I'm not recapping the Rockies and Diamondbacks series because, to be quite honest, most of it was messy and miserable. However, the Dodgers went 3-3 over those two series, one of their worst stretches this year. They're 32-13 and is the best record in baseball, one that would put them on pace for a 115-win season during a regular 162 game season.
The bullpen has really faltered during this stretch, but has had to carry an immense load of innings and performed well in Arizona, aside from a rare, weird, poor outing from Kenley Jansen. They couldn't hold lead in pretty much any of the games agains the Rockies, probably the result of short starts from Julio Urias and Walker Buehler being limited due to blister issues and Dustin may because he is 23 and throws 100 mph. I'm not worried, however, because everybody had good bounce back outings in Arizona.
After a joyful comeback against the Rockies on Friday night after a great start from May, a game in which the Rockies had a late lead for about 4 minutes before a homer barrage from the boys in blue, the Dodgers couldn't quite do it again the next two nights, losing two close games.
In Arizona, the Dodgers couldn't get length from any starters. Walker Buehler dominated for 2 innings, throwing 99-100 consistently and even touching 101, but his blister flared up again in the third inning where he gave up 5 runs (4 earned). He's on the IL but is only expected to miss one start. Kershaw didn't have his fastball command early in his outing the next day and gave up three runs in the second due to infield singles and bad defense, something we'll talk about soon. He dominated for the next few innings though, giving the Dodgers 5, and he probably could've gone another. The Dodgers won both of these games in the 10th inning, with Gavin Lux breaking out with two homers and Taylor driving in the winning runs the next day.
Dustin May looked sharp in his one inning Thursday, but had to be removed for precautionary reasons before starting the second because of a comebacker that drilled him in the foot during the first inning. Tony Gonsolin picked up the bulk of the game, giving up 3 runs (on basically four batters in a row) in 5 innings. He didn't have his best but did a great job keeping the Dodgers in the game considering the offense was uncharacteristically dormant.
The Padres, are, unfortunately, surging right now, and the Dodgers only have a 3.5 game lead going into their series with Houston and then a crucial one in San Diego. Personally, I'm not worried. Even if we lost the division, we're still at home in the playoffs. But we won't lose the division. The Dodgers always step up their game vs. good teams and have been having a superb season; unfortunately the next best team is also in their division. This situation reminds me of when the Rockies came into Los Angeles in September with a 1 game lead in the division and then got swept.
The Dodgers will get it done. Even if the starting pitching falters, even if the bullpen is taxed, even if we don't hit with runners in scoring position through the first 6 innings, they'll find a way to win. The Dodgers will get it done. They've done it all season. I believe in them, and you should too.
Photo Credit: Dodgers Twitter