Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Final 15

So it comes down to this: one game back in the Wild Card race, with 15 games to go against a much tougher schedule than our Wild Card rival, St. Louis. And even though that August blockbuster trade will be partially judged by 2013 and beyond, Mark Saxon of ESPN comments that the Dodgers' performance this year is definitely an indicator of its yield:

LOS ANGELES -- Just after 2 p.m. on Aug. 25, Matt Kemp clicked a cell phone picture of the Los Angeles Dodgers' lineup -- with Adrian Gonzalez batting fourth -- and tweeted it to his more than 200,000 followers.

At that moment, Gonzalez was somewhere over the desert at an altitude of roughly 30,000 feet aboard a private jet, but he would, indeed, be in the lineup that day and hit a dramatic three-run home run in his first at-bat as a Dodger.

Kemp's tweet contained just one word and a hash tag.


Three-and-a-half weeks later, "wow" seems about right, for all the wrong reasons. After taking on more than a quarter-of-a-billion dollars in salary obligations to land Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Nick Punto and an injured Carl Crawford from the Boston Red Sox, the Dodgers have slipped further from their objective. They are 8-13 since the trade, have gone from two games back in the NL West to a barely breathing 7½ back and are hanging on in the wild-card race only because the St. Louis Cardinals have struggled just as badly as they have.

It's not exactly what they were envisioning when they made one of the brashest transactions in baseball history.

"I don't think anybody in here can put their finger on it," said Dodgers second baseman Mark Ellis. "We just haven't swung the bats well."

There's no doubt that the events following that trade have been frustrating, infuriating, and deflating. Heck, Jon Weisman can't even bear to watch.

I'm feeling the same thing. One thought we might be turning a corner after wins Friday and Saturday against the Cardinals. But after sitting there in the stands watching Sunday's extra-inning disaster, an uncomfortably hot day made worse when the Dodgers' bats decided to leave the game after the third inning, even this ardent fan has to confess that it's a chore to watch this team limp along.

If hashtags were catalysts, we might be on to something. Instead, we're looking more and more lost with each passing day.

15 to go, starting with this difficult roadtrip to Washington and Cincinnati (followed by our last off-day of the season, then our last road series in San Diego). I mean, it's entirely possible we could turn it around now. But after Sunday's game, it certainly doesn't seem likely.


Hideo Nomo said...

I know I wrote off the season, but that doesn't mean I don't want to see some fight from them. Don't just shrug and say you don't know why it's not working. Get fired up!

I want to make the bold proclamation that they'll pick up 5 on the Giants over the next 12 (to make that final series matter), but that would likely lead to the Gnats clinching in Dodger Stadium. Unfathomable.

Fred's Brim said...

Let's win tonight!
Throw strikes and don't swing so much!

Hideo Nomo said...

We need some line drives. Too many damn fly outs right at outfielders.

Steve Sax said...

Wait, we are supposed to hit it away from the guys standing out there? Hmm...

Steve Sax said...

...does Victorino know about this strategy?

Hideo Nomo said...

We didn't tell him, for fear of him getting re-signed.

Steve Sax said...

Just throw it at his head, for pete's sake

QuadSevens said...

The comments game plan sounds good to me. By hitting Victorino in the head, at least he'll be on base for a change.