Here’s where we are after the first 20 games: 9-11, and five games back. How does that compare to the past four years, when the Dodgers won four straight division titles?
2013 9-11, 4.5 games back
2014 12-8, 1 game ahead
2015 12-8, 1 game ahead
2016 12-8, 1.5 games ahead
Wow! Identical records the past three years, three games better than where we stand right now. What happened in 2013? Oh yeah, the year the Dodgers stood at 32-40 through June 21st, then kicked off a 42-8 sprint through the summer (well, up through August 17th). Then they shifted gears slightly and ran off another 11-5 sprint, which put them 12.5 games above the nearest competitor. The year that Yasiel Puig came up and the pitchers hadn’t figured him out yet. The year of Hanley Ramirez (the year before he ruined Clayton Kershaw’s perfect game).
Can the 2017 Dodgers find a way to put the pieces together? As Griz said, the Diamondbacks and the Rockies are both for real this year, but we have yet to see whether they’ve got the staying power.
Some changes that could help this year’s Dodgers:
- The rebirth of Hyun-Jin Ryu’s pitching ability, as called by the great prognosticator Dodger4life.
- The addition of Julio Urias to the starting rotation.
- A possible call-up of Alex Verdugo or Cody Bellinger if Andrew Toles can’t get it going.
- Ditto for Joc Pederson.
- The return of Logan Forsythe once his toe heals.
- The return of butter n egg man Adrian Gonzalez once his right forearm is at full strength.