Tag Archives: Kenley Jansen

Looking Back at The First Half

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In the 37 years i’ve been a fan of the Blue, this past first half has without a doubt been the most memorable. Currently on pace to win over 100 games for the first time since 1974, our Boys in Blue have provided us more than their share of 10 best moments of the first half, including sending six to the all-star game. 

Since Cody Bellinger’s arrival in late April, the Dodgers have been on a tear. As we now approach the 2nd half, here are some of my concerns…

  • Can Rich Hill continue to work past the 6th inning?
  • Can Brandon McCarthy stay healthy enough to pitch into October?
  • Can Cody Bellinger continue to put up his insane numbers?
  • How much offense can we manufacture without relying on the long ball?
  • Do we go after another starting pitcher for the stretch run?

What I look forward to in the 2nd half…

  • Joc Pederson to continue producing. After a slow start and a stint in the DL, Joc has “quietly” produced, hitting 8 home runs, 7 which came in June and getting his average above .240. At his current pace he could still crack 30 home runs
  • Puig to finish with 30 plus home runs and 90 plus RBI’s. Puig has certainly showed more discipline this year
  • Roberts to continue to put certain pitchers on the 10 day DL and utilize either Ryu or Maeda 
  • Starting pitchers not named Kershaw or Wood to pitch into the 7th inning, particularly Hill or McCarthy. Keeping them healthy will be key

This should be quite a 2nd half. The excitement is only beginning…

Looking Back at Drei’s Picks…

So, as we head to the 2nd half, lets look back at what Drei said back in spring about his American League leaders…

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“The Blue Jays, coming off 2 straight ALCS appearances, have lost some offensive firepower with Edwin Encarnacion heading to Cleveland but they still boast a formidable rotation. The rest of the division is capable of claiming one of the two WC spots.”

After a slow start that saw them as many as 12 games south of .500, the Jays have struggled to surpass the .500 mark. Currently in last place in the AL East by 8.5 games, the Jays, as well as the rest of the AL East, are still in contention to win the division…

Indians_Cap Logo

“The Tribe came within one game of bringing the city of Cleveland it’s second championship in a 5 month stretch. While The Tribe made it to the Fall Classic on the strength of their rotation, they’ve added some offensive punch by adding Edwin Encarnacion from Toronto.”

In spite of a 21-24 record at home, the Tribe heads into the 2nd half with a 2.5 game lead over the surprising Minnesota Twins. The Royals, after a slow start, also find themselves back in post-season contention, trailing the Tribe by only 3 games…

Mariners_Cap Logo

“After surprising many in 2015, the Astros somewhat regressed last season, starting off 15-28 before finishing off with a respectable 84 wins.  The Astros, led by Jose Altuve, are being picked by many to win the AL West. With the teamwide  so-called “sophomore jinx” now out of the way, this could very well be their year they take over the west. Seattle has a pretty formidable lineup themselves especially the heart of the order, where Cano, Cruz and Kyle Seager combined for a total of 95 home runs last season. Felix Hernandez by his standards had an off season last year but is expected to lead the rotation once again.”

No one ever gets all six division winners right? Certainly there’s always got to be a sleeper. Well, it looks like the Astros have the AL West all but locked up, trailing only the Dodgers for the best record. 

So, of my 3 division winners, Cleveland has the inside track to their division. The Blue Jays, while still in the division race, need a fast start and some consistent pitching to keep them in playoff contention. The Mariners can be thankful for baseball’s 2nd wild card, where only 7.5 games separates every non-division leading AL team. 

And now, what Drei said about the Senior Circuit…

Nationals Cap Logo

“In his first season as the Nationals skip, Dusty Baker restored some order in leading the Nats back to the post-season, to be eliminated in 5 games by The Blue. While Dusty may be one of the finest managers of the game, going back to the 2002 World Series his teams have lost 9 straight post-season series clinchers. He can say what he wants about some of Dave Roberts moves in Game 5, fact of the matter is, once again, he was simply out-managed when it counted.”

October rematch Dusty ?

