The Dodgers got swept in a four-game series against the Miami Marlins last week, and then dropped the first two games of their weekend series against the last place Padres. It wasn’t time to panic yet in LA, mostly because I don’t think anyone in LA has ever panicked about anything in their entire lives, but the Dodgers had Clayton Kershaw going for them on Sunday to try to salvage the series. I wrote about Kershaw’s start against the Padres this morning, which was phenomenal. I don’t care if it was against the Padres or not. A complete game shutout with 14 strikeouts and 3 hits is impressive, and it was just what the Dodgers needed.
Now, that being said, the Dodgers won this game 1-0. A win is a win, sure. But Kershaw was the one who knocked that one run in to get the win. It’s great that they’re still a loose clubhouse, given the recent circumstances, but I can only imagine what kind of shitstorm this would cause on sports radio in New York or Boston if the Yankees or the Red Sox did something like this after losing six straight games and then barely winning a game thanks to an RBI by the pitcher to get back to .500.
However, it’s not that I agree with the sports radio people who would freak out over this — I think it’s great. The Dodgers are arguably the best team in the National League West, although their record at this time does not indicate that. They haven’t been playing like it as of late, but that doesn’t change the fact that they’re the best team in that division. The Arizona Diamondbacks were the sleeper pick in the NL West, but they’ve underperformed greatly through the first month. What the Rockies are doing right now, I don’t believe is sustainable. And the Giants are right where I expected them to be, and that’s in the mix at the top of the division.
The Dodgers are benefiting from the fact that nobody in the NL West has gotten off to a good start. There’s a three-way tie for the division lead, and all three teams have a .500 record, including the Dodgers. The only difference is, the Dodgers and Giants are more than capable of heating up and pulling away from the pack. The Rockies aren’t that kind of team.
But just a couple takeaways from the running man videos — the Dodgers stink at dancing, and I’m really glad to see that Yasiel Puig is running with this second chance that the team has given him to be a better teammate.