Hi, and welcome to another edition of Dodgers Dugout. My name is Houston Mitchell and it’s hard to believe there are only 37 games left in the season.
What the Dodgers need to do to make the playoffs
We can talk about the bullpen, the solo homers, the starters only going six, the slumps, the streaky hitting, ad infinitum, but the Dodgers’ season comes down to one thing: The Dodgers have 37 games left. Twenty-two of them are against NL West opponents. Seven of them are against Arizona. How they do in those games will make or break the year.
The last time the Dodgers missed the playoffs was 2012. They have won five consecutive NL West titles. Only eight other teams in history have made the playoffs five consecutive times: The Atlanta Braves made it 14 straight from 1991-93 and 1995-2005 (1994 was the year the playoffs were canceled), the New York Yankees made it 13 straight from 1995 to 2007. And six have made it five straight times: the Yankees (1949-53), the Yankees (1960-64), the Oakland A’s (1971-75), the Cleveland Indians (1995-99), the Philadelphia Phillies (2007-11) and the St. Louis Cardinals (2011-15).
Also worth pointing out: Every one of those teams except the Indians won at least one World Series during that time too.
So how have the Dodgers fared against the NL West this season? Let’s take a look:
San Diego: 9-4
San Francisco: 7-9
If the Dodgers go 5-2 against Arizona and 16-6 against the NL West the rest of the season, and also go 10-5 in the other 15 games, they will finish 93-69. That should be enough to make the playoffs.
So that’s it. No fancy questions to be answered. No jokes. No criticizing one player or another. We will see what this team is made of. It should be an interesting ride.
By the time you read this, we may already know if Kenley Jansen is coming back to the Dodgers this week. He is visiting his cardiologist Monday and all signs point to him being cleared. Those pesky doctors prefer to go by EKGs and lab tests, though.
Matt Kemp hit his 200th home run as a Dodger, becoming only the seventh Dodger, whether in Brooklyn or L.A., to reach that mark. The list:
Duke Snider, 389
Gil Hodges, 361
Eric Karros, 270
Roy Campanella, 242
Ron Cey, 228
Steve Garvey, 211
Matt Kemp, 200
Meanwhile, Clayton Kershaw won his 150th game Sunday, becoming only the seventh Dodger to reach that mark. The list:
Don Sutton, 233
Don Drysdale, 209
Dazzy Vance, 190
Brickyard Kennedy, 177
Sandy Koufax, 165
Burleigh Grimes, 158
Clayton Kershaw, 150
The new guys
Since joining the Dodgers here’s how the new guys are doing:
Brian Dozier, .250/.395/.467/134 OPS+
Manny Machado, .265/.348/.436/112
John Axford, 16.20 ERA, on disabled list with broken leg
More KTLA games
For those of you who live in the L.A. area and are unable to see Dodgers games on TV, there are four games in August and one in September that will be televised on KTLA Channel 5. Those games are:
Monday vs. St. Louis, 7 p.m.
Aug. 31 vs. Arizona, 7 p.m.
Sept. 4 vs. New York Mets, 7 p.m.
Meanwhile, there is no agreement between DirecTV and Spectrum SportsNet coming in the near future.
These names seem familiar
What recently departed Dodgers are doing around the league:
Charlie Culberson, Braves, .288/.335/.502, 125 OPS+.
Brandon McCarthy, Braves, 6-3, 4.92 ERA (on the 60-day DL with right knee tendinitis).
Yu Darvish, Cubs, 1-3, 4.95 ERA (on 60-day DL with an elbow injury)
Curtis Granderson, Blue Jays, .241/.342/.431, 113 OPS+
Brandon Morrow, Cubs, 0-0, 22 saves, 1.47 ERA (on 10-day DL with right biceps tendinitis)
Tony Watson, Giants, 4-4, 2.19 ERA
Chris Hatcher, A's, 3-2, 4.24 ERA, Designated for assignment, removed from 40-man roster and sent to triple-A Nashville.
Luis Avilan, White Sox, 2-1, 3.52 ERA, two saves
Trayce Thompson, White Sox, .117/.162/.211 (removed from 40-man roster and sent to minors). Hitting .202/.275/.331 for triple-A Charlotte.
Wilmer Font, Rays, 2-3, 5.93 ERA (on 60-day DL with a lat strain)
Sergio Romo, Rays, 2-3, 3.48 ERA, 16 saves.
Logan Forsythe, Twins, .361/.418/.426, 131 OPS+
Monday, 7 p.m.: St. Louis (Austin Gomber, 3-0, 2.89 ERA) at Dodgers (Alex Wood, 7-6, 3.51 ERA)
Tuesday, 7 p.m.: St. Louis (Daniel Poncedeleon, 0-0, 2.04 ERA) at Dodgers (Hyun-Jin Ryu, 3-0, 1.77 ERA)
Wednesday, 7 p.m.: St. Louis (Jack Flaherty, 7-6, 3.05 ERA) at Dodgers (Walker Buehler, 6-4, 3.19 ERA)
Aretha Franklin sings the national anthem. Watch it here.