Baseball is a 162 game grind, which is a good thing for the Los Angeles Dodgers – who haven’t won back to back games since April 15th. The Dodgers had just finished a frustrating 2-4 road trip against the Colorado Rockies and Chicago Cubs and looked to be getting back on track by taking the first two of a four-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
But Arizona responded by taking the final two games to split the series. The Dodgers went on to split a two-game series with Colorado, lose 2/3 on the road in Arizona and drop the first 2/3 against their bitter rivals, the San Francisco Giants.
22 games (or 14%) into the season, and the Dodgers are nowhere near the top of the division, where many predicted them to be this year. Aside from the opening day thrashing of the San Diego Padres, the Dodgers have yet to produce a game where the bats, starting pitching, and bullpen play well. This includes their most recent loss to the Giants where Alex Wood pitched six innings of one-hit, shutout ball, but the offense only scored in one inning and the bullpen gave up the lead.
The Dodgers are currently ranked 15th in the majors in Runs Scored, 15th in team OPS, 10th in starter ERA, and 10th in bullpen ERA – not what you’d expect from a team 6 months removed from an NLCS appearance.
Sure, there’s been injuries to Logan Forsythe and Rich Hill, but the Dodgers were built with enough depth to weather the injury storm – their problem is putting it all together in a single game, a single series, a single week…
Legendary Dodgers’ Manager, Tommy Lasorda, once said “The best team is going to lose 1/3 of their games. The worst team is going to win 1/3 of their games. It’s what you do with the other 1/3 that really makes a difference.”
There’s still time for LA to make a run – we are still in April – but the teams where LA has historically made up ground are no longer the doormats of the division – in fact, the Rockies and Diamondbacks are leading the NL west right now and show no signs of slowing. When the Dodgers return home, they have a very winnable series against the Philadelphia Phillies before hosting the Giants. If there was ever a time for Los Angeles to get back on track, it’s this week.