Wednesday, July 02, 2014

What A Difference A Day Makes

One day after climbing the mountain, and reaching first place all alone after three weeks of grinding Giants down, the Dodgers lost one game to the Indians. And yet, if you listen to's Mark Saxon, the naivete of Dee Gordon and Yasiel Puig, coupled with the brittleness of veterans Josh Beckett and Dan Haren, is enough to fall right back into second-place depths of despair:

LOS ANGELES -- Don Mattingly said Tuesday night's 10-3 loss to the Cleveland Indians "just shows us that we've still got a lot to continue to work on." He mentioned a plethora of "teaching opportunities."

Such opportunities probably include explaining to Dee Gordon that taking off from third base on a shallow fly ball to left with nobody out might not be the smartest base-running play and that attempting to swipe second with nobody out in the sixth with your team trailing by four also might not be the right call.

While he was in a teaching mood, Mattingly probably pointed out to Yasiel Puig a couple of overeager running plays, one of which proved successful, the other turned into the tail end of a bizarre triple play.

But what Tuesday really showed the Dodgers is how tenuous life can be when you're relying on two aging starting pitchers to hold up the back of your rotation.

Granted, every start Josh Beckett and Dan Haren have made this season for the Dodgers has ranged between "serviceable" and "historically brilliant." Without their contributions, the Dodgers would still be flopping around many games out of first place and dogged by the "underachiever" label.

But earlier this season, Haren, 33 and with a chronic bad back, said, "I feel discomfort 24 hours a day, seven days a week pretty much, at this point of my career," and the 2,000 career innings suddenly seem to be catching up to Beckett, 34.

It's one game. Gordon and Puig make one scratch one's head sometimes too often, true (STOP BUNTING, DEE). But Haren just had a great outing and 1-0 victory, and if I'm not mistaken, Beckett just notched a no-hitter a short time ago. It's one day. Let's just get back to winning, and there won't have to be this despair.


Fred's Brim said...

and Hanley may never come back to full strength and Carl coming back will throw the team into turmoil and JP is overworked and will tire and/or will regress and the rest of the bullpen is still shaky and hurricane season started early and the Giants are better "baseball" players and Iraq is in crisis again and Dusty is sober and blahblahblahfuckoff

Steve Sax said...

Wait, Dusty is sober?

Fred's Brim said...

Even though that's the least likely of all the "what ifs," Dusty's sobriety scares me the most