when he doesn’t have his best stuff, he’s still going to give you a good chance to win the game.

    So what happens when Walker gets shut down for the year and one of the other three goes on the DL? If Stripling is the answer… then who takes his place as the most reliable middle reliever the team has had this year? And Maeda as a starting pitcher scares me too… he’s just too inconsistent. Will his next five starts be like his last start? I hope so… but with his recent track record, I wouldn’t be so sure about that. I think Maeda would be most valuable to the team as a lock down middle reliever and/or set up guy for Jansen.

    I think the team really needs to trade for a solid / dependable number 3 or 4 starter. And if it turns out that Stripling is that guy who can take on that role, if needed… great! But we’ll then have to make a trade or find someone in our system to replace Stripling in the bullpen.

    And speaking of the bullpen… who do you really trust? My list is extremely short… Jansen, Stripling, Alexander & Cingrani (both when healthy)

    Fields has actually been pretty solid this year, so he would be next on the list. And the new guy Goedell looked alright over the weekend.

    The rest need to be sent back down or let go. Chargois has potential (I guess) but he makes me even more nervous than Petey these days when he’s on the mound.

    As for Baez… I coined a new term last week for how it makes me feel when I see him starting to warm up in the bullpen… I call it PeteySD

  10. I for one think they’ll reconsider the Buel her restrictions and let him go in the post season. Maybe a start or? less during the dog daze. I’m in Chicago and not reading LAD AS MUCH as I’d like. Whats Urias’s status?

    1. I read on Think Blue LA that Urias was throwing at 80% effort from in front of the mound. Doesn’t sound like he’s ready to throw off the mound yet but is progressing just fine

  11. I really hope Kershaw can get back soon. Our starting pitching is really thin at this point. I think you can forget ryu and hill well who knows. Faz said it was time to see what the younger ones can do. It is time to find out about Stewart. If we can get urias back after the break we would have Kershaw, Buehler, urias, Maeda, and wood. During this stretch we will have wood, Buehler, Maeda, stripling, andstewart. Of course hill will still get some starts before it’s over. I would love to see them bring up Santana for a couple of starts as he seems to like the bright lights. He would be limited but could mix in to get us to the all star break. I just think we have gotten through the worst patch and if we can get healthy and stay healthy I really believe we will win the division. Of course most of the teams in our division could make the same claim.

  12. Good new: at 3:00 PM Ryu was jumping and throwing 150 feet. At 3:20 he was throwing at approx 80 MPH at 60 feet .

    Kershaw was close to 90.

    Flat ground. Both looked good

    1. Are you serious? Ryu throwing 150 feet? You think ryu could be back before the all star break? I am shocked about ryu so maybe he can get back. Get us a victory tonight!

  13. Well – the Dodgers score 1 run against a pitcher with a 5.00+ ERA. Waste another great effort by Buehler. And they bring El Gasolino into a high-leverage situation in the 8th in a tie game. I feel another loss coming on…

        1. You can set your clocks by it.

          How do you choose Baez in that situation… it’s absolutely maddening.

  14. Baez for the last three years in high leverage situations is just maddening, how has he earned that spot, ever?? In a tie game at home, you go with your best set up guy Alexander, come on Ronerts. Again Baez should be locked up in during close games late so roberts cannot go with him.

  15. I know Baez is trying as hard as he can but last night Roberts was in a position to see what Baez really could or couldn’t do. Baez gets the first out in the top of the seventh then walks Wolters, after Wolters steals second and moves to third on Grandal’s throwing error Baez has the go-ahead run on third base with one, time for Baez to give up an HR or at least a double and be taken out of the game and charged with another failure. But Baez then strikes out Valaika for the second out and we arrive at the moment of truth, can Baez get the third out and maybe get some much-needed confidence or will he be the Baez we all know?. I think Roberts should have let him face one more batter and find out once and for all. By taking Baez out all he did was sink Baez and his confidence even more.
    I think Roberts let that may be very important situation slip away.

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