It’s almost quite comical, really. The Dodgers are very, very bad. I’m almost convinced that if they tried to be this bad, they couldn’t be. This season has been the complete antithesis of last season. All you can do is laugh, mainly to stop yourself from crying or throwing things or whatever your coping mechanism might be.
After getting swept by the Cincinnati Reds, who had previously owned the worst record in the majors, the Dodgers sit at 16-24, eight games back of Arizona and .009 percentage points ahead of San Diego for last place in the NL West. Arizona had a five-game losing streak of their own and the Dodgers could have found themselves at .500 and within shouting distance of the Diamondbacks. But this year, those gains are not happening.
In an interview with Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, Andrew Friedman said, “Good teams click on two of three components most nights: starting pitching and defense as one, offense and bullpen. Most nights, we are clicking on one. It’s almost random, night to night.”
It’s true that the Dodgers having seemingly lost it in all areas, looking more Bad News Bears than defending NL Champions. There’s a lot of helmet and batting glove throwing in the dugout. Many pundits have gone so far as to say last year was just all luck and over-achieving. Even if that were to be true, there’s no way that this is what the basis of the team is, this group of guys bumbling around.
Fans are calling for manager Dave Roberts to be fired. For Clayton Kershaw to be traded. That it’s time to sell off the team and start over again. And to those fans I say, you are ridiculous. If you were to believe that last year was over-reaching, and Roberts managed that, how so has he become unable to do it again? Who are you trading Kershaw for? And why are you so willing to give up on him so easily, the man who carried the whole team on his back for so many years? He may be regressing a little, but he’s still Clayton Kershaw. C’mon.
And as for giving up on the season, yes, it is way too early for that. Friedman stated in his interview that the division title is still the goal. Even if that is not to be achieved, the Wild Card is still well within the realm of possibility. They haven’t even fielded the whole squad for a game this season yet.
I can see being mad at the front office for not spending enough during the off-season. Who’s to say that they would have a much better record than they do now? Brandon Morrow would have helped, but maybe a win or two? Yu Darvish hasn’t been all that much better than most of the Dodgers’ starters—can you say for sure he’d help a whole ton? The pitching staff theoretically could be better, but when the offense repeatedly doesn’t score runs, the pitching staff has to be downright perfect, and no team’s is.
I don’t have any answers. Thankfully, Justin Turner and Logan Forsythe are set to return to the lineup Tuesday in Miami. If those two bats in the lineup, especially Turner’s, don’t provide a spark, then I don’t know what to say. It may still even take the team a week or so to find a rhythm. But I do believe that better things are on the horizon for the Dodgers and it is way to soon to throw in the towel for the season.