Cubs Cap

“The Cubs, even with the loss of Dexter Fowler, are once again primed for another deep post season run…”

The Cubs World Series hangover goes beyond the loss of Dexter Fowler. Even with the WS hangover, no one could have predicted they would be 2 games under.500 and 5.5 games behind the surprising Brewers at the all-star break…

And finally…

Dodgers Cap Logo

“Last year, Dave Roberts managed to will the Dodgers to the NLCS in spite of the numerous injuries to the rotation. While it is expected to be a 2 division race between the Dodgers and Giants once again, Colorado may not be too far behind and may even be not only the division’s but the leagues sleeper as well. If the Rockies highly touted young arms can maintain their composure in hitter friendly Coors Field, the Rockies just may make a legitimate run at the post season…”

Colorado, after a hot start, has cooled off a bit but still find themselves tied with the 3rd most wins in the NL, behind only the surprising D-Backs and Dodgers. It will be interesting to see how Colorado’s young arms hold up beyond Coors Field in the 2nd half. Arizona has had outstanding production both with the bats and arms. Any other division (Except the AL West) they are the leaders…

I predicted the Dodgers would win 95 games. At 61-29, they would only have to go 34-38 to achieve that plateau. Of course, we don’t ever want The Blue to take their foot off the pedal. The Blue has not experienced a prolonged losing streak…yet. Now before you pelt me with rotten fruit, lets remember that baseball is a marathon. Winning 100 games, especially in the Wild Card era, does not mean much. Slumps happen over the course of 162, both individually and team wise. It’s all about the timing. Should the “inevitable” happen, the best case scenario would be that it happens before October….

Extra Innings…Walk Us Off Logan

There have been many a memorable moment in this past first half. Here’s one of my 2 favorites…Logan Forsythe’s 13th inning walk-off on May 23 off Jonathan Broxton. This was Forsythe’s first game back after 30 days on the DL. Forsythe to this point was 0 for 4 with 4 Ks. Here are Drei’s Notes On A Scorecard from that Tuesday in May…

LETS GO DODGERS !!!

 

 

 

Friday Funnies…Featuring Dre… Kid N Drei

20170510_175015 What up Kid ! It’s been awhile since we done one of these Kid N Drei Talez…How’s the view up top Kid N Drei’s Rock ?

Double K and Double D…Kid n Kenley…Drei and Dog…Blue Dog…Who’s the bigger Kid at Heart…

Hey, a Bobble Dre was released this week…Where’d our Bobble Dre go ?

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He’s on the loose ! Bobble Dre running wild on Hollywood and Vine !

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From Kid N Drei…From Kid N Drei’s Rock…Where the Blue is 6-0 when Kid N Drei tap the rock…’Til the Next Episode…

LETS GO DODGERS !!!

 

Drei’s Post All-Star Thoughts

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(Photo: Jon SooHoo)

The Stars in Blue…Kershaw, Jansen and Corey. Some of you may have been wondering what up with the road grey’s since Petco Park in San Diego, home of the Padres, a National League team, was the host. Seems like a legitimate head-scratcher. Hopefully, this explanation of NL Parks hosting the Mid-Summer Classic 4 years in a row will clear up confusion. I really don’t see the big deal of who is determined the home team in a high profile exhibition game that occurs once a year. The only players who it would greatly impact are those who play there 81 times a year. Now, ask me how I feel about the current format where the winner decides what team gets home-field in the World Series, and that’s where my rant comes in. Yes, I get that former commissioner Bud Selig wanted to change things up after the 2002 All-Star Game fiascoA better solution? How about letting position players who have already been taken out return if deemed necessary? It couldn’t hurt the integrity of the game could it? If anything, this could add some late inning spice toward the game, especially with fans wandering if their favorite player from said team would actually come back later and, what, get that game-winning hit? 

The fact that a high-profile exhibition game that has no bearing on the standings could determine later on if a team with 88 wins gets home field over one with 100 plus wins gets home field in The Fall Classic makes absolute no sense. This would definitely not fly in the NBA or NHL, especially the NHL, where their ASG is void of any real physical contact ( If any at all…). 

Of course, I am not the only one who is not crazy over the “This One Counts” theory, as one L.A. Times beat writer has come up with his five ways to improve the All-Star game.

