It’s my job to observe and comment. I’m tasked with analyzing and opining. I’m a guy who loves to talk and write about baseball, but this team has left me speechless. How does one describe the worst slide in the history of a franchise? When it immediately follows the most incredible run of success in the history of the franchise? My jaw sits agape.
Last night the Dodgers opened a critical series in San Francisco against their hated rivals – and they once again proved the cynics right. They just don’t have it, they couldn’t find it with GPS, and they wouldn’t know what to do with it if it dropped right into their dugout.
The night began gloomily enough, with a surprise downpour that forced a rain delay after just one batter. Curtis Granderson, batting in the First Out position, swung through ridiculously low pitches to start the Dodgers off on the wrong cleat. The umpires apparently felt there was no way they were going to put everyone in harm’s way for this ineptitude, so they called a delay.
That delay lasted 2 hours and 54 minutes. When the rain lifted and everyone took the field again, the Giants switched their pitcher. The Dodgers should have done the same, because they trotted out Kenta Maeda – and brother, he was a mess. He gave up a two-run homer in the first, a solo homer in the second, and just for variety, a small ball run in the third. It was 4-0 Giants, fast approaching midnight, and looking like more of the same from the clueless ones in blue.
The Dodgers didn’t exactly roll over, as they put together a rally of their own in the fourth inning, and came back strong to tie the score. They loaded the bases and Logan Forsythe (who was subbed in for Chase Utley when the Giants switched pitchers in the first inning) knocked in the first run with a rolling single. Chris Taylor and Corey Seager both followed with singles tie the game at four apiece. The Dodgers still had the bases loaded with two out, but Cody Bellinger grounded out to end the inning.
Dedicated Dodgers fans in the cold Frisco stadium and awake late in their homes felt vindicated and rewarded. There were signs of fight in the team! Something good just might happen on this strange and wet night! Right? Right?
Yasiel Puig further excited the Blue Nation with a solo smash in the fifth to give the Dodgers the lead for the first time. The score was now 5-4 with the good guys ahead.
Trouble is, this is the Dodgers we’re talking about, and the smiles did not last long.
Manager Dave Roberts inserted Josh Ravin to replace Luis Avilan in the fifth (Avilan replaced Maeda and pitched a scoreless fourth). Ravin immediately began setting fire to the Dodgers lead. He walked his frst batter and gave up a single to his second. Ravin out, Tony Cingrani in. He promptly gave up two more runs, and the Giants were back in front, 6-5.
The Dodgers tied it up again in the sixth, and in the bottom half of the inning, Roberts went to everyone’s favorite, Pedro Baez. Could Baez maintain the tie? Hahahahaha! What do you think? It was 7-6 Giants and the groans from Dodger fans echoed up and down the state.
Tony Watson replaced Baez in the seventh and blah, blah,blah, the Dodgers gave up another run. There were two more innings to play, but it was all over. The Blue Titanic had broken in half, and all that was left was for the band to play on as the inevitable approached.
There you have it, folks. The Dodgers scored six runs and still managed to lose. Should we point fingers at Adrian Gonzalez, Chris Taylor, Curtis Granderson, and Justin Turner who combined to go 0 for 13? Should we blame the pichers who combined to give up 8 runs? Should we blame Roberts for yet another ridiculous lineup, despite the fact that time is running out and each loss further damages the team’s psyche? Should I blame myself for staying up late and watching and hoping until stupid-o-clock?
My mouth sits agape.