I think it’s time to accept reality. The writing is on the wall. You can see it very clearly if you’re not delusional. The Dodgers are just not a very good club this year. After another predictably boring 5-2 loss to the Cardinals at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday night, have fallen to 3.5 games back in the NL West race. The Dodgers are not going to make the playoffs this season. As Oscar said in last night’s recap, nothing has changed. With only 35 games remaining it is unlikely things will.
Do the math. The Dodgers are 67-60. They would need to win 23 of their last 35 games to reach 90 wins. Can you see this club going 23-12? Sorry, but that’s not going to happen. The optimists still believe the Dodgers are going to win the World Series. The apologists make excuses and blame the injuries. The delusionals think they’re doing great. Last season the Dodgers won 57 games at Dodger Stadium. This season they are 32-32 at home. The real reason the Dodgers have stunk is their inability to win close games. In 2018 the Dodgers are 17-22 in one-run games. That is a direct result of their awful relief pitching and lack of situational hitting. Luckily their starting pitching is keeping them in ball games.
Cardinals 5 7 1
Dodgers 2 9 1
As for the game tonight, it was just another non-descript zombie like loss. The approaches were the same, the relief pitching pathetic. St. Louis right hander Daniel Poncedeleon, a 26-year old rookie from La Mirada California shut the Dodgers down during his four innings of work Poncedeleon allowed just one earned run on five hits and struck out eight. Perhaps he found the fountain of youth. Maybe he could share some of it with the Dodger hitters.
The Dodger bats once again left a small arsenal of runners on base, unable to get any kind of situational hitting. The boys in blue were 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position and left 11 runners on base. The Dodgers left second and third with nobody out in the bottom of the fourth and did not score after Yasiel Puig walked and Yasmani Grandal doubled. The Dodgers left two more runners in the bottom of the sixth after Grandal singled and Puig reached on a Luke Weaver throwing error. The Dodgers had nine hits, with Manny Machado getting three of them. Grandal and Taylor each had two hits, yet the Dodgers could only muster two runs.
Starting pitcher Hyun-jin Ryu did not do them any favors either. The Korean left hander lasted just four innings allowing three earned runs on four hits and struck out four. Ryu walked one and made 72 pitches before Dave Roberts lifted him for a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the fourth. The bullpen wasn’t any better either.
The Dodgers actually had the lead when they plated a run in the bottom of the second on three singles and a Yasiel Puig bases loaded hit by pitch that forced in a run. The Cardinals would immediately take the lead with three runs in the top half of the third. Jose Martinez’s RBI single and Yadier Molina’s two-run home run gave the Cards a 3-1 lead. The Cards added two more in the top of the seventh when Daniel Hudson knicked Tyler O’Neill with a pitch and Marcell Ozuna followed with a two-run bomb into the left field pavilions that put the St. Louis club ahead 5-1. Manny Machado homered in the bottom of the seventh to get the Dodgers closer, but of course nobody was on base. Former Dodger Bud Norris picked up his 26th save of the season.
The Dodgers look to get swept and fall further out of the playoff race on Wednesday night as they send Walker Buehler to the mound. The red birds will give the ball to right hander Jack Flaherty. Honestly, I can’t wait for this miserable season to end. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM PST.