As for being the road team in Petco Park…

BEATLA

The greeting  Kershaw, Jansen and Seager wasn’t exactly so hospitable. Corey Seager heard the Beat L.A. chants as he entered the yard. It’s OK kid, the fact that our neighbors to the south, ones who have always looked up to L.A, would yell the chant to you is the ultimate compliment. Just wait ’til you hear it yelled directly at you in San Francisco. That’s beyond the ultimate compliment…

Plenty of Season Left to Hit The Road…

Stadium Journey

With the Mid-Summer Classic now over, the 2nd half of the season gets under way. I know plenty of you Dodgers and baseball fans are just itching to get out on the road on your Stadium Journey to follow the Blue or your favorite team through all 30 yards. Check out our new look as we have partnered with the good folks over at Scout.com. I know there are a lot of you Dodger fans heading to Arizona this weekend. Here’s some tips for you following the Blue to the desert this weekend

9th Inning…

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Hey Kid !!! It’s Time For…

10 Years a Good Dre…Steve Garvey

picsart_07-08-06.28.12.jpg Steve Garvey, Camera Day, May 2008

As we head toward the All-Star game taking place in San Diego, also with the Padres finishing their 4 game series with The Blue, today’s 10 Years a Good Dre features a popular Dodger among the fans who wore the Dodger Blue for 14 seasons from 1969-82 before finishing his career as a Padre. Garvey was a 10x all-star from 1974-81 and twice with the Friars in ’84-85. Garvey to this day holds the NL record for consecutive games played at 1207. However, Garvey’s, and perhaps the Padres franchise most memorable moment may have been in Game 4 of the NLCS, Don Drysdale with the call… 

Of course, it would be a former Dodger with the call. I wonder if ever got a chance to call a memorable home run that involved one in a Dodger Blue uniform…

wp-1468126570671.jpeg Garvey’s retired number…As a Padre. I don’t see this being retired by The Friars if not for that home run in ’84. Many a Dodger fan still feels his number 6 in The Blue needs to be retired as well. Oh yeah, like the Dodger Blue touch I gave number 6 ?

wp-1468125673218.jpeg With the legend himself, April ’15

Blue Stars Shining Bright In America’s Finest City…

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Congratulations to Kenley Jansen, Clayton Kershaw and Corey Seager on being nominated to the 2016 All-Star Game. The big focus of course will be on Corey Seager, our rookie SS who’s having himself a memorable season. Seager, the team leader in home runs, will be participating in this years Home Run Derby. This will mark the 2nd consecutive year a Dodger will be participating in the HRD, with Joc Pederson coming in 2nd last year. This will also be the 2nd consecutive season a Dodger rookie is taking part. I can only guess this is a first in team history.

Lots has been debated about the so-called Home Run Derby Curse . I along with many Dodger fans have been skeptical as well. Bill Plaschke is not so thrilled about Corey taking part either, pointing out Joc Pederson’s 2nd half swoon. However, Joc had already been on a swoon before the all-star break. It is debatable, but hey, this should not stop us from cheering the rookie on, right ? From Dodger fans i’ve spoke to, not many are concerned that his numbers will be affected come the 2nd half, when we’ll really need his productivity. Should Corey go in a slump, something all hitters go through eventually, it would just be a case of the league catching up to him. 

9th Inning…Mr. Padre, Tony Gwynn

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The Ride That Ended All Too Soon

KERSHAW_ADAMS Just like that, the ride was over…

What Drei Said Before The Series…

 ” The Boys in Blue head to the post-season on a roll, having won 8 of their last 10.  Everything seems to be clicking at this moment for the Blue.  If their is one concern I have heading into the post-season, it is the status of our bullpen .  It is no secret that our bullpen has been inconsistent, particularly our middle relievers.  The status of Hyun-Jin Ryu is a minor concern for me but in a Best of 5 the Dodgers may be able to get away with a 3 man rotation of Kershaw, Greinke and Haren. “

As I was looking back on my pre-season NL Picks ,  it was both my fear and hope that the Dodgers could survive on a 3 man rotation.  Hyun-Jin Ryu did make it back on the hill and pitched an admirable 6 innings in game 3.  However, Dan Haren, who after a mid-season slump, finished strong but was nowhere to be seen in the post-season.

