The Dodgers’ June Swoon produced an 11-17 record. July began with a 4-4 start before the All-Star game, but even with today’s win, the team is 2-4 since the All-Star game, and now sits at 2-1/2 games behind the first-place Giants. As the Dodgers’ were losing over the past few weeks, diehards were saying it was because of all those injuries, injuries to Matt Kemp, Mark Ellis, and then Andre Ethier, in particular.
Well, they’ve all been back since the break, and it really hasn’t helped. Yep, today, Matt Kemp homered in the 12th inning to give the Dodgers a win, but that win ended a four game losing streak. Sure, Kemp will win games for the Dodgers, but he can’t do it alone. He and Andre Ethier and Mark Ellis can’t do it alone.
In their absence, the team depended on names like unknowns Elian Herrera and Scott Van Slyke, They continue to depend on names like journeymen Jerry Hairston, Juan Uribe, and Tony Gwynn and on over-the-hill guys like Adam Kennedy and Bobby Abreu. And they now must depend on a starting rotation missing last season’s number two and three starters, Ted Lilly and Chad Billingsley. Only Clayton Kershaw remains from last year’s rotation, save for the six starts made by Nick Eovaldi.
A Tommy Lasorda, or a Walter Alston, could waive a magic wand and squeeze victories out of this group. Don Mattingly? You’ve got to be kidding.
The new moneybags inhabiting the Dodgers’ executive offices may well be emptied in the next few days to acquire some talent, but the fact remains that with Mattingly in charge, and with so many question marks, the worst may be yet to come.
In a season barely half over and in one which started off so well, the next two and one-half months look bleak.