View from the Right Coast

The Dodgers are sitting pretty. If they don't win their division, they have no one to blame but themselves and that takes in the assorted injuries, aches and pains. It's crunch time … payoff time which means everyone plays and is asked to put out their best effort.

Granted the starting pitching has been in a funk for a couple of weeks, but this team has proven it's ability to come back and to also score runs on occasion. I get the feeling they could score on at least two of the Rockies starters, Estes and Francis. But neither Jackson or Ishii fills me with much confidence. If we can split the four games, and as long as the Giants don't sweep the Padres (doubtful), we will go into the final weekend in pretty good shape.

Alex Cora who was in a slump has come through in recent games and except for an error on Sunday, looks like the Cora of the first half. Adrian Beltré is due for a home run barrage of sorts and Steve Finley a terribly sporadic hitter, is hopefully due to come alive. Izturis and Werth have been getting on base and Green is drawing a lot of walks and isn't striking out or hitting into as many double plays as he has in the past.

Our biggest shortcoming remains David Ross the team's strikeout king who for some reason gets the bulk of the playing time whether against lefthanders or righthanders. He's struck out 60 times in 157 at bats. That's 38% which tops by far two other regulars who do their share of carrying their bats back to the dugout.

Jayson Werth has 75 K's in 259 trips for 29% and Milton Bradley's total whiffs is 120 in 509 trips for 24%. But both Werth and Bradley have come up with some clutch hits and provide some power.

Our bench guys could play crucial roles this week. Jose Hernandez, Olmedo Saenz and Robin Ventura in particular. Having Antonio Perez around to pinch run or hit is helpful.

Yep … things are looking pretty good right now.