It’s happened again. And by “it,” I mean that Dodger Cody Bellinger has homered again. Actually, he homered twice, again, giving him six multi-homer games this year and 24 total home runs on the season, the most in the National League, second most in the majors.
And by “it” I also mean the Dodgers have won again. 10 straight now with an average margin of victory of 5 runs during the streak. And they did it by coming from down 5-0 to the Rockies to win 12-6. That’s a game that they had no business winning and they still found a way to win. Coming from five runs back to win is crazy, coming from five back to win by six is ridiculous.
And yes, the Rockies pitchers helped out a lot with wild pitches, but good teams find a way to win. And the Dodgers did just that. They find a way to win, usually with their bats. Brandon McCarthy didn’t have his best stuff yesterday. No problem. Nor was it a problem when closer Kenley Jansen actually walked a guy for the first time this season. How hot are the Dodgers bats? Jansen hit an RBI double yesterday.
They’ve homered in 17 straight games. And much of that is thanks to Bellinger, who isn’t even supposed to be in the majors right now. When he was called up in April, the idea was that he would just fill in while the team dealt with some injuries. All he did was collect six hits and 2 homers in his first six games. Then hit 9 bombs in May and another 13 in June. The Dodgers beat the Giants in his first game. Lost the next game and have gone 41-14 since then.
It’s not all perfect. It looks like Julio Urias, their top pitching prospect, could be done for the season with shoulder surgery. And Adrian Gonzalez will probably be out for another month with a back injury.
Spare a thought for the Rockies and the Diamondbacks, two excellent teams who would be leading any other division in the National League, except their own. Because they’re sharing the NL West with the best team in the national league. The Dodgers are doing what the Cubs were supposed to be doing – mashing everyone in front of them. And meanwhile the Cubs are barely above .500 and 9 games behind Colorado for a wild card spot.
So are the Dodgers the team to beat in the National League? Yes, but yes they are the team to beat, but it’s still June. The San Francisco Giants were a juggernaut in the first half of last season and then lost the division by four games. I’m not saying that’ll happen to the Dodgers, in fact, I’d be shocked if it did, but I’m not crowning them just yet either.
The old cliché is that it’s a marathon not a sprint. Slumps happen. Injuries happen. Other teams get hot. But the way the Dodgers are playing right now, this marathon looks like a boat race. Or a cakewalk. Or both. Cody Bellinger will cool off at some point. I think. But the Dodgers aren’t coming back to the rest of the NL West. They might be in the best division in baseball, but you’re not running these guys down.