The Dodgers have reached the halfway point to their season.
They’re in first place, three games up, and yet something seems missing. They’re the most expensive team in baseball history and expected to be this super team. Instead, they’ve been more like a very good team.
“I think we’re doing OK,” said Clayton Kershaw. “There’s a lot more in there for us to play better. I feel like we’re a little bit in neutral right now, but we’re also stringing some wins together. We’re in first at halfway point, so there’s a lot to be said for that.”
The Dodgers are 45-36, which happens to be the exact same record they had at the midpoint last season. So it’s just as good as the team that Ned Colletti put together a year ago.
Indeed, several of the numbers between last year’s and this year’s teams at the break are remarkably similar – ERA is almost identical (3.26 last year, 3.25 now), batting average (.256, .253), runs (340, 341). Home runs are up, (69, 102), stolen bases down (81, 15).
That the Dodgers have a three-game lead is due partially to the rest of the division being so utterly mediocre. The National League West is almost begging for the Dodgers to run away with the division, and thus far, they cannot do it.
Since jumping out to a 22-10 start, they’ve gone just 23-26.
They’re not going to wow anyone playing sub-.500 baseball. Yet they have the third-best record in the NL, so it’s not like they’re a disaster. But compared to expectations, disappointing nonetheless.
Andrew Friedman and Farhan Zaidi were the keys to a major overhaul of the front office, and they immediately went to work reshaping the roster. Judgment certainly won’t be passed on a season’s first half, or any single season for that matter.
But that doesn’t change the feeling that there is, or should be, a lot more to this Dodgers team than what’s been demonstrated during this so-so first half. They weren’t built just to win down the road, but to win now.
“We’re a very good team and you know Andrew and Farhan are going to do everything they can to make us better,” said catcher A.J. Ellis.
It’s nice the clubhouse has confidence in the front office. It would be even nicer if the Dodgers were approaching the team they are supposed to be.