Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Dodgers Finally Whom We Thought They Are?

Mark Saxon channeled everything I was thinking in watching last night's 6-5 win (besides the fact that letting Brandon League enter the game was a huge, huge miss). Might the Dodgers finally be whom we thought they are?

LOS ANGELES -- If things stay as they are -- nobody goes down and Carl Crawford is back in a couple of weeks -- the Los Angeles Dodgers soon will be dealing with the hassle of finding enough at-bats to keep all their hitters happy.

Let that one sink in.

For a team that has struggled to field enough healthy bodies, divvying up playing time for good players won't exactly be a depressing task. The Dodgers are as deep as they have been all season, with the possible exception of the first two weeks of the season, and it has shown with this four-game winning streak, the latest being Tuesday night's 6-5 win over the San Francisco Giants. [...]

The Dodgers' lineup had its deepest look of the season with Kemp returning from the disabled list before the game. Kemp batted fifth behind two of the hottest hitters in the game, Hanley Ramirez and Yasiel Puig.

Puig, who provided the pop Monday, had a quiet evening by his standards -- aside from some wobbly fielding in his new position, left field -- but Ramirez continues to mash. He hit another line drive so hard it carried out for a home run, this one clanging hard off the left-field foul pole.

It may have been the hardest-hit ball in baseball this season. According to ESPN Stats and Info, the ball left the ballpark in 2.97 seconds, the fastest a ball has left a stadium in the majors this year. Ramirez hit a similar ball in San Diego last weekend.

Ramirez is 14-for-30 (.467) with four home runs and 10 RBIs in his last seven games.

The only player still missing from the Dodgers' projected Opening Day lineup is the leadoff hitter, Crawford, who is expected to be out another two weeks and appears to have a more-than-adequate replacement in Puig.

Last night, our top six spots were Mark Ellis, Yasiel Puig, Adrian Gonzalez, Hanley Ramirez, Matt Kemp, and Andre Ethier. Insert Carl Crawford at leadoff and maybe substitute Puig with the outfield three, and suddenly we've got six great slots, plus one in the wings. Plus OBP-machine AJ Ellis at catcher. Plus maybe even Juan Uribe every once in a while.

I don't know if it's the euphoria of four in a row talking, but suddenly that lineup looks pretty formidable. Let's hope we can stay healthy and see if that lineup can produce like we all thought it could.


Fred's Brim said...

The way our luck goes, something will happen so that we won't have to make a decision about this but where the hell can we play Crawford? Has Puig been taking grounders at 3rd yet? Will MLB create a shortfielder position midseason?

Fred's Brim said...

And Hanley has been on it for a week now. The HR hit in the afternoon game in NY last week was an absolute laserbeam. I really hope he can keep it up for a while and when he does cool off it's not back to his .252/trying to hit home runs every time

Steve Sax said...

The foul pole shot by Hanley yesterday was also awesome. And the Western Metal Supply shot in SD was majestic.

He's on fire.