When your team is in the midst of a six game losing streak, the only real thing you can do is just stay positive and wait for things to turn around. That doesn’t mean you sit and wait for lady luck, you still have to play good baseball. It just means you don’t focus on what is going wrong, but what could possibly go right.
That is the approach Los Angeles Dodger skipper Don Mattingly was taking with his team during their week long skid. “We talk about trying to get that rock rolling the other direction. It’s got to start somewhere,” Mattingly said to the press after the Dodgers defeated the Baltimore Orioles 7-4 to avoid their second consecutive three game sweep.
The Dodgers could possibly be over a nasty hump with this win, as small as it may seem. Losing pitcher Zack Greinke for eight weeks after a senseless brawl seemed to put the blue crew in a funk. Before that, slugger Matt Kemp and his teammates looked as though they were about to shake the unnerving preseason expectations.
The residual turmoil caused by that event left the Dodgers with far away eyes. They almost seemed emotionless as they lost two of three to the Arizona Diamondbacks, then three straight to the San Diego Padres and the first two in Camden yards.
That all changed on Sunday as L.A. fell behind early, but came back with vigor in support of the pitching from recent call-up Stephen Fife. Fife, making his first start of the year in place of injured again Chad Billingsley, pitched a decent game for 4.2 innings keeping his team within striking distance.
The best part of the game for the Dodgers, however, was the coming out party for Kemp. No,the slugger remains homerless, but he went 3-5 with an RBI, scored a run and stole a base. If L.A. hopes to avoid another long losing streak, Kemp must consistently put in performances like that. He definitely looked ready to reassert himself as the emotional leader of the Dodgers on Sunday.