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Don't mistake Giants' struggles for a remarkable Dodgers turnaround

San Francisco GiantsLos Angeles DodgersNational League WestZack Greinke
Dodgers are quickly gaining ground on the Giants, but it's not like they've suddenly become world-beaters

The bugler sounded the charge and over the hill they came, roaring through every would-be contender, sparing not a single team and taking absolute control of the National League West!

Or maybe not.

Find encouragement if you choose, but don’t get overly excited about the Dodgers making up 3½ games in the past five days or 4½ in the last nine.

They are playing a tad better, but mostly it’s been a case of the Giants' unexpected implosion. The Giants have lost seven of their last eight games. You almost accidentally have to gain some games in that scenario.

Which is not to say the Dodgers have been awful or anything, but it’s not like they’ve suddenly become world beaters, ready to go on another 42-8 run, either. In their last 20 games, they’ve gone 10-10.

“I know we had a pretty good record, but I feel like we didn’t play that well the first month,” said right-hander Zack Greinke. “Since then I don’t feel we’ve played as good as we can play, but definitely good enough to where you’re happy with how we’re playing. Just not getting a ton of wins.”

“I feel we’ve been playing well for a long time.”

They’ve played well enough, that with a major assist from the Giants, they’ve slipped back into the race. If it feels like something of a faux charge, they are nonetheless now five games back.

Which certainly beats the 9½ they were out a little over a week ago; just don’t confuse it with some return to their mighty ways of last season. Their defense is better, their starting pitching is terrific, but they very much remain a work in progress.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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