To say that no one saw this coming, would be the understatement of the year. I believe most Dodger fans on Twitter were angry that he was still on the team come Opening Day.
How silly that seems now…
“Instead, all Kemp has done since the start of the season is hit…and hit…and hit some more. He has been playing like an All-Star leading the National League in batting average at .353 and is second in the entire MLB in that department. Only Mookie Betts (.359) of the Boston Red Sox has a higher batting average.
He is also sixth in the league in slugging percentage (.599) and eighth in OBP (.983). Recently, Kemp was named the NL Player of the Week for the week of May 28 – June 3. The veteran batted .429 that week with three home runs, eight RBI, and had a 1.411 OPS.”
I’ve resisted talking much about the Dodgers here for a simple reason, I just didn’t want to ruin the magic by talking about it. Besides, there wasn’t much to say about it beyond wow.
Now that we’re here about to start the World Series, I do have some thoughts.
I saw quite a few folks talk about the Astros series with the Yankees and how good they were at home and how the team was built to play in that ballpark, but the regular season didn’t reflect that. Their away record was better than their home record.
That being said, the Dodgers were much better at home, so hanging on to home field advantage will be important.
Looking at the rosters, I think in general the Dodgers are a deeper team. They will be better off turning the Series into a grind, with pinch hitters, lots of relievers, double-switches, etc. If Houston gets 7 plus innings out of Keuchel and Verlander twice, the Dodgers won’t win. Obviously they’ll be better suited to do this at home, without the DH, but even in Houston they will need to continue grinding out at bats, elevating pitch counts and so on. The more players that have to be counted on, the better for LA.
I see no reason to think they can’t do that. It’s exactly what they’ve been doing in the postseason thus far.
Dodgers in 6
Is it fair to blame this on Dodger fans? It might be, actually. When Kenley was first quoted, Twitter blew up with talk about how people in Los Angeles can’t even see the games, and haven’t for four years so the team doesn’t get any exposure. That might be true, but it doesn’t explain this:
The Dodgers have not had an elected starter since Yasiel Puig in 2014; they have not had an elected infielder since Jeff Kent in 2005. According to the Dodgers’ media guide, they have not had more than one elected starter since 1980 — the last time the All-Star game was held at Dodger Stadium.
Maybe Dodger fans have just not been as fanatic as other teams when it comes to getting their players into the All-Star game? Maybe they are a bit more casual about what is, essentially, just an exhibition game? Yes, the current local TV situation hurts, but that wasn’t a problem in the 90s and 2000s, and there weren’t a bunch of Dodgers starting in the AS game. Also, it was a problem in 2014 and Puig still managed to get voted in. Granted, Puig got in because he was a league-wide phenom and story. The Dodgers haven’t had that same kind of press for Cory Seager and JustinTurner.
Others have pointed out that Seager and Turner maybe just were outdone by other players at their position. I could be persuaded that Zack Cozart and Arenado are having pretty similar statistical seasons thus far. At least, the gap between them isn’t much to go on. You could make a case about which is more deserving. That only intensifies Kenley’s point though. In a close race, the vote comes done to who’s fans are more likely to get out and vote. The Dodgers, in the Los Angeles market, should have an advantage there, but it doesn’t show up often. That’s on the fans. The lack of local TV is on the team, and the inherent East Coast bias of the media is on the league. (I don;t think there’s a huge bias, but I do know lots of people on the East Coast see almost nothing about West Coast teams. All of it adds up to no Dodgers starting.
This is good news. The Dodgers could use a healthy Ryu back in the rotation. It’s a whole they only sorta, kinda, filled last year with a bunch of guys. Having that stability would be nice.
Following two surgeries that limited him to one start over the past two years, Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Ryu Hyun-jin said Wednesday he’s pain-free and ready to take the mound again.
Ryu departed for the United States after preparing for the new season in South Korea and Japan. He said he’s put in plenty of work on the mound and is ready to hit the ground running when the Dodgers’ camp opens in mid-February.
“Right now, I’d say I am in better shape than I normally would be at the start of spring training,” Ryu told reporters at Incheon International Airport. “I threw four bullpen sessions while training in Japan. I have no pain at the moment.”
Can’t we just get them on national TV? Seriously, can ESPN or MLB get Vin’s final regular season game on for everyone to see? He deserves that.
And, since I’ll be out of the country on Oct 2 more than likely, I’d like to catch it streaming somewhere. Can you hook me up Major League Baseball?