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Dodgers Dugout: A Giants problem

Dodgers dugout: Looking back at the weekend series against the Giants

Hi, welcome to another edition of Dodgers Dugout. My name is Houston Mitchell, reminding you not to look at it as if the Dodgers lost two of three to the Giants, look at it as if the Dodgers are undefeated against the Giants since Sunday.

No big deal

Hey everyone, don't worry about how poorly the Dodgers have played the last week — it's not that big of a deal. Just ask Manager Don Mattingly. “I can’t get caught in the seven-day windows or five-day windows," Mattingly told The Times' Dodgers blogger Steve Dilbeck. "I got to look at the whole season and where we’re going and where we’re trying to go. I know everybody gets caught up in those small areas of time that I just can’t allow myself to get into.” Maybe I'm wrong and Mattingly is right, but it seems to me that when your worst seven-day windows coincide with the times you play your arch-rival, that perhaps you should take it a little more seriously. Or at least fake it so the fans think you care. This is one of my biggest complaints about the team this year: They seem to not care about how they present themselves to the fans. From the TV deal to losing to the Giants, they come across like they expect blind allegiance from the fans.

Glass half-full

Adrian Gonzalez also thinks too much is being made of how the Dodgers have played recently. "I know a lot of people like to focus on the last two weeks," he said Sunday. "It's a long season. We’ve all been through ups and downs, and you’re going to have times like this when the offense struggles. But who knows? Maybe in two weeks you're going to be talking about how good our offense is and you'll forget all about these last two weeks. We have to just keep working, keep grinding." That's a good angle by Gonzalez, but it overlooks one important point: Most fans have been pointing out the problems with the offense all season. They play station-to-station baseball. A guy singles, then stands at first waiting for someone to hit a double or homer to drive him in. There's no movement, nothing dynamic happening. The Dodgers all look bored out there. And that type of offense will kill them in the playoffs, particularly with their pitching in disarray as it is now.

More Gonzalez

Since his great start in April, Gonzalez has slumped badly. Take a look:

April: .383/.432 OB%/.790 SLG%

May:  .274/.375/.421

June: .238, .247, .375

This week in Dodgers history

June 25, 1984: Bill Russell plays his 1,953rd game to become the team's leader in games played. Russell ended his career with 2,181 games played for the Dodgers.

June 26, 1944: At the Polo Grounds, with over 50,000 fans looking on, the Brooklyn Dodgers, New York Giants and New York Yankees play each other in a six inning three-team game to raise money for war bonds. The final score: Dodgers 5, Yankees 1, Giants 0.

June 27, 1980: Jerry Reuss no-hits the Giants, 8-0, at Candlestick Park. Shortstop Bill Russell's error in the first inning prevents it from being a perfect game.

June 28, 2008: The Dodgers get no hits against the Angels but still win, 1-0. It isn't considered an official no-hitter by Angels pitchers Jered Weaver and Jose Arredondo because the Dodgers did not have to bat in the bottom of the ninth. The Dodgers score their run when Matt Kemp reaches first on Weaver's throwing error, steals second and advances to third on catcher Jeff Mathis' throwing error and scores on Blake DeWitt's sacrifice fly.

Your favorite Dodgers

Charlie Learned of Davis: Pedro Guerrero was the greatest clutch hitter I ever saw and my favorite Dodger of all time.  It seemed like he hit .800 in the eighth and ninth innings in his prime!  If this year's squad had a consistent clutch hitter even close to Pedro G's caliber, you (and I) wouldn't need to worry about getting swept by the Giants and not being able to wear our Dodger caps in public.

Norm Coleman of Detroit: With all the great Dodger players in Brooklyn when I was a kid, it was Pee Wee Reese, no doubt about it. I was short, my friends all called me Pee Wee and he was by far the best shortstop in the game at that time (my opinion) and a future Hall of Famer. Plus, he treated Jackie Robinson like a man, a teammate, arm around his shoulder in Cincinnati. 

Bill Gosvenor of Boise, Idaho: I grew up in the L.A. area in the late '50s and early '60s and have been a fan since the team moved west. Officially it was necessary to say that Sandy and Don were the best, but I always liked Johnny Podres. The others got the ink but he carried the ’59 series while Koufax was still throwing wild balls and hadn’t hit his stride yet. On a personal note, I liked Moose Skowron after he came over from the hated Yankees, but only because he looked like my Uncle Don. 

And finally

The Dodgers are now 9-17 against teams who currently have a winning record, 30-14 against teams who have a losing record.

Have a comment or something you'd like to see in a future Dodgers newsletter? Email me and follow me on Twitter: @latimeshouston.

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