I really hope I’m not jinxing this, but damn the Dodgers look good this year. Best record in baseball, a pitching staff that seems to be finding a groove, an offense that looks like they’re ready to explode at any minute, and a closer who is just nasty.
Thursday night they swept the Pirates in the first series at Dodger this season, and they’ll face the Padres this weekend. I’ll be the first to admit that these aren’t exactly the cream of the crop, but hey, it’s a start. I’m looking at this kind of like the college football season. Most high profile schools that are projected to contend for a title play some small school who gets the absolute snot kicked out of them, this is to build the confidence of the team. Well the scheduling Gods smiled on the Dodgers and handed them a pretty easy first half of the month of April. Started in San Diego, just swept the Pirates, the Padres will be in town this weekend, then it’s off face the Brewers (and boo the hell out of Ryan “PED” Braun), and then they’ll be in Houston for 3 before returning home to face the Braves. Yes Milwaukee did make the playoffs last year, but they lost the catalyst to their team. I’m not worried too about them. Going into the series with the Braves, they could potentially have only 1, maybe 2, more losses on their record. I can see the Brewers winning one, and maybe losing a close one in Houston simply because it will be the first time they'll be on the road for back-to-back series.
It was good to see Loney get his first hit Thursday, hopefully he’ll be able to pull himself out of this slump, and it was absolutely hilarious to hear Matt Kemp yell “Hey get that ball!!!” after he scored on Loney’s single. Kemp just seems so relaxed right now, and I think it’s really helping the team, especially the new guys. I would love to complain about Uribe, as is becoming a theme, but he went 2-4 with an RBI that actually came with 2 outs, so for this post, I won’t rip him. I was also pretty impressed with Capuano on Thursday. He didn’t pitch spectacular, but he didn’t walk anyone and he struck out 7 over 5 and 1/3 innings. Also, I don’t think I’ve mentioned how impressed I’ve been with Javy Guerra so far. He just looks ridiculous right now. His fastball has good late life and his breaking ball looks unhittable. I am worried about Friday night though. Guerra has pitched in the last 3 games, and I’m not so sure he’s going to be available. This means one thing, the Dodgers are going to need to score a good amount of runs.
Again, I realize it’s incredibly early in the season. But getting off on the right foot is very important for this team. The negativity that was present last year and during the majority of the offseason could have easily crippled this squad. Instead, the team looks like they’re ready to battle for the division. It’s rare that I’m so optimistic this early in the year, but these Dodgers have me pretty excited. Oh, and it was reported that Vin Scully is improving, and while he will miss Friday’s game, it’s possible he’ll be back in the booth Saturday or Sunday. I think I speak for all Dodger fans when I say, take as much time as you need. If he isn’t 100% then he should take the weekend off and use the team’s upcoming road trip to get to 100%.