The 2012 Dodgers season is off to a shocking 9-1 start, best since the 1981 World Series Champion Dodgers. I’m not crazy; I know it’s only been 10 games into this 162 game season, but no one expected this kind of start. The Dodgers are playing with no pressure on them right now, if you look at any baseball magazine predictions, they were picked to finished in 3rd place or below in just about all of them. It’s a lot easier to play when you don’t have the pressure of the Angels, Yankees, or Red Sox which is to win the World Series RIGHT NOW. The Dodgers have only played the San Diego Padres and Pittsburg Pirates which aren’t your best big league competition, but the Dodgers have been playing at a level that could last awhile
The Dodgers had a 6 game home stand last week after taking their first 3 out of 4 games against the Padres at Petco Park. The Pirates were the first team to come to Dodger Stadium this year, but left with a bad taste in their mouth after being swept in the 3 game series. Clayton Kershaw pitched the home opener against Pittsburg, finishing with 7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 7 SO. Those are your typical Kershaw numbers. The Dodgers went on to win that game 2-1 thanks to an 8th inning go ahead homer by Andre Ethier, is “Captain Clutch” back? The Padres were the next team to come to Dodger Stadium over the weekend for a 3 game series, which is always a good time. On Friday night Aaron Harang took the mound for the Dodgers, who lost his first start to the Padres on the previous Sunday. Harang started the game with 9 consecutive strikeouts! That is a new Los Angeles Dodgers record, and probably the most unexpected thing we will see all year. It was a wild game with the Dodgers winning 9-8 on a walk off walk in the 9th, by no other than Andre Ethier. This series also ended in a 3 game sweep, with Matt Kemp hitting home runs in all 3 games and 4 overall for the series, and now Kobe Bryant isn’t the only one getting MVP chants in Los Angeles anymore.
I’m not saying this 9-1 start means that the Dodgers will win the World Series this year, but I’m also not saying that they won’t win it. Everything is going right for this team right now, although the bullpen could use a little bit of help. Dee Gordon has been stealing bases as often as the Kardashians are on TV, Matt Kemp is playing like he is worth $260 million, Andre Ethier is playing like he actually wants to play, and after Kershaw the starting pitching has been better than expected. Even Mark Ellis, AJ Ellis, and Juan Rivera are doing their part, and James Loney and Juan Uribe are starting to HIT!! That actually probably deserves more than two exclamation points, I’m almost happier than when I got my first car. The Dodgers start should be credited to the great baseball they’ve been playing, but also to all of the baseball magazines that counted this team out before the season started.