The Whirling Darvish and the Sinking Dodgers

Can I say “I told you so?” Leading the Dodgers’ EPIC COLLAPSE is the staggeringly overrated savior that the Dodgers’ acquired virtually seconds before the trade deadline, a trade that will go down in Dodgers’ history as one of the epic mistakes the team has ever made, not quite Pedro Martinez for Delino DeShields or Mike Piazza for a pile of crap, but given the significance and the hype and the track record and expertise of the guy now pulling the strings, a monumental error.

I previously wrote about the trade and won’t go into those specifics again, but the fact of the matter is, having given up real talent for Yu Darvish, hereinafter “the Whirling Darvish”, a pitcher epically overrated, and to attach such monumental reliance on his

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stepping into the number two (or even number one depending on the health of Clayton Kershaw) starting slot, was pure folly.

For the record, the Whirling Darvish has now compiled a three-year record of 25-24 with an ERA of 3.63 – marks of a true superstar, number one starter, right? But as a member of the Dodgers’ rotation his ERA is 5.34, but since his fine beginning going seven shutout innings on August 4 against the hapless New York Mets (62-79, 11th in the league in batting, 11th in the league in hits, 11th in the league in batters struck out) his Dodgers’ record reads as follows: 1 Win, 3 Losses, 6.94 ERA and 1.84 WHIP, and for the full season he is now 8-12 with a 4.25 ERA.

Sure, other players are contributing to the epic collapse. Just why is Austin Barnes getting more and more playing time behind the plate? It’s because Yasmani Grandal is, despite all those “experts” claiming what a great catcher he is, the fact is that he STINKS behind the plate, that he leads major league baseball in passed balls and among all major league regular catchers, he is fourth from LAST in both runners caught stealing and Defensive Wins Against Replacements.

Rich Hill, the $48 Million dollar man who only once in his 12 year career pitched more than 111 innings in a season, has now passed 112 for the 2017 season, and since the end of July he has gone 1-3 with an ERA of 4.41. Alex Wood, who overall still has had a remarkable season, stood 11-0 with an ERA of 1.56 on July 15. Since, he has gone 3-2 with an ERA of 5.12, and he has spent time on the disabled list.

I wrote the other day about how the spark of the Dodgers has been extinguished by the acquisition of veteran players from losing teams who have brought that losing mentality to the Dodgers. Well, just take a look a Curtis Granderson since his acquisition. Hitting a robust .228 as a member of the Mets, as a Dodger his average now stands at .106, with a Wins Against Replacements of MINUS 0.2, and yet he seems to be out there playing almost every single game. WHY? It’s certainly not his defense, if you’ve actually seen him play the outfield. Just as Granderson batting, where once in a while between weak outs he connects for a home run, in the outfield, once in a while he makes a nice catch, while

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virtually every routine play is an adventure. The Dodgers are 5-15 since acquiring Granderson.

But most of all the collapse has, in my opinion, has been due to Manager Dave Roberts having treated the past three weeks as a spring training for post season play, inserting journeymen, minor leaguers, and those new acquisitions with only a history of LOSING into everyday lineups. Roberts has gained well deserved accolades for the job he’s done in only his second season as a manager, but he’s blowing it all now, due to his inexperience and major, major mistakes.

The Dodgers have now lost 13 of their last 14 games, winning only in Clayton Kershaw’s return start on Sep. 1. But, Kershaw’s awful performance and loss in his second start two days ago, followed by the Whirling Darvish’s miserable outing last night, may well serve to throw the Dodgers’ even further into a mentality far past concern, and now of confusion and of the questioning of whether or not prior success was actually real, of questioning which is the real Dodgers’ team of today. Can you say Wilmer Fonts or Fabio Castillo?

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