first_imgBoston’s IL runs six deep; the Dodgers’, three deep. The injuries to Rich Hill, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Clayton Kershaw weren’t as serious as feared. Kershaw only missed four starts, Ryu missed one, and Hill might conceivably be back by now if Julio Urías were pitching poorly in his place. Only one of the Dodgers’ position players (Martin) has needed the injured list to this point, and he didn’t even play for the Dodgers – or any playoff team, for that matter – last season. Martin’s replacement (Rocky Gale) has only gotten 10 plate appearances in a backup role. It’s the same core group as last year, and they’re off to a strong start. If the Dodgers were 9-14, with half an active roster on the IL, they would have a built-in excuse.Nor would they be alone. The New York Yankees have 13 players on their injured list right now. They’re 10-10, and their GM has been forced to defend his medical staff to the media. That’s a tough place to be, but you can understand how the Yankees got there. Long seasons can take a real physical toll. This time a year ago, the Dodgers’ DL ran five deep (Yimi Garcia, Tom Koehler, Rich Hill, Logan Forsythe, Justin Turner). They were 10-10, and things were about to get worse before they got better. What the Dodgers are doing right now wasn’t a given.It’s easy to ascribe the emotional quality of “hunger” to a team that just missed winning a championship. Players and coaches talk about it. Fans look for it. If you squint hard enough, maybe you can see it even when it isn’t there. I don’t know if the Dodgers’ “hunger” is enough to explain their success so far.I do know that the Milwaukee Brewers, who came closer to returning to the World Series than they have since losing to the St. Louis Cardinals in 1982, just played the Dodgers to an extremely competitive four-game series. Combine the seven head-to-head games between the Dodgers and Brewers this month, and each team scored 27 runs. The Dodgers won four games, the Brewers three. While it’s easy to marvel mouth agape at what the Red Sox are (or aren’t) doing, the Dodgers have to get through the National League first. The Brewers seem just as intent as the Dodgers on being there at the finish. Maybe we’re all more hungry in the absence of a hangover after all.Thanks for reading the Inside the Dodgers newsletter. To receive the newsletter in your email, sign up here. Stuck in the middle – The Dodgers are waiting for A.J. Pollock to snap out of a mediocre funk.Segundo generation – Miguel Vargas, the Dodgers’ next big Cuban prospect, talked about coming to the U.S. along with his father.Back with a vengeance – Connor Joe is 7-for-14 at Triple-A Oklahoma City since the Giants returned him to the Dodgers.Dingers – The 2019 season might feature an average of one more home run per game than the 2014 season. Editor’s note: The following story is from today’s Inside the Dodgers newsletter. To receive the newsletter in your email, sign up here.Dave Dombrowski, the general manager of the Boston Red Sox, sat down with a local sports-talk station last week to announce he isn’t blowing up his team’s roster. Ostensibly this has been a legitimate question for the defending World Series champs. The Red Sox have played 22 “real” games since last October. They’re 9-13.Including the playoffs, the Red Sox played three fewer games than the Dodgers did in 2018. On paper, the Dodgers (14-9) weren’t any less ripe for a World Series hangover than the Sox. They’re essentially the same teams as last year. Colton Brewer went to Boston, while A.J. Pollock, Russell Martin and Joe Kelly (from Boston) went to Los Angeles. So what’s going on?Justin Turner, Chris Taylor and Walker Buehler are off to slow starts for the Dodgers. For the Red Sox, the problems are more pervasive. Mookie Betts is hitting .244, Jackie Bradley Jr. is hitting .200 and World Series MVP Steve Pearce is hitting .138. Their starting pitchers have a collective 6.28 earned-run average. The injured list offers a more revealing story. Sitting in the chair just to stare, set to sprint. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img

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