Monday, May 12, 2014

No Need To Panic

As I've commented a couple of times on recent GTs and PGTs, that last year as of June 21, the Dodgers were 30-42, 9.5 games out of first place in the NL West. From there, they went 42-8 and ended up 8.5 games up on first place. They would stretch this lead to 13 games before finishing the season with an 11-game lead.

So even as depressing as this past weekend was, I'm not panicking, not yet. And apparently, neither are the Dodgers:

In third place at 20-19 after dropping three of four to San Francisco, the Dodgers give no appearance of feeling like a run-of-the-mill, third-place club six weeks into the season.

"We've been playing good, playing hard -- a lot of good stuff is happening," [closer Kenley] Jansen said. "It's not how you start. It's how you finish."

The closer absorbed the loss with a three-run 10th inning that quickly went awry -- walk, single, wild pitch, intentional walk, single -- after Hanley Ramirez's two-run thunderbolt with two down in the ninth off Giants closer Sergio Romo forced extra innings.

"It's a long season," Jansen said. "We're going to be successful, no matter what it looks like now. We just haven't put it all together yet. We're all confident we will."

Jansen should absolutely know it's about how you finish...because he, like the rest of the bullpen, isn't finishing at all. While our starting rotation has the fourth-best ERA in the majors (actually better than we ranked heading into the weekend), our relievers rank 19th (actually, worse). As the article continues:

"You hate to say it's a matter of time," Kershaw said. "We don't have time. We have to play with a sense of urgency."

And yet, these Dodgers are in better shape than last year's outfit at the same point in the season. That club was 17-22, in last place, 5 1/2 games off the pace. The Giants were 23-15 after 38 games, leading the division.

"I've been through this before," said Jansen, who has been roughed up for nine earned runs in 17 2/3 innings for a 4.58 ERA. "I don't think about it. I can't change it. What happened today is over. I've got to come back [Monday] against Miami and be better."

Jansen knows about finishing strong. He gave up four earned runs after the All-Star break last year in 30 1/3 innings, a 1.19 ERA. He was as dominant a closer as the game had to offer.

Mattingly isn't happy with any of the current numbers, and it shows. But he's been around too long to overreact in May.

"We're OK," he said. "We know we can play. We've just got to get it together."

So assuming we can get that bullpen stuff sorted,...and learn how to field balls,...and not send Adrian Gonzalez home from second on a sharp liner to shallow centerfield,... yeah, we should be just fine.


Fred's Brim said...

I'll panic if I want to, thankyouverymuch!

Hideo Nomo said...

The weird part is, Puig is providing the exact same spark he did last year, but the team isn't catching fire. They're all a bunch of wet tinder.

Fred's Brim said...

And Hanley didn't get over his injuries and start ripping until mid-June

Steve Sax said...

And we didn't have Kershaw for six weeks there. And not that AJ Ellis will save us all, but these catcher scrubs are pathetic.

It's funny how we can have five, maybe six OFs, but can't find a backup catcher with any production.