This season the Dodgers haven't been able to get everyone on the same page, or firing on all cylinders, or whichever cliché fits. The pitching faltered and the bats disappeared, and now poor defense is hurting the team. Three weeks ago I was waving the white flag; while the Dodgers have certainly recovered from those dark days, their playoff chances still hover around an uninspiring 30 percent.
Can this team finally use all its tools in order to play October baseball? A rejuvenated David Wells stabilizes (anchors?) the Dodgers' rotation somewhat and the kids are making huge contributions, while both the Padres and Diamondbacks are experiencing untimely injury problems. So post-season play remains a possibility and would certainly be gratifying, but I still maintain this team isn't built to go deep in the playoffs.
What makes this deficiency tolerable is the prospect of the 2008 season, the first time we should get a full year of James Loney, Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Chad Billingsley and perhaps even Andy LaRoche playing together. If these kids don't taste the playoffs this year, here's hoping they will many times in years to come.