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OK, so it’s possible that I’m wishing that I could fast-forward through part of this season’s stretch run and go straight to the moment of “Did the Dodgers make the playoffs or didn’t they?”

Boy, were the Dodgers hot to start this season or what?  They had to be, because this period of mediocre play just seems interminable, and yet the pennant hopes haven’t gone anywhere.

Just as Clayton Kershaw cruised almost perfectly through the first half of Friday’s game, Joe Blanton was practically dominant tonight against the Marlins.  After pitching four innings of one-hit ball, the bottom of the fifth began, and Blanton allowed a blast by Giancarlo Stanton. (I can only hope that somewhere, it was seen by Susan Anton.)  The towering fly ball to the left-field concourse of the Marlins’ new stadium went foul, and one pitch later, it was Stanton standin’ as a called strike three whizzed by.

But the next batter doubled.  And the batter after that, .118-hitting obscure and barely memorable former Dodger backup infielder Nick Green, hit a sharp bounder off the wrist of third baseman Jerry Hairston Jr., and after that, things just began falling apart for the Dodgers. Miami took out Blanton with a four-run inning, then stuck it to utterly ineffective new acquisition Brandon League for three more in the seventh.

Losing 7-3, the Dodgers fell a game behind the Giants in the National League West. It matters, just like it matters that Matt Kemp had three hits and two steals, but struck out after going to a 3-0 count with the bases loaded in the second inning. Right?

I’m daring fate to intervene, but it almost seems like there’s no escape from contention this year. The Dodgers can keep stepping on cracks, but no backs are breaking. On to the next piece of sidewalk.

Hey, I like baseball, but I feel like I’m just being played with here.

My house is a mess, stuff everywhere, paint fading, but it’s home. That’s the Dodgers, right? They’re sparkly in parts, otherwise dilapidated.  They’re not without their entertaining moments, but all in all, I wouldn’t mind skipping ahead to the part where I find out if they’re cleaned up or a tear-down.  At least, take me into September, because right now, this thing with San Francisco feels like the least compelling neck-and-neck race I’ve seen in a long time.

  • Anonymous

    Lest we forget, the same intellect that put Jerry at 3b also proclaimed league “…filthy”.

    At this point, I’d rather clean the McCourt stables completely and not win the west than the opposite scenario.

    • Anonymous

      You do know that you don’t make any sense.

      • Anonymous

        Translation:  Mattingley stupidly put Hariston at third and Loney in the lineup where he would come up to bat early in the game with the bases loaded.  And, Mattingley stupidly said League has filthy stuff.

        • Anonymous

          Does anyone make a batting order to have someone bat 6th for the sole purpose of having that guy come up to bat with two outs in the first with the bases loaded?

          That may happen once or twice a season.

        • Anonymous

          While your explanation sounds a little conspiratorial, Hairston’s clearly not a third baseman except in a pinch – Green’s ball was clearly an error, not a double – and League’s one of the game’s worst relief pitchers.

          • Anonymous

            According to Fangraphs, there are seven relievers ranked worse than League in WPA.
            Francisco Rodriguez (Failed Brewers closer)
            Santiago Casilla (Failed Giants closer)
            Javy Guerra (Failed Dodgers closer)
            Henry Rodriguez (Failed Nationals closer)
            John Axford (see Francisco Rodriguez)
            Heath Bell (Failed Marlins closer)
            Francisco Cordero (Failed Blue Jays and Astros closer)

            And League lost the Mariners closing job.

            I’m detecting a trend at how you get to the bottom of this list.

            Just above League are Livan Hernandez and Rex Brothers.

          • Anonymous

            You get to the bottom of the list by being good enough to be considered a closer than losing the job, because WPA isn’t a measure of a player’s level of performance but how the player influenced games. There could be and are many worse relievers than League, but precisely because they were worse they were never put in the high-leverage situations to begin with.

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    Tonight’s incorporation of Susan Anton into my Dodger Thoughts writeup recalls my 2007 tribute to the Landers sisters bit.ly/PbASzk

  • Anonymous

    If your a fan of Parks and Rec (which I am), perhaps this will bring a smile to your face,
    http://shop.uncovet.com/treat-yo-self

  • http://www.linkmeister.com/wordpress/ Linkmeister

    A Toaster sighting! Those are always fun to see.

    I haven’t had a drink in 12 years nor a cigarette in 5+ weeks, but this team may cause me to relapse into both. 

    • Anonymous

       Stay strong, Link. 

  • http://twitter.com/RobertTiffin Robert Tiffin

    The stars have been injured, the pitching sporadic, the new acquisitions ineffective at best, and yet we’re still right there. I’ve been telling people that it just can’t last, but really, if it couldn’t last another 50 games, it wouldn’t have lasted this far.

    I really do wish Ned would stop acquiring Meh relievers every midseason, though. (Sherril excepted. Before he melted down the following year, at least.)

    • Anonymous

      In a year that many had written off as transition before it even started. Who’d a thunkit? And in the big picture, the future may well be brighter for the Dodgers than it ever has been in their history. An ownership group that wants to win and has the resources the O’Malleys could not dream of, and a president with an impressive list of past success. Branch Rickey+George Steinbrenner=Guggenheim Baseball Group. With so many icons getting on in years, it can not happen soon enough. The Dodgers may not win anything this year, but the future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades.

  • Anonymous

    My guess on the Dodger’s winter plans:
    They will make little or no effort to resign Victorino, they will go after Hamilton, Choo, or some such. 
    They will non-tender Loney and MAY try to sign him for titi money as they go after a better hitter. ‘Ramirez back to third, Gordon at shortstop and lead-off.
    Bring back Gwynn to back-up Kemp (if necessary)/
    MAYBE bring up Sands and/or Castellano.
    Replace Treanor with FEDEX.
    Sign expensive pitcher.
    Good job if they can do it…

    • Anonymous

      Choo is not a FA and signing Hamilton will be a disaster. Hamilton is a hacker of the worst kind who made his approach work with a mountain of talent. But I’m not convinced that his swing at everything approach will work as he gets older. That’s a lot of risk to take on for a guy who’s going to command $80-$100 mil.

      And shouldn’t “Gordon at shortstop and lead-off” wait until Gordon is not the worst player in the league anymore? I’m not saying that it’s 100% impossible that Gordon can become an average player, but he’s not there yet.

  • Anonymous

    There are two reasons we’re still in the race.

    1. Early in the season, we built up a lead by going 17 games over .500.  Since we’re now 8 games over .500, that means since then we’ve played 9 games UNDER .500.  We’re still contending because of how well we played early, not how well we’ve done since then.

    2. We’re in a division where nobody else is doing well.  The division-leading ‘ants have the same record as the Cardinals, who are mired in third place, six games behind, and would not even be a wild card if the season ended today.  The Cardinals are praying that they might get to the one-game wild card playoff, which is no great prize.  That’s where we’d be if our division had a team doing as well as the Nats, Reds, or Braves.  It doesn’t.

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    NPUT

  • Anonymous

    apparently, one poster here thinks so.  I am just the translator.  I specialize in translating what appears to make no sense and few will ever know if I translated correctly.