Rarely am I the great outlier when it comes to analyzing my beloved Dodgers, but over the last week there aren’t many voices of calm, except for my own.
After winning 91 of 127 games and going an insane 53-9 over a 10-week stretch the Dodgers have hit the pavement like a hell-bent anvil.
It’s not just the losses, its how they are losing. Ugly.
The usual criticisms are being rained down upon the Boys in Blue.
- Not enough depth in the starting rotation
- Bullpen shortfalls
- No reliable lefty in the pen
I can’t argue any of these points. All of these facets have been downright dreadful, but there are a few elements you need to evaluate before you jump off the ship without a life preserver.
First, the Dodgers slide coincided with the Cody Bellinger going on the shelf for a bum ankle. Second, as Bellinger came back Corey Seager went on the shelf with a problematic shoulder and elbow. These two were two of the pulsing pistons driving the Dodgers in June and July. They are banged up and the team is in a scuffle, not a surprise.
Justin Turner has also cooled off considerably. Like the Dodgers playing at an .800 clip it was unrealistic to expect “Red Turn” to hit .360 all year. These three are the teeth of the Dodgers offense, with a disruption in this triumvirate there was going to be some slippage.
And how about this for analysis ? They were due for a slide. I know the reasoning is medieval and isn’t sexy but it’s fact. Over a 162-game schedule a team will always revert to their mean. You are what you are over 162 games. Right now the Dodgers are talented, spirited team that has put themselves in a great position, that is it. Nothing more, nothing less.
I will say that there is some concern with the complete meltdown on the mound. The starting pitching needs to be better, the bullpen needs to be better. They know this, it’s not a surprise. But, I think this team is closer to the team that blistered baseball for 127 games instead of the duds we’ve seen over the last ten games.
Last point, this thing does need to get turned around in the next few weeks. The 2006 St. Louis Cardinals won a World Series losing 8 of their final 9 games and limping into the post-season. They were exception and not the rule. You can’t expect to play like a trash bin and think you can flip the switch on September 27th.
For now, I sit back and let my Dodger brethren fret. I will take a deep breath, knowing that baseball is a fickle mistress, and watch as the Boys in Blue eventually find their footing.