After Donnie mismanaged Wednesday’s game, the Dodgers find themselves just two games ahead of the Giants with twenty-two games left to play. A big chunk (six of the 22) will be head-to-head matches with the Giants. But this weekend, the Dodgers play the GM-less D-Backs while the Giants take on the Tigers in Detroit. This difference in strength of schedule will hopefully advantage the Blue, and give us a chance to increase our divisional lead over the weekend.
So, will we be watching the scoreboard? You betcha. But the Dodgers need to take care of business on the field. It won’t be easy, as the offense has been pathetic. Yes, Justin Turner is still red-hot. Carl Crawford is pulling his weight. But Dee Gordon and Yasiel Puig have gone stone cold at the top of the lineup. Hanley Ramirez and Adrian Gonzalez are not helping a lot. Matt Kemp can help, but will Donnie put him in the lineup? Meanwhile, Joc Pederson has misfired in his first three games, contributing five strikeouts in his first eight at bats.
As for the bullpen, an article by Dustin Nosler in yesterday’s Dodgers Digest pretty much sums it up. http://dodgersdigest.com/2014/09/04/dodgers-bullpen-needs-saving-but-dont-expect-pedro-baez-to-do-it/ Our bullpen stalwarts are Kenley Jansen and JP Howell. Other than that, the bullpen is weak.
With a little help from the Tigers, we may still win the division. Another big determining factor in that success is the fact that Clayton Kershaw is scheduled to start games against the Giants in both of our final head-to-head series against them. But success in the playoffs looks gloomy given the offense and the bullpen.