A little skepticism is a healthy thing. The Dodgers beat the Padres in San Diego Saturday and Sunday and we're all pleased. Relieved, ecstatic, borderline giddy, actually.
My bad mood rises after a Los Angeles victory, staying with me overnight and right up until game time the next day. Twitter was atwitter with Blue bliss after the final out at Petco yesterday, and fans are already fired up for the San Francisco series, which begins tonight at 7:00 p.m., Hyun-Jin Ryu versus Madison Bumgarner.
The Giants just lost three out of four at home to the God-awful 25-50 Miami Marlins. The Dodgers, meanwhile, have managed back-to-back wins for the tenth time, while hitting consecutive homers for the first time all year, courtesy of Adrian Gonzalez and Hanley Ramirez. They've won as many as three straight a grand total of once in 2013, accomplishing the feat against the Pirates in L.A. the first week of the season.
Imagine the city-wide climax with a three-game streak in the record books tonight, and a vanquishing of the Hated Ones in the bargain. Whether or not it'll happen I have no idea, but I do know this much: three wins in a row, while nice, does not a turnaround make. Neither does four in a row, five in a row, or six, necessarily.
The Angels won eight straight in May and the only thing keeping them from last place is the Houston Astros, who have a six-game streak and a four-game streak under their belts and a 29-48 record to show for it. The Toronto Blue Jays have won 11 in a row to resurrect their season and everyone's talking about them. But the Jays won three straight after bottoming out at 10-21 on May 4, began a four-game streak on May 11 and took four out of five from June 2-8. Then they won 11 straight.
What the Dodgers need is sustained winning. They need small streaks and series wins — especially series wins — and lots of them. They need to run more and force the opponent into mistakes. They need to play much less predictable ball, they have to make the opposing manager actually think for a change, they've got to hold leads and they absolutely must field the damn baseball. Like big leaguers.
They've got to get healthy and stay that way. Enough with the hamstrings already. They need to give Matt Kemp every minute of rehab time in Albuquerque required, coach and coax him back to the hitter he once was, and bribe every team in baseball into double-strength-Sealy-Posturepedic-like padding for outfield walls from sea to shining sea.
And they need a scientific breakthrough, a product which comes down from the heavens to bubble-wrap Yasiel Puig just as he's about to crash into the center fielder, that comes with a net to catch each man as he falls to earth. Oh, and they need a relief pitcher or two.
Ah fuck it. Maybe it'll just be easier for the Dodgers to win 11 straight. Stephen Fife vs. “undecided” Tuesday at 7:10 p.m., with Clayton Kershaw vs. Tim Lincecum Wednesday at 7:10 p.m.
Michael Augustine asks the question, “Giancarlo Stanton For Yasiel Puig?” at Bohemian Baseball.
Following up on an earlier post, with the 32-42 Dodgers playing an even .500 ball at 4-4 since June 15, Don Mattingly retains his status as the losingest manager in L.A. history in terms of winning percentage, trailing Davey Johnson .503856 to .503778. And not a single local or national baseball writer has bothered to mention it.