By virtue of an incredible 40+ game stretch, the Dodgers are soundly entrenched in first place in the NL West and it is not likely (barring major injury) that any team can catch them. However, the real work has just started. Now, Stan & Ned and Company go to work on the Blueprint for a World Championship. The pieces are in place and Matt Kemp should be back with a rested shoulder for the stretch run. Let’s look over the blueprint for a World Series Championship:
- Stay Healthy – Rest the players liberally – physically fresh equates to mental freshness and both are extremely important.
- Aces at the Ready – Kershaw and Greinke are capable of winning 4 games in a 7 game series – make sure they are fresh. If you have two “Ace Quality” starters, you have a leg up on most teams. Ryu only needs to pitch 4 or 5 solid innings – don’t pace it, just sling it! To that end, the Dodgers should consider a 6-man rotation most of the time until the middle of September.
- Win Every Series – If the Dodgers do that, they can have the best record in the NL by the end of September and precious home-field advantage (HA).
- Trust Each Other – The trust factor is building – give yourself up to move a runner, take a walk and let the next guy do it. I like it a lot!
- Don’t Kill the Pen – Brandon League was put on waivers, but I hope the Dodgers aren’t tempted to trade him. They will need him if he can keep up this level of pitching. A pen of Belisario, Rodriguez, Capuano, Nolasco, Fife, League, Brian Wilson, JP Howell, Jansen and Chris Withrow is downright lethal in a short series. I believe Cappy can be a lefty killer.
- Beef Up the Advance Scouting – During the McCourt era and even prior, the Dodgers were often beat by superior advance scouting. More and better scouting can make all the difference. Put them in place, Ned. Start scouting your possible foes now!
- Donnie, Rest Puig today. He’s going to kill himself in Wrigley!
- Corey Seager played 3B at RC last night, while Quakes SS, Darnell Sweeney committed his 35th error (YIKES!).
- Pedro Baez ERA at Chatt – 6.10 – Ouch!
- Joc Pederson treading water at AA – .280. Not bad, but not great.
- Memo to Logan White: Draft a catcher next year!
- Alex Castellanos down to .259 at AAA.
- Dee Gordon at .307 and back at SS – I have no clue what any of that means?
- Name to watch: 19 year-old Jacob Scavuzzo from Villa Park High School – very raw, very athletic CF at Ogden.
- If you haven’t read it, you should read Plaschke in The LA Times today. When he has nothing to bash the Dodgers for, he is very, very good! It’s a moving story about Gilberto Reyes who had a cannon strapped to his shoulder.
- FLASH: This just in – Fife activated – SVS optioned (again for the 176th time).