September 8, 2016 by Shannon Michael Smith
Five. Game. Lead. If you had told us in April that a Kersh-less Dog squad would be five games up on the hated ones in September, we would have died laughing. If you had told us that the ER-plagued rotation would only average five innings per start, we would assume that the bullpen would crack at some point. None of those things seem to matter as the Dodgers just keep winning. Yes, they’re in a crummy division…and yes, the wheels have apparently come off in San Fran (there’s still six games left with them, let’s not get too happy) but we wouldn’t have figured on Andrew Toles and Reddick filling in so nicely for Puig and Hernandez.
Los Dogs are 3-5 versus the Cubs this year, can they get past them in the playoffs? In ’13 and ’14 it seemed as if Kershaw AND Greinke weren’t enough, that Los Dogs needed a third bona fide stud to get over the NLCS hurdle…but this year seems different. Somehow, their formula of “get us through five and let the bullpen take over” is working, HAS WORKED all season. Is it good enough for the playoffs? Can Kershaw’s return take them to the next level? On paper, we’d say no, but this is one wonky season…
The Dodgers have the day off today as they motor down to Miami to face Mattingly’s Marlins. Clayton Kershaw will take the hill for Los Dogs on Friday. Jose Fernandez gets the start for the Fish. So Cal fingers will be collectively crossed as all of Los Angeles hopes for a tweak-less Kershaw appearance (some tears may be shed due to the absence of A.J. Ellis but we expect Kersh to pull through…let’s all hope that he suddenly doesn’t grab his back and grimace during the game.)
Will King Kersh’s command clobber cocksure Miami? Will Ferndandez’ frantic fastball freeze Puig? Will Gloria Estefan and Puig lead a conga line out of the stadium after the game? A toda maquina!!!! Until next time, mirth-seekers!!!!