Dodgertown, USA

The San Diego Padres may have the flashy names now, but Los Angeles will always be Dodgertown.


The Los Angeles Dodgers continue to be the number one team in California. (Courtesy of Twitter)

The San Diego Padres may have been the darlings of this season’s trade deadline. They acquired young phenom outfielder Juan Soto in addition to power-hitting first baseman Josh Bell. On the mound, the Friars helped their cause by trading for veteran reliever, Josh Hader. The flurry of moves had the baseball world shaking, but it may be another team in California that should be truly feared as we get closer to  early October.

The Los Angeles Dodgers may have had the highest expectations entering the season. How could they not? They were set to have one of the best lineups in baseball and a pitching rotation headlined by the young, seasoned Walker Buehler. However, the Hollywood script did not go according to plan. The team sputtered out of the gate, and held a 13-7 record by the end of April. Injuries to key relief pitchers such as Blake Treinen, the young stud Buehler and a slew of other names later in the season forced many to wonder whether or not L.A. could weather the storm.

Luckily for Dodgertown, the team rocketed to an MLB best 27-7 record to begin post All-Star game play. They lead the MLB in runs and on-base percentage. L.A.’s offense has helped them get past the number of injuries that have nagged their pitchers all season. First baseman Freddie Freeman has somewhat quietly been one the best bats in the game. He’s currently hitting .322 and has collected 82 RBI’s in the process. Freeman, along with Mookie Betts, Will Smith, Cody Bellinger, Trea Turner and a myriad of other position players have made up a balanced offensive attack that is able to beat opposing pitchers in a variety of ways. They can hit for both power and contact. This is a rarity in today’s “all-or-nothing” game. It could be a deadly combination in the postseason. Indeed, the Dodger’s offense is impressive, but it was also expected.

 Not many doubted L.A. would be able to put runs on the scoreboard, but this season’s parade of injured pitchers presented a serious challenge. Runs mean nothing if a club’s pitching can’t protect a potential lead.

 Los Angeles rose to the challenge. Buehler has been out since June. Former Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw is aging and has spent time on the IL. Even still, starters such as Tony Gosolin and Julio Urias have stepped up. Before Gonsolin suffered a forearm strain, the righty was in the midst of an All-Star season and had already earned 16 wins with a 2.10 ERA. Urías has also dealt for the Los Angeles Dodgers. 

Thus far, the Mexican product has gone 15-7 with a sizzling 2.29 ERA. However, the biggest surprise of the Dodgers rotation may be Tyler Anderson. The southpaw signed a one year, $8 million contract with the Dodgers and has exceeded even the most optimistic expectations. Prior to the 2022 campaign, Anderson had never won more than seven games or submitted an ERA under four over the course of a season. This year, he has a 2.68 ERA. Further, the highly successful return of Dustin May adds yet another layer to the fold.

 The Dodgers rotational depth extends into the bullpen as well. World Series Champion Chris Martin was added at the trade deadline. 

Evan Phillips, Brusdar Gaterol and Alex Vesia have been consistently serviceable with Treinen, Victor González and Tommy Kahnle all on the injured list.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are a team that contains star hitters and an assortment of humble pitchers that have helped secure the MLB’s lowest team ERA. 

There are certainly healthier NL team’s such as the Padres, Mets and the Atlanta Braves. But, the road to the 2022 World Series may still go through Dodgertown. No matter what’s been thrown at them, they’ve just continued to keep on winning against anyone who comes their way.