It has been quite the season of ups and downs in Los Angeles. Historically bad starts, players getting hurt left and right. The season just felt like it was over from the first month. Justin Tuner broke his wrist in spring, Corey Seager went down with elbow surgery, and none of the established veterans were living up to their potential.
And now, 98 days since losing the opening game to San Francisco, the Los Angeles Dodgers sit in a tie for first place. Following an off day for the Dodgers and a San Diego victory, Los Angeles shares the lead with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Say hello to the first-place Dodgers … pic.twitter.com/fnzYUXb55h
— Jon Weisman (@jonweisman) July 6, 2018
It seems like a long time ago that the team was struggling for air. For a moment, it looked like Arizona would run away with the entire division. And yet here we are. Just over the half way mark and the Dodgers are showing that their World Series run was no joke.
Their bullpen, their bats, and their starting rotation have all taken their lumps, that much is sure. They endured and found pieces in their system most of us did not even know existed (see Max Muncy).
The most amazing thing is that they have made it this far with key pieces missing. Corey Seager has been a model of consistency in his Dodgers tenure, and they were down eight games in the West when his surgery news broke.
Clayton Kershaw has not been his usual dominant self at all, what with injuries and setbacks. Justin Turner, arguably their best hitters last year, didn’t show up until mid-may. Kenley Jansen had such a rough start to the season that many questioned whether he’d maintain his closing role throughout the year.
So many factors that spell disaster, but they have all been overcome. Depth has always been stressed in the Dodgers organization, and they have certainly showcased it this year.
There are a few people who Dodgers fans can thank for getting the team this far, even running on fumes. Max Muncy has torn up the entire league, and his team-leading 3.3 WAR are partially to thank. But also the breakout of Matt Kemp from his few year slump. Walker Buehler is another name that comes to mind when thinking of season saviors.
It’s a long season folks. Don’t ever count out your boys in blue.
[button color=”red” size=”big” alignment=”center” rel=”follow” openin=”samewindow” url=”https://www.dodgersnation.com/recap-dodgers-complete-sweep-on-fourth-of-july-bs0193/2018/07/05/”]Recap: Dodgers Complete Sweep on Fourth of July[/button]