I thought the Dodgers would be good, I didnt’ know they’d be this good. However, their hot start to the season and the D-backs slow start makes the series which starts tomorrow pivotal for the D-Backs.
After finishing near the middle of the pack last season, everyone knew about Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier, but the Dodgers made several under the radar moves that are paying big dividends this season. Catcher AJ Ellis assumed the regular catcher duties and has been excellent–leading the team in OBP. Despite an injury that will keep him out a month, Mark Ellis was a solid pickup and Bobby Abreu is starting to show signs that he isn’t done quite yet.
However, while the offense has been productive–they’re 10th in runs in MLB–it’s the starting pitching that have been abosultely domininant. If the starters don’t cool down much, it will be very tough for the 9.5 game behind D-Backs to catch up to them. Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang have been stabalizing additions to a rotation that already had some star power. The LA starters lead the majors in wins, ERA and WHIP. No starter has an ERA above 3.83 and three of them–Clayton Kershaw, Tedd Lilly and Capuano–post sub-2.35 ERAs.
If the Dodgers simply aren’t in the middle of a hot start, it’ll be a tough go for the Diamondbacks going forward. They’re not there yet, but they are perilously close to “must sweep” status in their upcoming series with the Dodgers. However if the D-backs don’t show life in the series it could be a long season if they’re chasing a suddenly “for real” Dodgers team.