The Los Angeles Dodgers may be hitting their stride as the All-Star break approaches, as they enter play Tuesday with a five-game winning streak and have won 15 of their last 20 games. Included in that is a streak of nine consecutive wins at home.
Their recent stretch of play has come without the services of Joc Pederson and a previously scheduled start from Clayton Kershaw, both of whom are on the disabled list. Los Angeles has been buoyed in part by Adrian Gonzalez, Howie Kendrick and Justin Turner rounding into form after slow starts.
Among the trio, Turner has been particularly hot. Their production is coming on the heels of Trayce Thompson playing a significantly larger-than-expected role for the Dodgers. While Turner and others scuttled on the field, Thompson credited them for providing guidance in the clubhouse.
“We have great examples with Howie, Adrian, Chase and A.J. They act and prepare the same,” he said over the weekend. “You couldn’t tell if they’re 0-for-4 or 4-for-4. That’s what it’s all about, to be the same guy, battle and be confident in yourself. We have some great examples.”
Thompson placed importance on Turner, the Dodgers’ No. 3 hitter. “I think it all starts with JT, I think a lot of credit should be given to him,” the young outfielder said.
“He wasn’t himself in the beginning of the season but he’s been the same guy each day, great teammate and everything. I’m very happen for him. It’s been good for me being a younger guy to follow someone like that.”
Thompson has been a pleasant surprise for the Dodgers this season, batting .237/.317/.465 with 13 home runs and 32 RBIs. “I think he continues to progress I think for Trayce that maturation is when you are struggling and not getting hits, is to stay in there and be mentally tough,” Roberts said.
“His mental toughness and preparation has never been in question. That’s one of those things as a young player when it’s going well, it’s easy to ride that wave. But when you’re struggling a little bit and continuing to have those quality at-bats, that’s why there’s a lot to like about him.”