Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Truth Hurts

Tony Jackson's latest post, following the Dodgers' depressing series-losing defeat last night to the Giants, portends a long, sad year of offensive impotence. If you're a Dodger fan, reading this will make you wholly depressed. And what's worse, it's right.

SAN FRANCISCO -- As the ball disappeared into the chilly Bay Area night, so, basically, did all hope for the Los Angeles Dodgers. It was a scene that perfectly illustrated what has become a growing concern for this club, one that could ultimately define the Dodgers' season if a solution isn't found fairly quickly.

It was the bottom of the sixth inning of Wednesday night's game, a 4-3 loss to the San Francisco Giants before a sellout crowd of 42,060 at AT&T Park, and Giants second baseman Mike Fontenot, who wasn't even added to the starting lineup until just before game time, had just deposited a pitch from Ted Lilly into the narrow strip of stands in straightaway right field. The solo blast broke a tie that had existed since Pablo Sandoval also had gone deep against Lilly earlier in the same inning.

"Two swings of the bat, and we're behind," Lilly said.

It was the bottom of the sixth inning. But for the Dodgers, it was basically lights out.

This isn't a team that plays well from behind, especially in the late innings. This isn't a team that is well equipped to overcome a deficit -- even of one run -- when the opposing manager is playing chess with the back end of his bullpen. Not with its leadoff man, Rafael Furcal, on the disabled list for at least the next month. Not with two guys who normally hit fifth and sixth in the order, Juan Uribe and James Loney, both hitting well below .200. Not with a team batting average of .178 for the season with runners in scoring position, including strikeouts in all four such at-bats in this game.

It isn't that the Dodgers are dead the minute the other team scores a run. They can come back early, as they did when Rod Barajas slammed a two-run homer off a previously dominating Jonathan Sanchez (1-1) in the fourth to tie the score. But a lead that gets away like the one Lilly coughed up in that sixth? A big hit by the opposition in the latter, or even the middle, stages of a game that seemingly puts the Dodgers' backs against the wall?

In cases like those, forget about it.

It's gonna be a loooooooong year, my friends.


Steve Sax said...

Mets come back from a 6-2 deficit with one run in the eighth and two runs in the ninth, load the bases for David Vitamin Water Wright. Wright has a 3-1 count and then flies out to right to end the game.

Rockies win, 6-5.

Steve Sax said...

More importantly, I did not receive any badges for that game.

Steve Sax said...

Game 2 of the COL @ NYM doubleheader just started. I'm getting me a damn badge this time.

And hopefully the Mets can win a damn game

spank said...

Just to let everyone know:
I am selling half-priced beers in the parking lot tonight. Beatings are free.

Steve Sax said...

mets take a 2-0 lead in the second.

they're still going to lose.

i have no badges yet from today.

Steve Sax said...

mets quickly give one run back and they're not out of the third inning yet

Steve Sax said...

hey, they gave both runs back! Mid-3, 2-2 tie

Fred's Brim said...

This is terrible.
"The Dodgers don't have the heart to come back late."

Make a real argument, ass. Something like "Lefty relievers will make Dre and Loney irrelevant" or "Dodger hitters aren't good enough to deal with teams who have hard-throwing bullpens", not "they don't have what it takes"