Los Angeles Dodgers: Swept by the Reds as their woes continue
Last year, the Dodgers were making history left and right in their march towards the postseason. So far, they haven’t quite been able to hit that same successful stride.
(Photo Credit: REUTERS/ORLANDO RAMIREZ)
It’s the Dodgers 60th season in Los Angeles, and what better way to commemorate that season in 1958 than getting off to the worst 40-game start since that first year in LA? To make matters worse, they spent the weekend gettings swept by one of the worst teams in baseball, the Cincinnati Reds, a team that hasn’t swept the Dodgers since 1976. The Dodgers’ record now sits at 16-24, just slightly better than the last place Padres at 16-26. The question is, is this just a temporary slump, or is their window to be competitive slowly drawing to a close?
World Series Hangover
You would be foolish to think last year’s run to the World Series doesn’t affect a team in their following season. While in a perfect world we’d like to dream that the Dodgers just continue dominating year after year, it’s extremely taxing on players who’ve only had about four months of recovery time through what becomes an eight-month season.
Clayton Kershaw beat his postseason demons and finally dominated the way most expected him to which, of course, puts an extra strain on his body. It’s thus no surprise he ended up landing himself on the DL just several weeks into this season.
The injury situation got no better when they lost All-Star shortstop Corey Seager. He has had Tommy John surgery to repair a UCL tear in his elbow and will miss the rest of the season. Just as Kershaw was the key piece in their starting rotation, Seager’s defense and bat will sorely be missed in that lineup. He played 145 games last season and finished the year with an OPS of .854. He led that 2017 team in WAR with a mark of 5.9, just slightly higher than their ginger slugger Justin Turner.
Blame it on Bad Luck
And since we’re talking about Justin Turner, the Dodgers may finally get some relief as he’s scheduled to return to the team Tuesday in Miami.
You can call it nothing more than pure bad luck for the Boys in Blue as they were forced to start their season without their power-hitting third baseman. Turner was hit by a pitch that broke his wrist in a preseason game against the Oakland A’s.
With Turner having the second highest WAR on the team at 5.4, that Dodgers lineup just doesn’t quite have the same pop it did last year. If they can’t have Seager for the rest of the season, it will be crucial that Turner remains healthy in his return.
Nowhere to go but up
All things considered, it’s still only May and if the Dodgers plan to turn things around, they still have a decent chunk of the season to do so. The pitching will have to get back on track, but even if that aspect remains a little shaky, then the offense needs to wake up. It was that offense that carried them through the summer last year, pulling off wins in games that maybe they were set up to lose. We just have seen none of that this season so far. There’s still hope for Dodger Blue, even if that’s all they have to their name right now.