We now interrupt this season to say, “Wake up! You’re supposed to be better than this."
The Dodgers returned home fresh off a 6-3 road trip with the best record in the National League and feeling good about themselves.
And they were promptly swept in three games by the Brewers and left with the third-best record in the league. Their 5½-game division lead was reduced to 3½, the Giants unexpectedly rejuvenated.
Every time it seems like the Dodgers might finally get it all in sync, they take a step back. At no point this season has it really felt like the Dodgers had put it all together -- pitching, offense, defense.
They’re so talented they can win running on three or four cylinders. Which just leaves you wondering how good they could be if they ever really got it all going.
“We were like this last year, really,” said Manager Don Mattingly. “We had that one stretch, other than that we were up and down.”
Yeah, that one stretch where they went 42-8. Pretty sure that qualifies as getting it all together.
But this team almost defies identity. You keep waiting for them to go on some monster run where that high-priced lineup just starts eating other teams up. Instead, more nibbling.
The Dodgers have 36 games remaining, which is still time for them to turn into that expected super team, but you have to wonder now if it will ever happen. It's getting late.
Hanley Ramirez, Juan Uribe and Hyun-Jin Ryu are on the disabled list, so the Dodgers may not be in ideal position to get on some great stretch run until they’re back.
But there’s still so much talent on the roster, the Dodgers can be a frustrating team to watch. They’re obviously good, at 70-56, but more is expected, both in and out of the clubhouse.
The Dodgers have a much-needed day off Monday and then return to play with a favorable schedule, one that an excellent team would take advantage of and not flat-line, not that that’s what Mattingly feels happened over the weekend.
“Not really,” he said. “It feels pretty normal for me. This club’s been a club that goes up and down. When we came out of Milwaukee everyone was, `Oh, you guys are this and that.’ Then we win three out of four in Atlanta. And now it will be the same thing here, and we’ll see how we respond.”