Monday, April 8, 2013

Dodgers' pitching staff picking up for early-season offensive deficiencies

The Dodgers' offense is off to a slow start, which is pretty much the norm for this club in the last, oh, 25 years. At least, it seems that way.

In the same breath, the pitching is off to a great start, which is par for the course.

The Dodger pitching staff is tops in a ton of categories:

  • Runs - 10
  • Earned runs - 6
  • Hits - 28
  • Doubles - 1
  • Walks - 8
  • Shutouts - 3
  • ERA - 1.00
  • Batting average against - .154
  • On-base percentage - .189
  • Slugging percentage - .209
  • OPS - .398 (almost 200 points better than the next-best team)

This is flat-out dominance, led by National League Player of the Week Clayton Kershaw. The bullpen has yet to allow a run and, even with Hyun-Jin Ryu giving up 13 hits in 12 2/3 innings (which really isn't that bad), the team still has these amazing numbers.

It's amazing I haven't even mentioned Zack Greinke yet, who was really good in his Dodger debut (6 1/3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K) and will back up Kershaw come October.

The fact this team is pitching so well is great, as guys like Justin Sellers, Luis Cruz and, unfortunately, Matt Kemp have gotten off to slow starts. Normally, guys like Sellers and Cruz would be non-factors, as they're not starting caliber players on a team with World Series aspirations.

But we know the Dodgers won't pitch this well all season. It's impossible. Thankfully, guys like Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez came to play so far this season. Crawford is tied for the National League lead in batting (.450, with Jean Segura) and Gonzalez is eighth (.400).

The team will hit better. The team will also pitch worse. It's going to even out. But it's nice to know this pitching staff is fully capable of shouldering the load for the times the offense will invariably struggle.

Photo credits: Dustin Nosler, Feelin' Kinda Blue

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