First, have you seen Yasiel Puig's throw from last night?
The beauty of baseball is often talked about with sweet swings, the angles of the diamond, balls caroming off the outfield walls, or an unforgettable pitcher's motion. For this fan, though, nothing is better than a great throw. It could be that my first "love" moment in the national pastime was watching Andre Dawson uncork laser throws during warmups at Wrigley Field. Bo Jackson, of course, was a sight. Vladimir Guerrero carried the torch after them, along with Ichiro Suzuki. Today, the jaw dropping cannon from right field belongs to Puig. Taking a closer look at the throw from last night is incredible because he doesn't even rotate his arm in a full circle. He simply cocks his arm up and back, like a catcher who's throwing the ball less than half the distance.
|AP Photo / Mark J. Terrill|
Third, the Dodgers' bullpen is another strength. With Kenley Jansen, Paco Rodriguez, and J.P. Howell, they have three pitchers holding opponents to a sub-.200 batting average. Their closer, Jansen has an 87-to-9 strikeout-to-unintentional walk ratio. That's a lethal combination when you're also not giving up hits. Relying primarily on a dangerous Slider/Cutter repertoire, Paco Rodriguez has held opponents to a .147 batting average over 44 1/3 innings this year.
Dodger fans who have actually stayed to the end of their games are enjoying a historical run of success. We're not necessarily going all-in on expecting them to win the postseason crapshoot. The Braves, in particular, have similar success stories, with a young productive lineup, good starting pitching, and another fantastic relief corps.
Here's to enjoying the moment.