When your oldest and most hated rival comes to your city for a three-game series in late August, you expect your team to understand the gravity of the situation. You do not expect to get swept in embarrassing fashion and go from being a half game up, to two and half down. Fricken’ Dodgers.
Yes Dodger faithful, it’s that time of year again. Those waning summer months where all of a sudden your greatest asset, starting pitching, comes apart at the seams and amplifies the issues that come with having an offense more anemic than Lindsay Lohan. The Dodgers won their two previous series against the Braves and Pirates by averaging six runs per game and minimizing their pitching mistakes, neither of these characteristics carried over to the Giants series.
Make no mistake, Madison Bumgarner and Cain are superb starting pitchers, but only hanging a single run on an all-of-the-sudden mediocre Tim Lincecum is inexcusable. How can a team average six runs a game for a week, and then put up six total runs in three games against their most hated rival?
Don Mattingly does a great job of engaging his players, most notably Kemp and Hanley, but there just seemed to be no fight in the Dodgers when it mattered the most these past three days. The Giants scored in the first inning all three games and the Dodgers would cooley, calmly, and with all of their Los Angeles swagger, roll over. Playoff teams do not rollover, pennant teams do not roll over, and championship teams, most certainly, do not roll over. Just ask the St. Louis Cardinals and David Freese.
September is not the time to finally decrypt your team’s identity and get motivated to take the division title. The lack of urgency during the Giants series, Kemp’s recent slump, and the fact that Joe Blanton is considered a viable starter in the rotation are massive red flags for a Dodger team entering the home stretch.
So sit back, relax, and quietly suffer as the Los Angeles Dodgers squander another great first half of the season with a lackluster encore down the stretch, I know I will.