” St. Louis has had a long history of post-season success and like it or not , are one of only two teams to have success against Kershaw .  However, Kershaw just seems to get better each year ( Is that even possible ) , having won his 4th straight ERA title en route to a possible MVP season.  In a short 5 game series, anything can happen.  Will Game 1 between two game tested battlers between Adam Wainwright and Clayton Kershaw set the tone ?  Runs will probably be at a premium here.  However, with a deeper lineup and most everyone coming back healthy, I gotta like our chances to advance … “

Why St. Louis has had continued success against our Cy Young Award winner is beyond anyone’s guess.  Aside from Game 1, runs we’re at a premium, however, even with the momentum of a strong finish and a healthy lineup, the Dodgers, sans Matt Kemp’s solo shot in Game 2, just could not come up with the timely hits, and the Dodger playoff blues against St. Louis continues . 

“Dodger Blues in Mizzou… 

1985 NLCS  0-3, Lost in 6 games

2004 NLDS 0-2, Lost in 4

2009 NLDS 1-0, Won in 3

2013 NLCS 0-3, Lost in 6

That, my friends, adds up to an overall mark of 1-8 in the post-season in The Show Me State.  Now on the positive side.  The Dodgers had MLB’s best road record this season at 49-32, so being in a hostile environment will should not phase them.  One of these stats has to give.  Let’s all hope for the latter.”

Make that, 1-10, dating back to 1985, when they  Meet In St. Louis during post-season …

“Does Hyun-Jin Ryu feel no effects of his recent injury and pitch deep into the game through at least 7 ?  How much confidence does Mattingly have in his bullpen ?”

I think by now you guys know the answer to that last question .

Plenty of Blame to Go Around

So now is the time everyone starts playing the blame game.  Truth be told, there is enough blame to be passed around .  Was this a successful season ?  It would be hard to say it was a total fail with 94 wins and a 2nd consecutive NL West Title in the books.  Compete success ?  Hardly.  When $240 million is spent on player salary, it’s expected by everyone that the season would go well beyond 166 games ( Yes folks, that’s 162 and the 4 playoff games that ended before we all had a chance to blink ) .  So today, we can only wonder, how and why did it all end so quickly ?

Much of the blame will go down to two things.  Don Mattingly, and the bullpen.  OK, 3 things.  Let’s add GM Ned Coletti’s inability to acquire a setup man that may have been the difference between me writing my post post-season post, or giving my insight to the NLCS.  It will be easy to point the finger at Don Mattingly as well, it seems as if that has been a yearly tradition around these parts.  Truth is, he was only playing the hand he was dealt.  Also, who could have seen our soon to be 3 time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw coming apart at the seems in the 7th inning, not once, but twice ?  Want some other daunting numbers ?  Clayton Kershaw is the first Dodgers pitcher to lose 4 consecutive post-season games , bringing his all-time  post-season record to 1-5.  Those 4 consecutive post-season losses ? You guessed it.  All to the St. Louis Cardinals.  So Cy K isn’t quite clutch in October.  YET ( Yes folks, I did that in all CAPS for a reason ) . 

As for Mattingly’s decision making ?  The only glaring one I really could question is using Scott Elbert in the 7th inning of Game 3 .  Nothing against Scotty, but he had only pitched a little over 4 innings in the bigs all season while practically rehabbing all season.  In one of the most crucial moments of the season with a trip to the NLCS in the balance, and we go with a setup man who has pitched , again, a mere 4 plus innings.  On the flip side, that just tells you how much confidence Donnie has in that bullpen.  $240 million spent yet the only one reliable down the stretch was our closer, Kenley Jansen, who mad a mere 1 appearance this post-season.

At this moment, rumors are flying.  The big one of course, is the status of GM Ned Coletti .  Will he be around at this time next week ?  Also, who stays and who goes ?  Do the Dodgers retool at shortstop and let Hanley test the free-agent waters ?  Brian Wilson has already indicated he will $9.5 million player option for 2015Why wouldn’t he ?  With his 2-4 , 4.66 ERA stat lines, it would be hard for him to test the open market. 

