You’re never too low to rise again

The past two nights have provided as big a gap between expectations and fulfillment as we’ve seen in a while, a combination of poor execution and poor luck, punctuated each time by Matt Kemp turning himself into a self-made pinata. The good news is that as soon as today, that gap can be bridged, even with Kemp spending the game on the bench. Save yourself talk of chemistry and curses – it’s heartily premature.

The more real concern is that a team that finally boasts a lineup equipped for the postseason has a gap to overcome to get there first. Los Angeles has fallen a season-high 3 1/2 games behind San Francisco with 32 remaining. That’s a reversal that will require a bit more patience.

It’s not that the ground can’t be made up – it can be, and with weeks to spare. A month from today, the Dodgers can be 3 1/2 games out of first place and still win the World Series. But I think most Dodger fans would rather feel more secure. That means having a cushion heading into the final three games of the regular season against San Francisco and a pitching staff that would test any lineup. That means going from 3 1/2 out to 3 1/2 up.

It’s far too soon to panic, but it’s not too soon to hope the Dodgers can pick their crumpled bodies off the ground right away. It has only taken three days for bravado to turn back into humility. Let the shell-shocking Rockies be the inspiration, and let the Dodgers now be the humble assassins.

Hit the ball, pitch the ball, catch the ball. If Colorado can do it, so can Los Angeles.

  • Anonymous

    Go Blue!

  • Anonymous

    I harken back to 2008.  Manny starts playing for us on Aug 1, when we are 3 games back. On Aug 29, we are 4.5 games back, but by Sept 14 we are 4.5 games up when Kershaw beats the Rox in Coors.  We finish up 2 up when on the last day of the season Lincecum beats us.

    • Anonymous

       That put’s everything in context. Professionals do not panic.

      • Anonymous

        Last time I panicked was in 2009, when we were 6 up with 7 to play and proceeded to loose 5 straight, but that was over concens that the champagne would be ruined by the delay.

  • Anonymous

    We imported that bad chemistry from the Bosox.  And it cost us $260 million!  When we coulda used that money for a reprise of “No, No Nanette”.

  • Anonymous

    Joe Mauer is on waivers. Trade for Treanor?

    • Anonymous

      Morneau was out there last week, claimed by an unknown team, then retracted when no deal could be worked out.

      • Anonymous

        Morneau would be superfluous, but the Dodgers could use a little help at backup catcher.

  • Adam Luther

    Victorino presumably will be in CF?  Nice insurance policy right there-

    • Anonymous

      Good point. The bad part is LF reverts to what it was in April.

      • Anonymous

        Artie, did you see the performance by Rivera after robbing the Rox of a dinger?  Priceless.

        • Anonymous

           It was a fine catch, and even better theater.

          • foul tip

             What was the theater?  I don’t see games, so don’t know.

          • Anonymous

            He walked slowly back from the fence with a blank stare for about ten feet, then opened his glove and threw the ball back to the infield. It’s probably on yesterday’s MLBTV highlights.

          • Anonymous

            Nelson, the Rox 3rd baseman, mimicked Rivera in the 9th on a foul pop up into the stands where he had to sprawl over the tarp, though when he finally opened his glove there was no ball.

    • Anonymous

      Any better than Tony Gwynn Jr was?  Not defensively.  On paper, Victorino is a better hitter, but not so far in Blue.

      Adrian Gonzales and Hanley Ramirez are clear upgrades at their positions.  I’m still not convinced that picking up Victorino and Blanton improved the team.  I was skeptical at the time, and they’ve been even worse than expected.

  • Anonymous

    If my math is correct (a big if) we would be 5 1/2 back if we had lost just one of those three games in NY SF. One game separates patience from panic?

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

       Well, what if we had won just one of the games against the Giants in Los Angeles?

      • Anonymous

        Well then we could 1 1/2 to 5 1/2 games back depending on the combination. My point is that there is such a fine line between patience and panic that they almost blur. And usually that fine line is one game, like today’s game. Is it the final game of the season? No. Does it feel like a game to save your season, to me yes.

    • Anonymous

      That’s why there are 162 of them.

  • Anonymous

    Look at those Dodger fans in Colorado :)

  • Anonymous

    Stephen Strasburg – Tired of hearing his name? – I sure am! …  :-)

    Listening to some guy covering for Dan Patrick this morning.
    He was absolutely fixated on the Strasburg situation, and how organizational mismanagement has perhaps led to his needing to miss time down the stretch…and, perhaps the remainder of the season.

    Who cares? – Boring story unless you’re a Nationals fan.

    Also, this guy said that he felt that the GM, Mike Rizzo, blew it by saying “what an honor it was for Strasburg to play in the All Star Game and represent the Nationals.” – thus putting pressure on Stephen to play.
    This host felt that notion was, “disrespectful to the Nationals clubhouse” …

    What?
    I totally agree with the GM on this one.
    As much as I’d like to win during the season, there was a time when players actually wanted to play in the All Star Game….The GM was right. 
    To me, the notion of Strasburg playing was actually “showing respect to the fans” as it is the fans who pay the players’ salaries with their hard earned dollars and support.
    Showing respect for the fans is ‘always the right move.’  – IMHO.

  • Anonymous

    You may be tired of hearing his name, but you refer to him at least four times in your own post.  Getting national press is the reward the Nats get for playing as well as they have and for whatshisname pitching as well as he has.

    • Anonymous

      Hey Bob.
      I’m not trying to knock Stephen, himself… in any way.
      I like him, and enjoy watching him pitch. 
      Terrific talent.

      • Anonymous

        Sure, I understand.  Just trying to point out the irony in your rant and then your post.

  • http://twitter.com/snakealicious75 Snake Smith

    Deadspin is calling Kemp running into the wall at full speed “a possible metaphor for the Dodgers’ season”

    • Anonymous

       Lazy writing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=713935344 Jason Ungar

    We have to get it together and have added a MVP type player but it appears the Giants have come together already. Since loosing their best hitter and MVP candidate they have gone 8-3 and swept us. 

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

       If the Giants don’t hit another rough patch, they’ll win the division.  But it seems reasonable to think they’ll hit another rough patch.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=713935344 Jason Ungar

         It does, but that schedule they have scares me more than the talent level of their team. 15 of their next 32 at home. And other than us for 6 games, no teams they play are currently over .500

    • Anonymous

       Sooner or later, exterminators find the Gnats.

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

    Elbert to DL, Tolleson recalled

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for always putting things into perspective Jon.  For this first time poster, long time reader the thing that frustrates me the most about losing to the Rockies over and over again is seeing their lineup and not recognizing any of the names on there.  I mean it’s one thing to lose to the worst team in our division, but when all of their best players are on the DL and we’re losing by 4 or more, it’s like a punch in the gut.  These are the games that we should be making up ground….. not losing it.

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

       I was stunned by the Rockies’ lineups the past two days – and stunned again by the poundings.

  • foul tip

    Verducci offers the almost-obligatory winners/losers take on the trade.  He thinks both teams won, at least for now, and looks at some individuals, too. 

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/tom_verducci/08/27/dodgers-red-sox-trade-winners-losers/index.html?sct=mlb_wr_a1

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

    NPUT