This monday, I watched the opener against the Nationals at the stadium. During the 5th inning or so, I began chatting with a fellow fan in the neighboring row. He made a comment how our team is not as great as our record, which was 35-20 before losing the game against Gio Gonzales that same night. I began to think about our weaknesses coming into playoffs. These were the main ones I thought about.
1. Consistency of Offense – The Dodgers have been doing awesome offensively this season with over 10 WAR from batters. In fact, we are hitting lefties better than ever. However we will have problems soon. The season ending injury to Andrew Toles and the underperforming of Logan has left us with a gap in the top order of the lineup. Adrian Gonzales is super average. Joc got hurt. Puig is meh.
2. Starting Pitching – Our rotation is surprisingly performing well this year despite injuries to Hill and Maeda. Alex Wood has a 1.69 ERA over 10 starts. Brandon McCarthy is making a decent comeback with a 3.28 ERA. I’m hoping Ryu can be at least a decent bullpen guy. However, these guys have little history of sustained success. It’s too early to say we have a bad rotation, but the playoffs will expose any weaknesses we have.
3. Superstar leader – The Los Angeles Dodgers have great players, but having that one clutch superstar will make the difference. In my opinion, that is Justin Turner. In current situation, that is Chris Taylor. I hope JT can take that role on the clubhouse leader and spark up the offense when we are slumping.
I think this team is as good as their record, but yes we will have to figure out pitching and consistent lineups if we want to go all the way.