2016 was supposed to be the year. Win for Vin, Kershaw poised for glory, offense was delivering, bullpen was lights out and Dave Roberts was out-coaching every skipper.
Grabbing their fourth consecutive division title, it was mixed with youth, veterans, depth and talent, the Dodgers were building the stamina to play deeper in October for years to come.
2016 ended in a heartbreaking NLCS defeat to the Chicago Cubs.
Here comes 2017 and the Dodgers are blowing teams away and appear better than ever despite the injuries and multiple twenty plus game stretches without rest.
June is a determining month when it comes to teams. It’s halfway through the season and just before the All-Star break ,where players are well adjusted able to determine if they are studs or duds.
Even though the Dodgers were hitting the long ball in June 2016, they owned the 2nd worst batting average in the league (.231), and were 27th in RBI’s (103), 24th in runs Scored (109) and vs lefties, the posted a 198 AB / 30 H / 18 BB / 17 R / 37 SO.
Come June of 2017 and the Dodgers greatly improved in scoring (139), RBI’s (128) and vs lefties: 246 AB / 60 H / 32 BB / 42 R / 49 SO
These are the numbers between 2016 and 2017 up to the end of June
|Seager ’16||Puig ’16||Turner ’16||Pederson ’16||Gonzalez ’16||Taylor ’16||Grandal ’16||Kike ’16|
|Seager ’17||Puig ’17||Turner ’17||Pederson ’17||Gonzalez ’17||Taylor ’17||Grandal ’17||Kike ’17|
The new kid on the block, Cody Bellinger hit .267 with a .988 OPS and 24 HR’s (not a typo). In June alone he hit .286 with a 1.104 OPS and 13 HR
Dodgers record by the end of June in 2016 was 44-37, with twenty-three players on and off of the DL, including Kershaw, Wood and McCarthy.
By the end of June 2017, their record was 54-28 with twenty-seven hitting the DL, most notably Justin Turner, Adrian Gonzalez and Joc Pederson.
We are witnessing one of the best offenses in Dodgers history. Most recently having a ten-game win streak, with three consecutive sweeps; including a statement sweep to the Rockies and a seventeen game stretch with at least one home run. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a beast like Cody Bellinger, who was the fastest to twenty-one home runs as he did it through fifty-one games. He paired that along with six multi-HR games so far in his young career.
Corey Seager is continuing his offensive tear while remaining consistent to his rookie season. Although Justin Turner hit a stint in the DL, he has turned up another level and picking up where he left off to add more fire power to the offense. Yasiel Puig has become disciplined at the plate, Yasmani Grandal has been finding his swing and delivering in key situations. Most importantly is the fact they are able to hit lefties.
Dodger boast the 2nd best ERA in the league, up from 5th in 2016; and 3rd most strikeouts down from 2nd in 2016.
Despite Kershaw having an un-Kerhsaw type season he is still very dominant owning a 2.47 ERA with a .92 WHIP.
Alex Wood is putting up some extraordinary numbers earning National League Pitcher of the Month for May, where he posted a 1.69 ERA and 60K’s.
Jansen faced fifty-one batters before giving up a walk. The bullpen has been widely considered the best in the League and out pitching the previous best Cleveland Indians should be well deserved. Brandon McCarthy has emerged as another potential quality starter for the club. Dave Roberts had been using Ryu and Maeda as long relief pitchers to great success. These were some options the the Dodgers did not have at their disposal in 2016, yet they had a great run. If all these rail wheels continue turning, the Dodgers Express Train will make a stop at the top of the baseball world.
In Dave we trust. Any doubts in the way Dave Roberts manages the club? He is not one to back down from walking to the mound to take Kershaw out rather than having him fight through a bad situation or leaving him out there to complete every game essentially burning himself out and that golden arm. He rallies his troops during video reviews, talks to and bonds with every player, getting to know each and every one of his players strengths and weaknesses, putting them in the right situations… Excluding Chris Hatcher; there’s no hope for him. Everything is clicking and Dave Roberts has been managing the heck out of the club.