The Dodgers are so thin, so precarious, that even when things are going okay, one knows that the slightest little bump would cause everything to fall apart. Such it was in today's game. Chad Billingsley was trucking along, getting tagged for one run in the third, escaping a jam in the fourth, and then pitching an easy two innings before tiring a bit. But it was still a 1-1 game going into the eighth, and then things fell apart.
Matt Kemp was HBP to leadoff the inning, and then Juan Uribe flied to left on a ball that replays showed was trapped--but the umpires ruled it a catch. Kemp was promptly doubled off of first, and instead of two on, none out, it was none on, two out. And when manager Don Mattingly's protested prior to the bottom of the eighth (leading to his subsequent ejection, along with Uribe), it was like we had surrendered the game right then, before Billingsley had started the bottom of the frame.
Billingsley walked the first batter on five pitches, and then Bills and his replacement Hong-Chih Kuo combined to give up three straight doubles, resulting in a 4-1 deficit and effectively the end of the game.
This is how it is for the Dodgers: if we can't have a large lead by game's end, we can't withstand all the little gnats that peck at us late. Even if it's a small thing like a bad call. We're not strong enough to withstand any sort of adversity. And that's why we're four below .500.