So now begins the descent into a long L.A. Winter.  One that won’t be so dry this time around.  L.A. and it’s proud Dodgers fans are thirsty for a championship.  It’s been 26 years now.  Ronald Reagan was on his last term the last time a World Championship was celebrated around The Ravine.  Bobby McFerrin’s Don’t Worry Be Happy was the chart topper.  Yes, it’s been that long folks.  For those of you born after 1988, I feel your pain. 

I will stop short of calling this 2014 season a disappointment.  It had it’s moments.  It gave us 2 no hitters from Josh Beckett and of course Clayton Kershaw .  This past season also gave us the emergence of Dee Gordon.  This season also gave us the resurgence of Matt Kemp, who I believe will come back stronger next season.  I’ll even go so far as to say 30/30 could come back, provided he stays healthy, and that could be a big question.  We also saw Adrian Gonzalez lead the NL in RBI’s.  There was plenty of highlights to remember in this past 2014 season.  Unfortunately, none coming in a double digit day in October. 

wpid-img_6757157709345.jpeg A bit early for this Thank You card don’t you all think ? 

I do want to thank you the readers for your continued following of Good Dre in L.A. .  I always do my best to provide you with as much of my Dodger knowledge as well as other fun and at times light-hearted posts from my perspective.  I also want to give a shout-out to the Dodgers-lowdown as well for their tireless work and for helping me reach out to you the readers. 

So our off-season begins now.  That does not mean I will stop posting.  Just not as often.  I also do plan on posting other topics non-baseball related at well in a feature I will be calling, Beyond The Yard .  Hopefully, you will all continue to follow my posts and of course I will also be giving some off-season thoughts as well.  It was a memorable 2014 season, especially for me on a personal not.  Unfortunately, this joyride of a season ended all to sudden, and Just Like That… It’s Over

wpid-img_17082643137116.jpeg Hey Dre, Drei says it’s been a fun 9 season’s seeing you in the Dodger Blue !  Does Drei see Dre back in 2015 ?

 

Turning Out The Halo….Smoke and Bubbles

ryu_angels With yesterday’s 7-0 win over the Angels in Anaheim, for the first time since 2006 the Dodgers take the season series against the Angels, winning 3 of 4 including both games at Angel Stadium.

All four starters in the series, Greinke, Kershaw, Haren and Ryu worked 7 innings or more in each game, giving the bullpen some much needed rest. Jansen would work in games 2 and 3, earning a save in game 3.

During the 4 game series, 2 games we’re decided handily while 2 we’re decided by one run, both won by the Dodgers. Perhaps the biggest win in the series had to be Dan Haren’s win in Anaheim . After losing 5 straight decisions in which he carried an E.R.A. over 10, Dan Haren pitched what was without a doubt his most clutch performance of the season . This came after the Angels had scored a total of 8 runs off Haren and Kershaw in the 2 games at Dodger Stadium.

Puig Giving Lessons

In the Monday night loss to the Angels, during the 8th inning Albert Pujols taught Yasiel Puig a hard and deserved lesson when he tagged up from first base after Puig casually made a one handed catch of an outfield fly without paying attention to his presence. Hopefully, Puig has learned his lesson there, and yes folks, with such talent like his, come the growing pains. However, Puig would return the favor in Anaheim in more ways than one…

So, I guess you could say it was Puig and the Dodgers giving the the Halos a thing or two to learn about them as well

Blowing Some Smoke over Bubbles ?

BubbleMachine1 By now, you’ve all become accustomed to seeing home run and victory celebrations with what has now become the infamous bubble machine. Apparently, MLB is enforcing a ban on the bubble machine for no apparent reason. Silly isn’t it. I always thought baseball was a kids game and in this game a kids game played by grown men having fun playing, what’s that? A KIDS GAME !!!!

So last night in Angel Stadium, I took it upon myself to spread some of those celebratory bubbles among the Dodger Blue Faithful who we’re out in full force at Angel Stadium…

Bubbles_Dre Thank You @DodgerDisciples , who you can follow on instagram

Even this grown kid couldn’t help himself…

kid_bubbles Yup, for those who have followed my posts the entire time, it’s Kid Marly Marlz once again ….

