Culver City Observer -

By Mitch Chortkoff
Sports Editor 

World Series? The Powerhouse Dodgers Must Get Past Diamondbacks First

Division Rival Seems Formidable Right Now

 

October 5, 2017



The Dodgers are ready, the fans are ready and here’s something that hasn’t

been seriously considered by many in recent months.

The Arizona Diamondbacks seem ready to give the Dodgers a hard time in the opening moments of the race to the World Series.

The Diamondbacks score a lot of runs, present some of baseball’s best sluggers and match the Dodgers in starting pitching.

In the National League wild card game Wednesday night the Diamondbacks retired the Colorado Rockies in the first inning then blasted

four triples on the way to an 11-8 victory.

We all knew A.J. Pollack was an outstanding player at the start of last season but then he was injured and unable to play.

Pollack, now one of Arizona’s remarkably good hitters, joins Paul Goldschmidt, J.D. Martinez and Jake Lamb. That’s quite a load for opposing pitchers to deal with.

Lamb has emerged as a special player by hitting 30 home runs this season.

Martinez has been great since joining Arizona in a late season trade with Detroit and he’s going to be a free agent this summer. Get your checkbooks out.

The Dodgers can provide formidable competition for opposing starting pitchers too but this test is coming earlier in the playoffs than was expected.

I think Clayton Kershaw can match any team’s quality hitting. I’m not sure Yu Darvish can do that if he gets into a nine inning test. The other starters and the Dodgers’ middle relievers better be ready for strong competition.

Dodger fans expect a trip to the World Series after the Dodgers won their division but lost prior to the World Series four straight times. And Dodger manager Dave Roberts admits “if we don’t get into the World Series this time it would be very disappointing.”

I’m expecting Corey Seager to come out of his slump, Yasiel Puig to to rise to the occasion both offensively and defensively providing offense and defense like he’s been doing throughout the season and Cody Bellinger to show again he’s one of baseball’s rising stars.

But the Dodgers won’t be the only elite team in this series.

If the Dodgers do advance they’ll go against the teams who have been expected to challenge them, Washington, and the Cubs. Let the battles begin.

 

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