How wrong can a blogger be? Let me count the ways
Back on July 1st, for fun I wrote a rebuttal of Jon Weisman who had made the case for staying positive, and as the Dodgers conclude an especially satisfying July, I will need to eat some crow. It is never a good idea to bet against Jon, and once again he proves this to be the case. Let’s take a look at look at the big whiff:
The best hitter on the team is a rookie who has yet to have a slump. Even though Corey Seager is the greatest thing since Mike Piazza, can he follow Mike Piazza and continue carrying the offense on his back until the end of the year?
Cory didn’t hit a home run in the month of July until the last day, but he did everything else. He singled, he doubled, and he continued to be an offensive force.
Adrian Gonzalez not only looks lost but sounds lost. Just the other day he lamented the defensive shifts he is seeing and bemoaned they are making him a .250 hitter. Heck Adrian, Dodger fans will take .250, just hit a home run once in a while instead of ground balls to second. You can’t really blame the shift on your lack of power. Call up Big Papi and ask him how he’s doing it. You can’t complain about how baseball is making slow 1st baseman obsolete when Big Papi is rewriting record books while being the slowest player in baseball.
Adrian answered the call in July. He didn’t deliver much power but he did rebound with a very useful July, putting up a .873 OPS.
Ryu could barely get through his rehabs without having to stop multiple times. What do you think is going to happen when he has to pitch every fifth day for a month?
Okay, I got that one right. Sadly
Julio Urias has two more starts and then is gone from the rotation. For how long we don’t know. All year? Until Sept? Can he be effective out of the bullpen?
Okay, I got that one right. Urias only made two starts in July and you’d be generous to call either effective. Urias has yet to throw an inning in relief for the Dodgers yet.
Bud Norris could be good, average, below average, or horrible, and for his career, he’s been the latter two much more than the former two. Notice that none of those options are above average.
Bud Norris has been adequate. As noted the Dodgers are now 4 – 2 in the six starts he has replaced Kershaw. So exactly what was expected.
Dave Roberts thinks that Howie Kendrick is a starting left fielder. A left fielder who is about to garner his 100th plate appearance as a left fielder without driving in one single player that wasn’t named Howie Kendrick.
Howie made me look very bad this month. Howie owned July and has even looked like a left fielder. Dave Roberts was right, I was wrong, and the Dodgers are much better for it.
Puig looks good again, but for how long? Will it be the hamstring that takes him down, or will it simply be that he’s not very good?
Dang, I got this right. Puig only gave the Dodgers one home run in July in 71 plate appearances. He was hurt again, and when he wasn’t hurt he was barely adequate.
Injury-plagued seasons don’t simply stop being injury plagued. If this season can take down Clayton Kershaw it can take down anyone.
Oops, right again. July saw numerous Dodgers go down with injuries. Ryu was gone before you noticed he was back. Alex Wood never got back before going down. Norris only got one out in his last start before leaving the game. Yimi Garcia couldn’t even finish his rehab without injury. Kike Hernandez / Puig / Trayce Thompson all missed significant time in the month.
The phrase – “the soft underbelly of the bullpen” might get used three out of five games for a while.
The bullpen was overused in July just as I suspected it would be, but the bullpen was up to the task and was simply brilliant in July. I think they were the best in baseball in July.
If everything goes right the Dodgers could win exactly as many games in the second half without Kershaw, and still not make the postseason because they are battling multiple teams for the wild card, not just chasing the Giants. Two of probably four teams are going to make the wild card from among the Marlins/Mets/Cardinals/Dodgers.
The Dodgers weren’t brilliant in July going 15 – 9 but was their best winning percentage of the season, and the Giants helped out by blowing chunks out of the all-star gate, allowing the Dodgers to pick up five games.
Hmmm, I was kind of right four out of ten, so not horrible but still the Dodgers managed to go 15 – 9. They still have lots of problems to sort out, and who knows who is going to be on the team by this time tomorrow but I think the next time I feel the urge to write a rebuttal to Jon Weisman, I’ll check myself. But only for a moment, because I did enjoy writing the original article and isn’t that the point of being a blogger?