The Dodgers have dramatically exceeded expectations this year. They are in first place in the NL West and still have the best record in the National League. They have accomplished this mostly without the best player in the National League, without one of their starting pitchers and their second baseman who has been the foundation of the infield. Additionally, they have put up the best record in the NL with a green rookie shortstop who is getting on-the-job training, and under-performing 1B, and with a 3B who is utterly useless.
What has brought all of this about starts with Don Mattingly, the manager, who has the players backs and has instituted a “can do” attitude in the team. This is a Band of Brothers and the locker room is the best I can remember. The scrubs have played their hearts out. They are a bunch of Junkyard Dogs.
At the beginning of the season, they played over their heads… now they are in over their heads.
They are tired. They can’t continue to do what they have been doing and they know it. It was time for Guggs and Company to step up and send in the Cavalry and they failed. Flush with cash and promise, Dodger Management could have sent a message that “We will do anything we can to win, including taking a risk of an aging third-baseman who may or may not be a difference maker… but we are sure going to try.”
Instead, the Dodgers whiffed on Kevin Youkilis, and the team looked totally deflated last night. I shut the TV off after the first inning, even though Barry Zito has had a 10.00+ ERA over the past several games. I knew by their body language that they were beat… everyone except the little child, Dee Gordon who got on base three times. In case you haven’t read TJ Simers article on Dee, I would encourage you to do so. Simers is almost human. Who knew?
Ned says the Dodgers need pitching. If you can’t score runs, you don’t need more pitchers. You need more hitters, moron! The Dodgers have averaged 2.1 runs per game the last nine games. Explain how another pitcher fixes that!
The Dodgers need more hitting. Kevin Youkilis may not have been the second coming, but the Dodgers could have had him and they chose to save the money and a low-grade prospect. I don’t know about you, but I feel a lack of commitment right here, right now. and so do the Junkyard Dogs. They are panting as we speak. If Youk lights it up in Chi-town (like I think he will do), this is an indictment of current management. It would have cost some money and a prospect and might have helped re-energize the Junkyard Dogs. FAIL!
Now, it’s up to Clayton to stop the bleeding – he might have to pitch the game of his life tonight, if the Dodgers expect to have a chance.