Following Nomar's walk off home run on Aug 13th, the Dodgers looked poised to make a case for being able to give the Diamondbacks a run for their money. That win tied them for 1st place, and it seemed like only a matter of time before they took control of the Western Division Race. The optimism of Dodger fans was at a season-high pitch, and with good reason. The team was clicking on all cylinders. The recent acquisitions of Manny Ramirez and Casey Blake, along with the revitalized Nomar, were just what the doctor ordered.
The Manny Honeymoon phase was still in full bloom and he was hitting everything thrown at him. Matt Kemp was growing up before our eyes. Andre Ethier was cashing in on his full time status. Jeff Kent was getting on base at every opportunity, And Nomar was playing SS like like he did in Boston. By Aug. 17, the Dodgers had posted a 10 - 6 record with Manny in the lineup and were still tied for 1st place.
Unfortunately the worm has turned. Since Nomar's walk-off, the team has been in a horrible offensive, offensive slide. This scenario should be familiar to Dodger fans, as it happened last year at the same time. The cast of characters are basically the same and so have been the results. Just like last year, loss after loss has piled up with runners waiting to be delivered, only to find that "Deliverance" was walking back to the dugout with his bat on his shoulder.
Wednesday's loss to D.C. was typical as the Dodgers as a team are unable to deliver with runners in scoring position. Home Run, single, double Play, home Run is how the 1st inning went. Andre Ethier had two doubles and a home run. All with the bases empty. When someone was on base, he came up empty. This type of performance can be cited up and down the lineup with no one free of blame. Until Casey Blake lined an RBI single late in the game on Wednesday, Eric Stephen(research analyst) noted they had gone 42 at bats without knocking in a run with runners in scoring position since last Sunday. Some of it was bad luck with line drives finding gloves, but some was just terrible at bats by a group of players whose experience should be on display during these tough times.
The numbers are spectacularly ugly during this 1 - 9 stretch but 6-4-2 has some fun facts about the losing streak. Even with this dismal record they are still in a pennant race because the team they are chasing is almost as bad. While the Dodgers were undergoing this dismal stretch the Diamondbacks were getting rocked by the last place Padres and have only been able to gain 3.5 games. On Friday Night these two pretenders will be meet in a head to head clash of the pathetic.
The race is close but does anyone really care when the teams involved seem intent on embarrassing the NL by winning a division with a winning % below 500?