The Dodgers season was “saved” when outfielder Yasiel Puig came up and took major league baseball by storm with his torrid start in just three weeks.
However, for the entire season, the Dodgers haven’t had their full compliment of players as seemingly one piece of the puzzle has always been injured. While Puig was in right field, Matt Kemp, Carl Crawford and for a while Hanley Ramirez were out of the lineup and the Dodgers weren’t seeing their play translate into wins.
After last night’s win against the Giants, spearheaded by Kemp’s great catch, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com says there aren’t any excuses:
“Kemp said he begged his way off the disabled list, promising manager Don Mattingly that he was “ready to play, ready to be himself.” He told Mattingly “there’s absolutely no excuses,” the Dodger manager said Tuesday afternoon.”
With Kemp back in the fold, Puig shifted to left field with Andre Ethier moving back to his familiar spot in right field, but when Crawford gets back, Mattingly will have a tough decision to make.
Despite their poor play for most of the season, the Dodgers find themselves only seven games behind first place Arizona and have a chance to sweep the Giants with Clayton Kershaw on the mound tonight.
While they’ve been playing better, it sounds like management is prepared to upgrade the rotation as it was reported yesterday that they had heavy interest in Marlins starter Ricky Nolasco and some interest in Cubs starter Matt Garza.
Regardless with their leader back in Kemp and the hot start by Puig, the Dodgers can finally say they’re close to 100 percent and the excuses for their poor play are no more.