When last I wrote about the Dodgers, they had lost eight of 11, and by the grace of a horrible division without a second decent team, they had at that time a 12-game lead over the second place Arizona Diamondbacks.
Well, since then the team has lost six of eight, now totaling a 5 win, 14 loss record over the last 19. The stinko D’backs have gained a whole game-and-a-half in the past week. The Dodgers should thank their lucky stars for the miserable start the Giants had, as they are the hot team now, having climbed above the Rockies and Padres into third place. Fortunately for LA and unfortunately for the City, there aren’t enough games left for the Giants to make a run at the playoffs, let alone first place in the West Division, or any
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|division for that matter.
What the Dodgers do need to worry about:
1) Mounting injuries, especially to Yasiel Puig, Hanley Rameriz, Carl Crawford, and Andre Ethier, one-half the regular lineup, and the run-producing part of it, save for Adrian Gonzalez;
2) The renewed inability to score enough runs to win a game started by Clayton Kershaw. Keshaw has one win since Aug. 22, despite pitching well in all but one start since then. Throughout his career except for his
21-win 2011 season, the Dodgers just have not hit and not played well behind him, resulting in sparkling ERAs, strikeout totals, strikeout to walk ratios, WHIPs and opposing batting percentages, yet won-lost records astoundingly close to .500. In fact, despite his lifetime 2.63 ERA and opposing .212 batting average, take away 2011 and his career
won-lost record is 54-41;
3) The bullpen continues to flounder. Paco Rodriguez has an 11.21 ERA over his las seven appearances, Ronald Belisario a 4.93 ERA over his last seven, and Brandon
League is at 12.00 over his last nine appearances.
Compound these pitching issues with the addition of Edinson Volquez, who is at 5.40 over his four appearances (one in relief and three starts) as a Dodger.
As the season draws to a close and the empty uniform non-manager Don Mattingly continues to rest players, the team has lost the spunk and spirit that propelled them to such a phenomenal mid-season dominance.
It’s not easy to get something like that back.