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Dodgers Get Off to Hot Start

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Expect more scenes like this for the Dodgers. AP Photo/Reed Saxon

Two weeks and 12 games into the 2009 season and the Dodgers are looking better than expected. I say this, of course, in full knowledge that all games have been against the other NL West teams.

The pitching has been better than advertised. I said before the season began that the pitching needed only to be serviceable. They have been much more than serviceable thanks to the dominating starts by Chad Billingsley and Clayton Kershaw. In two weeks the Dodgers pitching staff leads the MLB with opponents batting .196, fifth with a collective 3.26 ERA and 139 ERA+ and fourth with only 38 runs given up. The bullpen has been decent posting a 3.80 ERA giving up 13 runs.

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But the injuries to Hiroki Kuroda and Cory Wade do not help. More than ever the pitching staff needs to be efficient and healthy so hopefully this does not become a trend. But with playing all of their games so far in the NL West where offense is definitely not the calling card of the division, the staff should be able to get things together.

As for the offense, well what can you say? With Manny not getting pitches to hit the Dodgers are still third in the National League in runs scored with 68 and second with an OPS+ of 112. Everyone in that lineup has contributed to the offense including pinch hitters Doug Mientkiewicz and Mark Loretta. It’s been a while since the Dodgers have had pinch hitters that can actually get hits.

Another remarkable thing about this team is how deep they are. Even with Rafael Furcal, Russell Martin and Casey Blake taking the day off Saturday, the Dodgers still kept chugging along scoring nine runs.