As I was going around my sections in the 9th inning blowing away, it wasn’t so much the Dodger fans who we’re enjoying our bubble party. Even the little ones, dressed in their Angel red attire, we’re having the time of their lives with their parents, some who asked for me to blow the bubbles to their little Angels. Yeah, kids of all ages, and on this evening, Blue and Red, all as one, having fun at a kids game blowing bubbles . Did I mention that this was a kids game and kids all ages we’re having fun with the presence of bubbles while at , what ? A kid’s game ? So to the front office of MLB and Joe Torre, who seems to be losing his legacy these days among Dodger fans, LIGHTEN UP !!! QUIT BLOWING SMOKE ON OUR BUBBLES !!!

BubbleMachine2 What’s wrong with grown men acting like kids playing a kids game ?

Have you enjoyed my blogs ? When you get a chance, you will also want to check out Dodgers Blue Heaven for other Dodger related items and interests.

Looking Back…Looking Ahead

Dodgers All-Star Bits

Did you all enjoy last night’s all-star game ?  Our boys that represented made quite an impression last night, particularly Kershaw and Greinke, striking out a combined 3 batters on only 21 pitches during their 2 innings.

Dee Gordon also made his presence felt scoring on a 2 out double by Jonathan Lucroy of the Brewers and making a fine defensive play in the 6th inning.

Yasiel Puig was not so fortunate last night, striking out 3 times in his first all-star appearance, tying 11 players for the  record for most times to strike out in an all-star game.  However, Puig is in some fine company, as Lou Gherig, Mickey Mantle, Willie McCovey, Johnny Bench, Albert Belle and Craig Biggio have also achieved this dubious feat.  Hey, even the great one’s have their bad days…

Other All-Star Bits

Congratulations to the Angels Mike Trout on being named the 2014 All-Star MVP .  At 22 years of age, Trout is the second youngest player to win all-star game MVP behind Ken Griffey Jr. in 1992.

Tip of the Cap 

Thank You Derek Jeter for 19 memorable seasons.  Last night marked the final time the Yankee captain would participate in an All-Star game, marking the 13th time he would play in the mid-summer classic.  

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Last All-Star Thought

The all-star game should not determine home field advantage for the World Series.  I have felt that way since the inception of the rule in 2003 regardless of which league comes out the winner…

Looking Back at the 1st Half

LOS ANGELES DODGERS VS PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES kershaw_nohitter

The first half of the season, which seems like the longest 1st half in recent memory given the season officially started in Australia on March 22nd, was filled once again with it’s highs and lows, highlighted of course by the no-hitters thrown by Josh Beckett and Clayton Kershaw.

Like last season, the Dodgers did not exactly start the season off fast out of the gate, falling behind as much as 9.5 games in the standings behind the Giants. However, the Dodgers, like last season, have rebounded to finish the 1st half strong and will head into the 2nd half not only in 1st place in the NL West but also with the National League’s best record.

Why Dre is Happy ?

What else can you say about Kershaw and Greinke, perhaps the best 1-2 starting combo in the game right now ?

Dee Gordon has proved to everyone that he is now our everyday starting 2nd baseman. Gordon looks more confident in his play this season with both the bat and glove and it is certainly showing .

A strong finish to the 1st half has our Boys in position to reclaim the NL West.

Dre’s Concerns

The back end of our rotation. Dan Haren can be on or off, but his recent lack of velocity could be a factor as to why he has given up 20 home runs. Josh Beckett, at this point a strong candidate for Comeback Player of the Year, has not pitched a full season in 2 seasons and concern over his recent hip condition has raised some other concerns as to how much further into the season he can pitch. Whether he does come back, my concern for Josh is if he can keep up his 1st half performance.

Which Brian Wilson will we see in the 2nd half ? Brian blamed the lack of a prolonged spring training to his early season stint on the DL, but since his return has still struggled to return to his late season form of last season. Can Brandon League continue his resurgence into the 2nd half ? JP Howell has quietly done his part in getting the ball to Jansen, who hasn’t quite been as dominant, but still is one of the league leaders in saves. I look for another strong 2nd half finish from our closer.

