Dodger Thoughts

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

Winning opponents: It just doesn’t matter

By Jon Weisman

In 2014, the San Francisco Giants went 9-10 against the National League West champion Dodgers, 2-5 against the NL East champion Washington Nationals and 0-3 against the American League champion Kansas City Royals.

Against teams with winning records, the Giants were 27-31 last year.

Then they won the World Series.

That alone should stall any discussion that you need to beat winning teams in the regular season in order to be successful in the playoffs.

Mike Marshall went 5 for 26 with no walks against the Mets in 1988, then popped the champagne in October.

Mike Marshall went 5 for 26 with no walks against the Mets in the 1988 regular season, then popped the champagne in October.

Whispers that this is a problem for the Dodgers have begun — at a ridiculously early point in the season, given that the team has only played seven games against teams with winning records in 2015. Of course, all of those games have been against the Giants with only two victories to show for it, which doesn’t calm anyone’s nerves. But the insignificance of seven games out of 162-plus-October should be clear to anyone who didn’t start watching baseball this year.

Never mind that with one more victory, the San Diego Padres would have a winning record, and suddenly the Dodgers would have 200 percent more victories against winning teams, not to mention the same winning percentage (within .004) against winning teams as the Giants last year. That’s how goofy it is to be worried about this.

If only the Dodgers’ 4-3 record against St. Louis in 2014 had meant something — or for that matter, their two victories out three in Kansas City 11 months ago. Conversely, who that experienced it can forget the Dodgers’ 1-10 record against the New York Mets entering the 1988 playoffs? Or their 11-1 domination of the Phillies before the ill-fated 1983 postseason?

Last year, the Dodgers lost six of their first eight games to the Giants, then won eight of their last 11. This proved less useful than a Magic 8 Ball for predicting the future.

There’s nothing like getting shut out in San Francisco to make you want to, I don’t know, give up baseball entirely. But right now, the Dodgers’ only goals are to have the most wins they can possibly have over the next 124 games — against anybody — and have the best possible squad to ride the unstable roller coaster of October. So far, they’re well on their way.

Footnote: 88 years ago today, the 1927 Yankees scored one run against the Indians and lost. Cleveland would finish 66-87 that year. Sometimes, it’s just not your day.


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  1. As the season began, The Vin was interviewed and he said that the telltale sign for this team would be whether it got off to a fast start because it would open the season against mostly .500 teams. We did indeed get off to a fast start.

  2. jpavko

    As long as the Dodgers win, no matter who we play, the rest of the division can’t catch us

  3. Losing to the Giants always matters


    Bill Murray other great motivational speech

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