Sports Illustrated recently ran a piece (by Stephanie Apstein) wondering if the Dodgers “Might be the greatest team of all-time”, nobody right now in southern California is thinking that. Walking around in the beautiful California sun recently, I noticed many fans proudly wearing their Dodgers gear, but when asked many were worried and had apprehension that this year’s team would let them down like many of the Dodger teams in the recent past.
The Dodgers have lost ten in a row, 9 straight at home, and 15 out of their last 16 games. They’ve lost more than half their lead over the Diamondbacks, but it get’s worse. The way they are playing at the moment, who’d pick them to beat the Nationals, Diamondbacks, or Cubs in a short series? The Dodgers have lost their invincibility, look like a team that is very vulnerable and lacking leadership. No team has had this type of losing streak and won the World Series, ever. During this stretch, the team is hitting below .200 and pitching at an ERA of over 6! The Rockies and Diamondbacks recently swept them and gave both teams even more confidence if they meet again in the playoffs.
Will the Dodgers lose the division? Absolutely not, they have way too much talent and importantly they have still have six games left with the Giants, four with the Phillies, and three more with the Padres. That type of schedule against the dregs of the NL will calm the waters for the Dodgers, but it may not righten the ship. The pitching, led by a strong rotation of Kershaw, Darvish, Maeda, Ryu, and Hill has looked formidable at times throughout the season leading the MLB in ERA and WHIP. The hitting has not been consistent and as good as advertised. They are 19th in the MLB in average and 12th in runs, in recent weeks we’ve seen many rallies stymied by strikeouts and an overall inability to get a timely hit.
Throughout this decade, the Dodgers have shown they can outclass the NL West, winning it each of the last four years. This year, this team was expecting to contend for a World Series victory. Unfortunately, the Dodgers look again like the team that can win the division, but doesn’t look to have the mettle or clutch factor to go deep in the playoffs yet again.