Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Down But Not Yet Out

Yesterday's WSJ (no link) had a short piece on the NL West and how all four teams in the running (if you can call the Dodgers "in the running") have a shot--the worst odds of the bunch, but still a shot. Here's an excerpt:

The four flawed contestants -- the San Diego Padres, Colorado Rockies, San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers, all within 5 1/2 games of one another before Monday night -- have more of a go-kart feel to them. Each could win the derby; each could just as easily break down in a smoking heap.

The Giants can pitch but, aside from Aubrey Huff and Buster Posey, can't hit. The Padres can't hit either, and their pitching isn't as good as the results suggest. The Dodgers can hit but, unlike practically every Dodger contender ever, have mediocre pitching. And the Rockies? Don't the rules require that you have a first baseman?

Since 1901, only four times have four teams finished within five games of first place, excluding seasons shortened by work stoppages. The last time this happened was the 1988 American League East, when five teams did so. "It's going down to the end, that's for sure," says Giants starting pitcher Matt Cain.

Here's a look at each of the teams and their odds, according to Bodog.com, of surviving this four-way run-off: [...]

Dodgers (7/1 to win division; 9/2 to make postseason)

What can we say about the Dodgers except, well, what happened to the good ol' Dodgers? A franchise that built its legacy on pitching now relies on a staff with a below-par team ERA (4.16). "You wish you could just snap your fingers and fix it," says general manager Ned Colletti. "But it's not that easy."

Their bats are keeping them in the running -- especially Matt Kemp's and Andre Ethier's, which have combined for 31 homers. That said, the Dodgers' offense is due to decline. They rank ninth in the majors in batting average on balls in play -- a wonky stat that measures how often batted balls fall in for base hits -- which indicates the Dodgers are getting more breaks than they should.

And don't forget the continuing divorce between owner Frank McCourt and wife Jamie, the team's former chief executive. Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Scott Gordon said last week that their squabbles could force them to sell the team. Even if that doesn't happen, the legal issues might hamper their ability to take on new financial obligations as part of a late push.

How Matt Kemp gets mentioned over James Loney is beyond me, but at least they got All-Star Andre Ethier's name right (and avoided the easy target of Jonathan Broxton). The Padres had the best odds at 4/7 and 1/3; the Rockies were next at 9/2 and 3/1; and the Giants were 4/1 and 9/5.

15 comments:

rbnlaw said...

I see the bottom line of the WSJ piece: Honneycutt has to go.

Sorry, but we need a scapegoat, and the pitching sucks.

Booger said...

This slump has brought me out of hiding!!! This team is playing like Horses#%t right now!!

rbnlaw said...

Where's DB???

My powers have worked again!!

rbnlaw said...

Let me try this one more time:

I really believe the Dodgers can win with consistency, and the bullpen will turn things around.

(waits patiently)

rbnlaw said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Neeebs said...

Booger sighting!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Fred's Brim said...

There is a 4/5 chance that FB will lose another eye before the end of the season

Fred's Brim said...

I need to rededicate myself to this team. As these losses have mounted, I have found that I care less and less. I quietly chuckled as I read the recap of last night's game. There's something wrong with that, and it makes me mad that I feel that way. These guys deserve better and I intend on giving them a better FB.

Mr. Customer said...

@FB

At some point, self-flagellation stops being emotionally useful. Just let it go and enjoy the tepid embrace of apathy.

Mr. Customer said...

I admit that I felt a mixture of horror and morbid amusement watching last night's obscene display.

Neeebs said...

@MC:

I felt EXACTLY the same way last night. Well...maybe not exactly. Ok, just the horror and obscene part.

Mr. Customer said...

@Neeebs

Is it just me? No one else laughs out loud in horror movies, either.

karina said...

Horror movies are the less likely to be real...this one shouldn't be the exception.

Neeebs said...

@MC

I only laugh at bad special effects.

Mr. Customer said...

I guess that confirms I'm a weirdo.

Alert the media.