Sunday, August 23, 2020
Copyrighted by Sarah Morris, 2020
Since I live in Cheyenne, I cannot watch the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Colorado Rockies live. I decided not to write about the series.
The Dodgers have the best record in Major League Baseball, and most people who follow the Dodgers think they have not played their best baseball. This weekend the Dodgers swept the Colorado Rockies.
The Dodgers, of course, used their league-best pitching to lead the National League Western Division. Their starting rotation has been non-consistent. For the last two starts, Clayton Kershaw has looked like the one who won the National League Cy Young and MVP awards in 2014. After a slow start caused by taking a break during the quarantine, Walker Buehler performed outstandingly during his start against the Colorado Rockies.
Both Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin have been impressive even though they were not supposed to be in Dodger starting rotation. These youngsters have so much talent that they can baffle any opposition. Nevertheless, it is obvious that both May and Gonsolin are still learning to retire Major Leaguers out. If left-handed David Price did not opt out of the 2020 season and Alex Wood did not have shoulder inflammation, neither May nor Gonsolin would not have had an opportunity to pitch in the Major Leagues.
Both Ross Stripling and Julio Urìas have been disappointing. Stripling began the weird season fantastically, but now, he looks like a Minor-League starter. Although he threw strikes a large percentage, he could not retire the batters. He had not had a good breaking ball. His new improved changeup hasn’t baffled.
Since 2016, Urìas has been projected to be a brilliant left-handed pitcher. This year his fastball has not been in the strike zone. His off-speed pitches have been hittable. His command has not been good, running up his pitch count, which has meant many early exits. Urìas’ high pitch counts have put more undeserved stress on the magnificent Dodger bullpen. The Dodgers need to consider moving Urìas into the bullpen where he had success in 2018 and 2019.
In the recent past, the bullpen has been a Dodger weakness, but this year it has been an incredible strength. Entering into Sunday’s game, the Dodger bullpen had a 1.82 ERA, the best in baseball. Dylan Floro might be the most improved pitcher on the Dodgers. Caleb Ferguson, Adam Koralek, and the newcomer Jake McGee have been fantastic. Blake Treinen has helped to strengthen the bullpen, even without Joe Kelly and Pedro Báez who are on the Injured List. Kenley Jansen has looked magnificent with his old movement on the cutter.
The Dodger defense has been great. This has prevented many runs from scoring and lessened the stress on the weary pitching staff.
Many Dodger fans have worried about the offense. The Dodgers have scored the most in the Major Leagues. They do not strike out, the least in the Majors. They have the third home runs in the Major Leagues. Although Cody Bellinger and Max Muncy has slumped throughout the season, the team has not missed their offense. Mookie Betts has made the difference. While the Dodgers have struggled against lefties, the team has murdered the righties.
Sunday, August 23, 2020