This week's series was very indicative of how the Dodgers have played this season. Their pitching was dominant throughout, minus one blip of an error-riddled inning, and the offense was both absent and present during the series.
During the first half of the 4 game set, the Dodgers couldn't buy a hit with runners in scoring position. They left men on base like it was nobody's business, unable to even have good at-bats and work the count. They wasted a dominant outing from Dustin May and failed to pick up Ross Stripling after his first clunker of the season.
However, the Dodgers adapted and worked around their offensive struggles, playing some small ball on Wednesday to support a strong outing from Tony Gonsolin. Chris Taylor and Austin Barnes both bunted in the fifth inning and Edwin Rios singled to give the Dodgers the lead for good.
In the bottom of the 8th on Wednesday, the hitters began to awake from their slumber, as Cody Bellinger broke out of his slump, slicing a ground-rule double into left field to give the Dodgers some insurance, and Justin Turner blasted a three-run homer to nail in the win for the Dodgers.
While the Dodgers showed signs of life on Wednesday, the show didn't start until Thursday. The Dodgers shelled Padres "ace" Chris Paddack, leaving him with a line of 6 earned runs in 3 innings and clobbering 6 home runs in the game. AJ Pollock, the returning Corey Seager, and surprisingly-hitting-well Austin Barnes hit homers while Betts showed the Dodgers another one of his unique skills: hitting three home runs in a game.
After his third home run in the fifth inning of Thursday's game, Betts tied the all time lead for three homer games, at 6. However, he's done it in about 1,500 fewer games than the two men he's tied with, so expect him to break the record later this year or next year, hopefully with fans cheering him on at Chavez Ravine.
After his performance yesterday, Betts is likely to be solidified as the leadoff hitter on the Dodgers for the next twelve years, a decision his stats at the plate back up. Seager returning to the lineup after a minor back injury certainly rejuvenated the hitters, as Seager's been one of the best hitters in baseball so far this season.
The bullpen has continued to absolutely dominate, with everybody firing on all cylinders, as they gave up no earned runs in the whole series. Among the highlights was an unreal sequence of pitches from Brusdar Graterol to strike out Manny Machado on three pitches and Kenley Jansen bailing Scott Alexander out of a bases-loaded no-outs jam by striking out two batters and getting a soft ground ball to end Wednesday's game.
In other news, Justin Turner got his 1,000th career hit this week. Hopefully the Dodgers will extend him soon or sign him to make sure we keep him for the rest of his career. Additionally, Chris Taylor has been raking at the plate, so hopefully he can keep it rolling San Diego. Furthermore, Corey Seager, Mookie Betts, and AJ Pollock are all in the MVP hunt as the season rolls into it's second third.
The Dodgers play the Angels this weekend, sending Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, and Dustin May to the mound. Theoretically, the Dodgers should win all three games, but the Angels have given the Dodgers trouble recently. Hopefully, at a minimum, no Dodgers will end up on a Mike Trout highlight tape.
Photo Credit: Dodgers Twitter