Three games. Three one-run losses. Two of those in heartbreaking fashion while watching the home team celebrate at the plate following walk-off home runs.
Certainly the Los Angeles Dodgers are learning something along this journey, especially after this last three-game series with the San Francisco Giants. If not, this will all be for nothing. Not only did the Giants outplay them, they out-shined them. They just found the ways to win. The Dodgers, on the other hand, continued to find the ways to lose.
They’ve been injured. They’ve been unable to hit, get on base and score at critical times in the game. Even their pitching, which was the best in the NL on paper, has been suspect most of the time after ace Clayton Kershaw has taken his turn in the rotation.
The outfield stars that were expected to shine — Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford — have been pedestrian so far. Their shortstop, Hanley Ramirez, who began the season on the DL with an injury, is back on it after only four games. The worst part of his latest absence is that he was the most productive Dodgers bat in the lineup for that short four-game span.
You can only blame bad luck and slow starts for so long. The time has come to really put it together for the blue crew.
It’s easier said than done, but manager Don Mattingly must search for a spark. That is part of his job. Writing out the lineup card with stars day after day when things aren’t clicking is not how managers become great managers. It is the ability to inspire by making decisions that maybe no one else would make that turns the tide.
Somehow, L.A. must make some noise in a positive light. So far, it’s mostly been negative. The Dodgers need to quit feeling sorry for themselves and put it together as a team, or they can kiss any chance of taking the crown from the Giants goodbye.