When Vin Scully retired last year, we Dodger fans knew this year would be different. For most of us Vin was all we’ve ever known and despite a near consensus on believing Joe Davis is the perfect man to step into the booth, we still came into this season with trepidation. What would it be like without Vin? Would baseball feel the same for us?
Well, it is different. I’ll always miss hearing Vin’s dulcet tones as he tells me stories during games. We all felt that way, didn’t we – he was speaking to us personally. We were just kicking it with Vin watching baseball and he’d break into, “Did I ever tell you about the time I ice skated with Jackie Robinson?” We’d sigh wistfully and say, “ah yeah, tell me again” and he would.
However, something is happening this season – I thought it would be full of good baseball and a melancholy dose of missing Vin – but, these Dodgers are happening. Joe Davis is happening. The fans are happening. Cody Bellinger, oh yeah, he’s so happening! A perfect storm of baseball we haven’t seen or felt in years.
Is it sweeter because our bitter rivals the San Francisco Giants are a disaster…. maaaaybe. But, the majority of this euphoria can best be described by what will surely be the first of many Joe Davis classic calls – ABSOLUTE MADNESS!
I write this the morning after the Dodgers epic, come from behind win over the Rockies. I’m still blown away by that game. It started off looking like we’d have to mark it off as, “we’ll get ‘em next time”, but turned into another heart-stopping come from behind win.
Check out these Fun Facts
• 20th come from behind win
• 17th straight game with a homerun
• 10th win in a row
• 3rd straight sweep
• Sole possession of 1st Place
These facts tell a story, but the real story, the real excitement is this team. Every night a new hero. An offense so on fire it’s hard to come up with adequate adjectives to describe it. Amazing. Breathtaking. Mind blowing. The list goes on.
And can we talk about Cody Bellinger for a second?
Cody had his sixth multi-homer game. The record is held by Mark McGwire at seven – it took McGwire a whole season to set that record. Cody will surely break it (soon!) and he’s only 58 games into his rookie season!
OMG STAT Alert: Most home runs by a rookie in the first half:
1. Mark McGwire, 1987 A’s: 33 in 80 games
2. Jose Abreu, 2014 White Sox: 29 in 82 games
3. Aaron Judge, 2017 Yankees: 26 in 71 games
4. Al Rosen*, 1950 Indians: 25 in 78 games
5. Cody Bellinger, 2017 Dodgers: 24 in 58 games
6. Jose Canseco, 1986 A’s: 23 in 90 games
(*Rosen was a rookie by today’s standards, but not in 1950) Courtesy of: ESPN.com
— Adrián González (@Adrian_ElTitan) June 26, 2017
Rewriting record books, indeed. In 2013 Yasiel Puig burst onto the scene with the same type of excitement and hype. While Puig is still a great (albeit polarizing) figure, his playing has leveled out and at times he struggles mightily. Although, like the rest of the team, he’s on a tear right now. I’m now and always #TeamPuig. I think he’s one of the most exciting players in the game.
But, Cody Bellinger has taken that excitement to another level. If we must compare, it’s at a Fernando Mania level of hype. Even ESPN has torn itself away from Aaron Judge and is giving Bellinger and the Dodgers some much deserved attention.
There's a new No. 1 in our MLB Power Rankings.
— ESPN (@espn) June 26, 2017
Fans can’t get enough of this kid either. We even forgive him for not knowing about Seinfeld.
Can we change the Hollywood sign to "BELLIWOOD" because I'd totally be ok with that. @Dodgers
— Denise Brown (@denisebrownLA) June 25, 2017
However, this team isn’t just Cody Bellinger. Each win is a team effort with new stars, often many, every single night. Seager slams! Joc jacks! CT3! Red Dream! Alex Wood – ace! Puig Puigin’! The ageless Utley! Yaz! Kiké! The bullpen! Bench players! Stellar starting pitching! Kenley Jansen – best closer in the game and Kershaw – the GOAT. The list goes on and on. This team is special and we all feel it.
Will the Dodgers inevitably come down to earth and face a rough patch? Yep, it’s a long season. Last night they lost to the Los Angeles Angels of ANAHEIM and outside of a solid performance by Rich Hill the offense went mute. But, it’ll be back – have faith. Could they still use some pieces to go the distance? Are we concerned with some aspects of starting pitching? Can this team stay healthy? All valid concerns.
But, let’s not come down to earth just yet – this is too fun! We’re living in Blue Heaven where anything is possible and everything is going our way. Wouldn’t it be perfect to ride this blue wave right into October and finally win it all?
So, hold onto your Dodger hats, it’s been a wild ride and we haven’t even hit the halfway mark yet. There’s a lot more baseball to play.
[button color=”red” size=”big” alignment=”center” rel=”follow” openin=”newwindow” url=”https://www.dodgersnation.com/dodgers-news-dodgers-leap-into-1st-place-in-power-rankings-mc0907/2017/06/26/”]Dodgers First in ESPN Power Rankings[/button]