The Dodgers officially clinched a playoff berth for the 8th consecutive year. They seem the likely 1 seed after defeating the Padres in their last series. All that remains is a 4 game series in Colorado, and a 6 game home stretch split evenly against the A’s and Angels to finish the year off. Currently the Dodgers are 35-15, have a major league best run differential of +102, and a NL best 12-8 against teams above .500.
Yet the Big Blue Machine has slowed down in it’s last 10 games. They are 5-5, and that’s with winning their last 2 games. Their run differential in that time, a big ole 0. So the question remains, what keys do the Dodgers need to fix to finally win a ring.
- Bullpen First to Worst
- What to do with 2nd Base?
- Make the Stars Align
Jansen was the reliever of the month in August and oh was it fun for Dodger fans. His velocity was up and down, but the results were only coming back positive. But in September, Jansen has regressed. A lot…
His ERA in September is a woeful 9.53 with a 2.47 WHIP. He’s been fortunate to go 2-1 in that time with 2 saves, but that’s thanks to the lineup. He’s also given up 3 more unearned runs this month. Earned or not, closer runs hurt. And no one has given up as many as Jansen this month.
Backup closer, Treinen, hasn’t fair that well this month either. He sports a 4.91 ERA, but a much friendlier 1.09 WHIP. Rising star Caleb Ferguson looks done for the season with a undisclosed elbow injury.
Floro showed his mortal side and raised his September ERA to 6.23. Graterol is exciting, and has had inherited runners score against him, but he still has a 4.50 ERA this month. Granted he’s “started” two games this last week.
Victor Gonzales has been the best weapon out of the pen with a 1.13 ERA in 8 innings this month. And he seems to be getting more comfortable and more effective. McGee is still pitching well when he comes in. Even Alex Wood is pitching well out of the pen in his return. And the Worlds’ Hero, Joe Kelly has returned from his suspension and IL stint.
But overall, if it wasn’t for the starers, Julio had the highest ERA this month at 3.31, the Dodgers would have faired much worse. We knew regression was coming, but we need a confident bullpen coming October. Roberts needs to take a long look at his bullpen construction when it comes to playoff roster spots.
But most of all, if Jansen can’t right the ship, the Dodgers will need to move on to a more matchup friendly approach when it comes to closing. Treinen is the obvious choice, but we’d like to see young guns Graterol and Gonzales given some more high leverage situations.
Other more likely options include Pedro Baez, Jake McGee, Joe Kelly, and Dylan Floro due to experience and overall good years. And probably in about that order of likeliness in actually happening.