The Dodgers 2013 regular season came to a close Sunday afternoon as everyones attention turned to the second season that starts on Thursday.
Reflecting upon the 2013 campaign, visions of the ball going through Ronald Belisario’s legs in New York, Brandon League blowing games and Luis Cruz popping out came flooding back.
Opening Day felt like it was yesterday as Clayton Kershaw started his 2013 Cy Young campaign with a shutout over the Giants and a solo home run to dead center off Giants starter Matt Cain.
We were introduced to Yasiel Puig in early June, were spoiled by the 54-13 stretch, thought about what-if Hanley was healthy all year and gained even more appreciation for Andre Ethier.
Kenley Jansen showed he can close and Brain Wilson was signed to a pitching staff that also saw Ricky Nolasco, Carlos Marmol and Edinson Volquez added to the pitching staff. And then there was the one constant: Adrian Gonzalez, who showed he was more then a singles hitter with an impressive 2013 campaign.
Let’s take a look back at the Dodgers through the months and how we got to where we are.
Before the season started, the Dodgers had high expectations placed on them as their $200+ million payroll saw stars such as Matt Kemp, Adrian Gonzalez, Hanley Ramirez, Andre Ethier, Clayton Kershaw and the list goes on.
However, Carl Crawford was just months removed from Tommy John surgery and Hanley Ramirez started the season on the DL with an injured thumb sustained in the WBC.
Josh Beckett was still pitching in the rotation, but the real story from April was the brawl with the Padres on the 11th. Zack Greinke was lost for six-to-eight weeks with a broken collarbone after Carlos Quentin inexplicably charged the mound.
The Dodgers also lost six games from April 14-20, but welcomed back Hanley at the end of the month and he homered in his first start.
Other April highlights included Hyun-Jin Ryu having three wins, while Adrian Gonzalez was impressive with two home runs and 18 RBIs with a .333 average.
To start May, the Dodgers lost eight in a row and were eight games under .500 at 13-21. The Dodgers were swept in three different series and the injuries started to pile up. However, this was the worst May in Dodger history and finished six games behind the Diamondbacks in the NL West.
Already without Greinke, Beckett wouldn’t pitch again as he went 0-5 with a 5.19 ERA in eight starts and Kemp was lost for close to a month with a hamstring injury. Not to mention Hanley was lost for another large chunk of time with a hamstring injury.
Ted Lilly was still making starts while Tim Federowicz and Ramon Hernandez were in the same lineup at one point against the Angels. Meanwhile, falling well below expectations, Don Mattingly was rumored to have just hours left as manager of the Dodgers, but things would turn around quickly.
June will be remembered for one reason: Yasiel Puig. Puig wasn’t supposed to make it to the big league level this season, but if you’ve sensed a theme of the Dodgers season, injuries made his recall necessary.
Puig debuted on June 3 and was an instant success with his game-ending catch and throw out at first base and didn’t leave the starting lineup all season. In June, Puig would go on and hit .436 with seven home runs and 16 RBIs and quickly came an instant sensation.
Don Mattingly had enough of Brandon League and made the change everyone wanted him to make as Jansen assumed the role of closer. Kemp came back at the end of June, but Crawford missed the entire month with a hamstring injury as the Dodgers finished the month winning eight of nine.
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