Dodger Thoughts

Jon Weisman's outlet for dealing psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball and life

Even the best hit bumps in the road

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Point of parliamentary procedure
On Monday, the Giants completed their May 22 suspended game against Colorado by winning, 4-2. This would seem to mean that the Dodgers’ trailed by 10 games on June 7-8 this year, meaning that they rallied from an even greater hole than in 2013.

By Jon Weisman

At their peak this season, the Dodgers led the Giants in the National League West by 5 1/2 games, on August 12. Five days later, that lead was down to 2 1/2 games after a three-game sweep by Milwaukee, and for some, the roof was caving in.

Ten days later, the lead was back up to 4 1/2 games.

Now, the Dodgers’ lead in the NL West is down to two games, and again, some look up at the ceiling and find it’s hanging a bit low. Maybe this time they’ll be right; maybe it’ll continue to drop and drop until it collapses all around us.

But there isn’t a team in baseball that doesn’t have a house that needs retrofitting from time to time.

  • Washington – the only team in the NL with a better record than the Dodgers, by the way – was swept by last-place Philadelphia one week ago.
  • Milwaukee, which looked like kings of the league after sweeping the Dodgers, is 3-9 since and on a six-game losing streak.
  • St. Louis has popped into first in the NL Central with a three-game winning streak … that immediately followed a four-game losing streak.
  • Kansas City, the underdog delight when it caught and passed Detroit in the AL Central, has lost six of its last nine and all of its three-game lead.
  • Those Tigers are now tied for first place, but only after weathering a 10-17 run.
  • The Angels became the best team in baseball with a 15-4 run … right after losing three straight to the Dodgers and then two of three to the struggling Red Sox.
  • Remember how awful it was that the Dodgers lost two of three to the Cubs? Two weekends ago, maybe the most underrated team in the big leagues, Baltimore, lost three straight to the Cubs.

And then, of course, are the San Francisco Giants, who the national media handed the NL West title to before summer had started. On June 8, they were 42-21. Then on August 25, 27 wins and 41 losses later, they were 69-62.

They win eight straight games, still trail the Dodgers, and now they’re invincible? I’m not quite convinced.

Look, I know that rushing to judgment is irresistible. You see it all the time – people will give up on a game after a bad two innings, so why wouldn’t they give up on a season after a bad couple of losses? The Dodgers trailed the Diamondbacks by 9 1/2 games last year and rallied – that didn’t stop any number of folks from deciding this season was over two months ago. The Dodgers trailed the Nationals in the seventh on Monday, 6-2, then were one Joc Pederson foul ball away from a magical comeback.

I’ve never really known what you gain from the absolute pessimism – it’s one thing to lower expectations, another to eliminate them entirely. But clearly, it’s a thing.

All I can say is this: Baseball is an inherently streaky game, so much so that the 2014 Dodgers’ lack thereof (one winning streak longer than three games, no losing streaks longer) stands out as a true oddity. Los Angeles is 7-8 in its past 15 games, which as lowpoints go, is pretty good.

Over the past week, no doubt, the Giants have been better than the Dodgers. Over the coming weeks, who knows? Enjoy the pennant race.


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  1. oldbrooklynfan

    Thanks Jon, I needed that.

  2. Should be fun!

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