Losers of four in a row and six of their last ten games, it seems that there has been something missing, a spark that pervasively infected the Dodgers that made a dream become a reality, where every game was a win, even if they were losing seven to nothing in the 8th inning. Fans felt it and the players sure seemed to as well.
But that seems to be gone now, and I’m being asked “What happened? What’s wrong with the Dodgers?”
My answer is, no, it’s not the long season evening out, no, it’s not injuries – they’ve
weathered that storm all season long, no, it’s messing with a good thing by bringing in new players from other teams, from teams that only know how to LOSE.
Look at the records of the teams that Yu Darvish, Curtis Granderson, Tony Watson and Tony Cingrani left behind and you see a combined won loss record 45 games under .500 and a losing mentality that these players have brought to the Dodgers.
I criticized the awful trade for Darvish when it was made and the similarly bad pick up of Cingrani, who remarkably, has not been as horrid as I expected. Watson, the only one of the four pickups that I thought and still believe was a wise move, has been disappointing. And then there is Granderson, a great guy, universally considered a clubhouse asset, a major bargain, and the only one of the four acquisitions that has actually made a contribution to winning games. But I still would have not made the deal. Sticking him into the Dodgers lineup and stealing playing time from the guys that worked so hard and gave so much to help the team achieve a miraculous and virtually unheard of 87-34 record were thrown to the trash heap to give Granderson playing time, and the results have been disastrous.
Will things turn back around? Pundits say getting Cody Bellinger back yesterday and Clayton Kershaw back tomorrow will make all the difference.
I doubt it.
It’s not a question of talent on the field, it’s an issue of “spark” and that certain undefinable chemistry that the team now has seemed to have lost.
Besides Belinger and Kershaw returning, Adrian Gonzalez is back and Alex Wood is ready
to return (scheduled to start Sunday), as also is Brandon McCarthy, and with the expanded roster tomorrow, we will see the activation and return of Andre Ethier as well.
But still, it won’t matter unless Dave Roberts can re-ignite that missing spark.
One final word, about Kershaw: He went on the disabled list on July 24, almost five weeks ago, and no pitcher in either league has been able to pass him in victories over that time. In fact unless he is healthy the rest of the way, gets support from the team – that spark – and puts together a five-win September, it may well be the case that no major league pitcher wins 20 games during the 2017 regular season.