With just three weeks left in the Major League Baseball season, CV Weekly and Dodgers on Deck writer Mark Fabrick breaks down the Boys in Blue as they come down the home stretch.
By Mark FABRICK
It’s been a rough past few days for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Their offense was held in check by the San Diego Padres over the weekend as they lost two of three to the Friars. The Dodgers returned home and split the first two games of a three games set with the National League East leading Washington Nationals. At press time the two division leaders were tied 3-3 in the 11th inning.
The Dodgers held a 2-0 lead thanks to a two-run home run in the seventh inning from infielder Justin Turner. Kenley Jansen surrendered a two-run home run to Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche in the bottom of the ninth before allowing another run to give Washington a 3-2 lead. It was Jansen’s first blown save since July 30.
Turner came up again in the bottom of the ninth with a man on and hit a fly ball down the line into deep right field. Nationals outfielder, and former Dodger, Jayson Werth misplayed the ball allowing the tying run to score.
The Dodgers’ woes certainly weren’t for a lack of starting pitching. The first two games of the San Diego series both went to extra innings. Lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu was also activated from the disabled list for Sunday’s 7-1 win over the Padres. Ryu held the Padres to a run over seven stellar innings of work and picked up his 13th win of the year. Ryu’s return will bring much needed stability to the Dodgers rotation.
Speaking of stability, Clayton Kershaw was completely dominant in Tuesday night’s 4-1 win over Washington. In related news the sky is blue and water is wet. Kershaw went eight innings holding the Nationals to a run picking up his league leading 17th win the process. Kershaw also leads the league in ERA with an unfathomable 1.70 mark. The Dodgers’ ace also displayed some gutsy base running going first to third on an infield single, scoring a run on a throwing error by Washington shortstop Ian Desmond.
With the calendar turning to September, teams can expand their rosters and call up some of their top prospects. The Dodgers recalled top prospect Joc Pederson and he started Tuesday and Wednesday’s games in center field. Pederson won the Pacific Coast League MVP by becoming the league’s first 30-homer, 30-stolen base player in 80 years. Needless to say the team has high hopes for Pederson’s future. Pederson has gone one-for-seven in his taste of big league action. Cuban infielder Alex Guerrero will also see September action in the big leagues, but, other than spot starts and pinch-hitting, it remains to be seen how Don Mattingly will utilize the two.
The Dodgers will wrap up their current home stand with visits from the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Padres. They will head up the coast for a crucial three-game series with the Giants next weekend. Thanks to a spot start from Carlos Frias on Wednesday, the Dodgers rotation should be set up so that Kershaw, Ryu, and Zack Greinke will each pitch in San Francisco.
You can follow Mark’s writing on Dodgers on Deck at dodgersod.com. His Twitter handle is @MarkFabrick.