Productivity from the offense. The reason the Dodgers are where they are right now ? You know it. Starting pitching. However, even the best starting 5 could use some needed run support. How will the outfield situation pan out ? Will a trade be in store for the Blue ?

This is Still Matt’s Team

Yup. That’s right. I said it. This is still Matt Kemp’s team to lead. That is if he want’s to be that leader. Do I expect a rebirth of the Matt Kemp of 2011 ? No. What I want to see from Matt Kemp, present day, 2014 ? I want to see him take control of the clubhouse and be that vocal leader every team should have. I don’t necessarily mean showing anger when he is in a slump. Puig is still to young and ripe for that role. Kemp, the longest tenured Dodger alongside Andre Ethier, needs to show that this is still his team . As Matt goes, so goes the Blue. Hopefully, into another deep run into October…

Looking Back at My Pre-Season Picks

American League

Overall, my forecast have been on and off . In the AL East, Tampa struggled early but has climbed to within 9.5 games of the lead. A recent run has Detroit standing 6.5 games ahead in the AL Central, the largest lead of any division leader heading into the 2nd half. Wholesale changes could be in order for the Rangers, 21 games under .500 and 21 games out. I stated that 2 managers could be on the hot seat in the AL West, the two being Ron Washington and Mike Scioscia. It’s safe to say that one is off the hot seat. The other ? Do the Rangers reward Washington for the past 5 seasons and honor his contract extension through 2015 ?

So, where do I call an audible ? In the AL East, I’m going to stick with the Rays, even with the fact they sit 9.5 back and have 4 other teams to get past. Should the Rays still be in contention by the end of this month, perhaps all talks of David Price in another uniform will die down.

In the AL Central, I picked Detroit and will stick with that. In the AL West, this is where I call an audible, and a huge audible too. This is where I picked the Rangers to reclaim the AL West. As I said, that’s where I call my audible. The AL West could possible have 3 teams in post-season play. 2 of them could very well be a serious threat into October. My call ? Oakland wins it’s 3rd straight AL West title, with the Angels and Mariners as the wild cards. If Seattle can find some offensive support down the stretch, they may be a serious October contender.

Playoff Picks. Wild Card Angels over the Mariners , ALDS Tigers over the Angels, A’s over Tampa. ALCS Oakland showed they want it now with the acquisition of Samardzija and Hammel. I’m still sticking with my pre-season AL Champ pick. Detroit. Detroit over Oakland, 3 years in a row. This could be a developing rivalry, right Justin Verlander ?

National League

Here is where my accuracy is somewhat on target. In the NL East I said it would be a 2 team race between the Nationals and Braves and as of now both stand tied atop their division . After struggling early in the season, the Cardinals have made up 6.5 games in the standings within the last 2 weeks and sit 1 game behind the Brewers atop the NL Central. 3.5 games separate the Brewers, Cardinals, Reds and Pirates in the NL Central. It is possible 3 teams in this division see post-season play again this season. Who could be the one left out of the dance ?

And finally. The NL West . In spite of the fact the Dodgers were the overwhelming favorites to repeat as NL West Champions, I still felt the division would not be a runaway. The Giants started out hot but have fizzled as of late. The Dodgers, in spite of some offensively challenged numbers, head into the 2nd half with not only the lead atop the NL West but with the National Leagues best record and are still the favorites to come out on top in the NL West. The Giants will continue to challenge The Blue, but lack of a serious offensive threat and depth will derail them in the end.

As for my other pre-season NL picks, Dre call’s no audible here. For the Wild Cards, i’m sticking with the Pirates over the Braves. For the NLDS , the Cardinals over the Nationals, and the Dodgers over the Pirates, setting up a rematch of last year’s NLCS between the Dodgers and Cardinals, in which I have our Boys in Blue coming out on top.

Want more coverage of our Boys in Blue ? Follow theDodgers Low Down for all things Dodger Blue. This should be an exciting 2nd half. GO DODGERS !!!

drei_ben_nye1 In front of City Hall, NYE 2013 with Benny P. This is gonna be our year !!!!