Week 17 In Review: Yu Didn’t Need Darvish

The Dodgers didn’t need to make a deal at the trade deadline. With the team’s walk off win on Sunday, the Dodgers owned the best record in baseball by a significant margin. They’re on pace for about 500 wins, and in the middle of a hot streak that’s been go on for months. But, the team isn’t just riding a nice streak, they are loaded with talent, and reaping the benefits of the depth that stems from a commitment to scouting and development.

They didn’t need to make a significant move to secure a fifth straight division title – they are up by fourteen games. They don’t need another arm – they already lead baseball with a 3.09 team ERA, rank 4th in K/9(9.46), and first in WHIP (1.12). Their bullpen already has the potential to be dangerous with Jansen, Baez, Morrow, and rookie phenom Walker Buehler waiting in the wings (one of two players the Rangers said must be included in a Darvish trade).

The potential trade targets aren’t without risks either. Yu Darvish will be a free agent at the end of the year and has struggled in July, Sonny Gray still has years of team control left making him an expensive target, and Zach Britton has struggled with injuries. But while the Cubs, Yankees, Rockies, and Nationals bettered themselves on deadline day, there was still pressure for the Dodgers to make a move.

As the rumors swirled, an idea sets in. What would a Britton/Jansen be like in the playoffs? What would a rotation with Darvish or Gray be like with three other very good pieces? Once the idea pops in your head you can’t shake it. The possibility is too exciting, especially for the fan of team that hasn’t won a championship in your nearly thirty years.

The postseason is random, and unpredictable. The best you can do is better your odds by stocking up on elite players, which is such an easy fantasy to get caught up in. So when reality began to set in in the last few minutes of the deadline that those dreams may not come true. When names like Cingrani, and Watson came in instead of Britton, Gray or Darvish – it was disappointing. After watching the Dodgers come from behind all week, with big moments like Bellinger’s game winning home run, or Kyle Farmer’s walk off debut, it seemed like a waste not to finally combine that fantasy with this special team.

The Dodgers didn’t need Yu Darvish, but they got him anyway. They did it so they could add another elite arm to an already impressive staff. They did it so they could lengthen their playoff rotation and use each of those arms on full rest, they did it because the city is hungry for a championship, because this team is dedicated to winning, and because everyone in the organization knows this team is special. The trade doesn’t guarantee anything, but the organization can now say they’ve done everything they can to win. One step closer to making another fantasy come true.

7/24 6-4 W MIN
7/25 6-2 W MIN
7/26 6-5 W MIN
7/28 6-4 W SF
7/29 2-1 W SF
7/30 3-2 W SF

Record For The Week: 6-0 (Perfect week!)

Injury Update:
Andre Ether (lower back) Took batting practice
Grant Dayton (neck stiffness) Placed on 10-day DL
Adrian Gonzalez (lower back) Took batting practice
Chris Hatcher (thoracic inflammation) Began rehab assignment
Clayton Kershaw (lower back) Played catch
Adam Liberatore (Left forearm tightness) Transferred to 60-day DL
Rob Segedin (Right toe strain) Began rehab assignment

Player of the Week: Kyle Farmer
A couple Dodgers had big weeks but this kid hit 1.000. Getting a hit in all of his one at bats, including a double and two whole runs batted in. Welcome to the big leagues, kid. (Or guy who is 6 months older than me)

Key Moments:
Bellinger’s go ahead shot in the 8th
Paredes makes his debut at 30
Game was delayed 18 minutes for double switch error
Dodgers rally from 5-0 to win
Seeger homers twice
Farmer hits walk-off double in first MLB at bat
Kike throws out runner at the plate to complete DP

Week Seventeen Puig:

You got, “Evolved Puig”!

In the 9th inning on Sunday, Puig stepped into the box with the tying run on first. Utley then stole second to move himself into scoring position, Puig, a notoriously aggressive hitter fell behind. But then a new Puig was born, a patient Puig, that took some tough pitches to get back into a hitter’s count, a Puig that slowed down the game, but more importantly a Puig that finally comes through in big moments. His game tying single might seem like another big moment in a year full of them, but this was important, this is a new Puig. A better Puig. A Puig we all hoped for when he first showed up in 2013.

Stats for the week:
.353/.353/.529
1 HR
2 SO
1 BB

 

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