Bill Plaschke wrote a negative article about the Dodgers this morning in the LA Times. Usually, I’d jump all over him for ignoring the Dodgers completely – just look at his Twitter feed, it’s been almost entirely USC since his last Dodger tweet on Sept 1 – and then jumping back in to dump on them just when things are going bad. It’s his style, and he’s a dick for doing it.
But today? I can’t even bring myself to do it. What could I possibly say to defend this team right now? Hiroki Kuroda’s hurt. Randy Wolf was mediocre last night. Chad Billingsley, who the hell knows. Manny sucks, and Andre Ethier’s nearly as bad.
It’s hardly completely hopeless, as some would paint it. Joe Torre’s 2000 Yankees coasted into the playoffs on a brutal 3-15 run, and still managed to take the Series. But I’m going to go so far as to say, the entire fate of the season hangs on tonight’s game. Clayton Kershaw’s looked healthy in his stints since returning from his shoulder injury, and Jorge De la Rosa’s 16-9 record is completely misleading, as he’s got a 4.45 ERA and has been pounded by the Dodgers this year.
If Kershaw can get them the win tonight, they can go into tomorrow’s game with at least a chance to breathe and celebrate in front of the home crowd. If they don’t win tonight? Then all that stands between them and an epic collapse is Vicente Padilla, and absolutely no good can come of that.
One other thing, though. Manny’s horrible right now, and I don’t argue that. 4 K’s last night is about as bad as it gets. But can we – and by “we”, I’m clearly talking about most journalists – stop pretending that he’s the only problem? Everyone is playing poorly. Not just him.