It’s difficult to even know where to begin when writing an article on the Dodgers these days. Last Monday, I was flippant. Friday, I was morose and somewhat at a loss for what to say, and now….really, what does one say?
The Dodgers have lost ten games in a row. 15 of their last 16.
Their lead in the NL West is now in the single digits. They only lead the Washington Nationals, who clinched their division yesterday, by four games for home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Even Clayton Kershaw couldn’t right this sinking ship.
I think Cody Bellinger stated it best after Sunday’s game: “It sucks.”
The turn of events truly defies explanation. The only reason this team is still in a (tenuously) okay position right now is because of how well they were playing just weeks ago. Even if these two streaks are the extreme, logic would tell you that the truth lies somewhere in the middle, and that they could at very least win half of their games.
So why then does the winning remain so elusive lately? There’s excuses such as they simply ran into really hot teams, like the Diamondbacks. Injuries that deconstructed the ideal lineup. Once the losing started, maybe it got in their heads, and everyone is trying to do too much and it’s all backfiring.
Social media has some great theories: Curtis Granderson wrecked the clubhouse. The front office tinkered a little too much, and it all fell apart. Or, the Dodgers know that there’s no way they can beat Arizona in the NLDS, so they are purposely losing so they would face another team instead. Or my personal favorite, Dave Roberts is such a horrible manager that they should bring Don Mattingly back again.
Like I stated before, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Maybe there are too many people in the clubhouse right now. September call-ups and trying to get playing time for everyone, seeing who can do what in which position, who will make the playoff roster. Maybe they’re pressing too much. Maybe they’re hitting into some bad luck. Maybe baseball is crazy in that the Indians can’t lose, and the Dodgers can’t win.
Yesterday, I jokingly suggested that Yasiel Puig should rent a party bus. Get a group massage, loosen everyone up a little. Have their own version of Festivus and air their grievances. Make a sacrifice to the baseball gods. Anything to get this crazy no-win monkey off their backs.
There are some causes for concern, mainly in the loss of velocity on Alex Wood‘s fastball, and whether Kershaw’s back is really okay, and if second base will ever be offensively productive. Can the bullpen keep it together.
But it all boils down to what is that little spark, that turning point that finally starts the fires again. But as cliche as it sounds, this team is not this bad. They are not how they are playing. Maybe they really aren’t the World Series winning team that we thought they were, but they are not this bad. (Although, I still believe this is a World Series caliber team. I still have the faith).
Let’s hope they turn it around in San Francisco, I think for everyone’s sake. Least of all, so I have something better to write about on Friday.
(FOLLOW ANDY ON TWITTER: @DODGERSANDYINPA)