Hey, maybe this 4 game winning streak went to my head a bit, but I can only see things going up from here, with even a glimmer of hope that this season isn't a lost cause.
Per BP, our playoff odds are 0.8%.
But, when I think of all that's plagued the Dodgers, i see that a lot of it has cleared up. Ted Lilly's elbow issue is apparently gone for now, Rubby has settled in, Billingsley has ended his slump, Loney is back to being a halfway-legitimate 1B, Ellis is bringing a bit of OBP into the catcher's position, we finally have a platoon mate for Gwynn/Loney, and our bullpen has leveled out from its early season collapse and is somewhere around average.
The fact that it looks like we can count on all of our starting 5 to keep us in the game the vast majority of the time is a fresh breath of air from what we saw when Kershaw and Kuroda were all we could count on.
"Hey, TM, our offense still sucks!", I know but there's hope there too. I can't shake that nagging feeling that started after Saturday's game that Ethier's about to make up for his power outage. Loney's improved, and while I know he has been for a while it still takes us a long way from what we saw in April from this Dodger club. Ellis is making the bottom of the order somewhat less of a black hole and Gwynn's hot streak is encouraging. Add in the .900 OPS against LHP that we just acquired and I could see us winning a few here and there.
More to the main point, this month decides it. If the Dodgers show life, and gain 3-4 games, we all know that Colletti will flip that switch. With our pitching, he would hopefully target offense. Any two of an above average everyday LFer/catcher/middle infielder with OBP would take us to a point where this team would be a fringe contender. The fringiest damn contender you'll ever see, but in there somewhere.
I haven't said anything about Furcal/Uribe yet, but that's because that's where this team having a passable lineup comes in. We need one of them to step up. Either one, really.
To summarize, we need three established Dodger facts to change:
- The 2011 Dodgers need to win more than 4 in a row (not necessarily in a row, but they just need to gain ground this month)
- Either Uribe needs to not suck or Furcal needs to stay healthy (fat chance, right?)
- Ned needs to not make a retarded trade. Yes, any trade from a buyer's standpoint is a retarded one in our position, but since he'll probably buy anyway, we'll need him to get us some OBP instead of his usual combination of gritty veterany-ness, decent speed, questionable defense, and bad hitting (i'm looking at you, Scott Podsednik).
It almost definitely wouldn't get us to the playoffs, but it'd get us at the edge of the race. After reaching my "fuck it, we're done" point over a month ago, this is optimism. We've got the pitching, it's there. We can count on a good start from our rotation nearly every day. I've just got a good feeling, and I think the 2011 Dodgers are done being terribad, and will probably end up under "good, but too late" category. Not something to celebrate, but definitely much more palatable than what we've resigned ourselves to this year.
PS: It's really late and I'm slowly losing focus and some of my original thoughts on this season were lost before i could put them down, so just keep that in mind if you choose to question my sanity.