Opinion of Kingman's Performance

Monday, July 29, 2013

When Will it End?

With the Dodgers playing at an .812 clip the last thirty two games, the end has to come sometime.  Doesn't it?  A question that many are asking is, "when will it end?"  There has never been a team that has sustained such a winning percentage for a prolonged period.

A quick glance at the upcoming schedule seems to indicate that the hot streak could continue for another week at least.

The Yankees come to town and they are a slumping ball club. They have a 4-6 record since the All Star break, falling 7 1/2 games off the AL East lead.  Though Derek Jeter has returned to the lineup, the circus surrounding the Alex Rodriguez situation has been a definite distraction to team.  Tampa Bay and Boston have created some distance from the Yankees, who must turn things around quickly if they have any post season aspirations.  

Derek Jeter last appeared at Dodger Stadium in 2010.(photo by Robert Beck/Sports Illustrated)

The Yankees are another an injury plagued team.  Remember when the pundits raved about how the Yankees had been able to overcome injuries, (Texeira, Jeter, ARod, Granderson),  and maintain in contention while the Dodgers had not?  My how the tables have turned in 33 days.

With Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw slated to pitch the two remaining games in this homestand against the Yanks, the Dodgers chances to take the series look good.

Chicago's Wrigley Field

The Dodgers then take off for Chicago to face the 4th place Cubs in a 4 game Wrigley set.  The Cubs have just completed a 3 game sweep at San Francisco, but they are hardly a team to fear, having been shut out by 5th place Milwaukee this evening.  They are in full "sale mode" as the trade deadline approaches having already unloaded starting ace, Matt Garza, and their biggest offensive power threat, Alfonso Soriano, in trades for prospects.  The Cubs are 14 1/2 games out of first place and have essentially given up on the season.

What will follow on the road trip are 4 games against the Cardinals, owners of the best record in the National League before returning home to face the A.L. East first place Tampa Bay Rays.  Once again, the Dodgers will face a true challenge, just as they did this weekend facing a talented Cincinnati team, (that lost again tonight to San Diego).  

Lately the Dodgers have made a habit of disposing of good teams and sending them into a losing tailspin, (Washington, Toronto, and Cincinnati come to mind).  Will they be able to do the same with St. Louis and Tampa Bay?  If so, this team is definitely possessed. 

One last point of importance that should be noted is that the Dodgers embark on 16 consecutive days of games without a day off.  Their midwest swing will be undoubtedly played in scorching heat and near 100% humidity.  It'll be a physical challenge against some strong ball clubs like St. Louis.  It would be foolish to expect that the Dodger maintain a .800+ clip with the serious challenges ahead.  But taking 9 games of the upcoming 16 is realistic and should be considered a success if it comes to pass.

Once again, they commence another tough stretch of this 162 game marathon.  Don't miss any of it, 'cuz this thing is going to get even more interesting. 

1 comment:

  1. I expect Kuroda will be tough. The Dodgers often seem to have troubles with former Dodger pitchers and rookie pitchers.

    Nonetheless definitely some defining moments coming up in the next couple of weeks.

    I watched the Pirates whip the Cardinals last night. The Pirates also have a good team playing with a lot of enthusiasm.

    We will get to see James Loney when the Rays come to town. James is having a good year with the Rays.