Six-game losing streaks have a way of sucking the fun out of a clubhouse. The Dodgers, however, are trying to combat this through repetition, as they have already has two six-game losing streaks this season.
"We're frustrated. Losing sucks. Wins are a lot more fun," starting pitcher Josh Beckett said after Tuesday's night's 5-3 loss to the Diamondbacks. "You'd think the wins would come by, maybe not easier, but a bit more frequently. There is definitely a lot of frustration with that."
The wins were definitely expected more frequently from a team with a payroll north of $230 million, the largest payroll in MLB history.
"It's obviously frustrating to lose six in a row two different times already in what, 32 games? It's hard to imagine this club playing like that," said manager Don Mattingly. "You just bang your head against the wall."
Mattingly might want to reconsider banging his head against the wall as, fair or not, he might not be on the company health plan for too much longer, especially if the Dodgers continue losing. They are 13-19 and Ken Gurnick of MLB.com found an amazing stat:
It gave the Dodgers a second six-game losing streak this early in the season for the first time in more than a century.
The last time it happened was 1912, 101 years ago, the year that Fenway Park opened and the Titanic sank. The Dodgers went 58-95 that season. It's unknown what the payroll was in 1912, but it wasn't $230 million like this year.
Two six-game losing streaks in the first 32 games is not something a Dodger team has done in 101 years. What is it with six-game losing streaks that bring out the 'T' word, anyway? Back on Apr. 21, the first six-game losing streak, Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times used this lede to his game story:
This is starting to look familiar.
When the Titanic sank, there was a Guggenheim on board.
Benjamin Guggenheim's family went on to found an investment company that now owns the Dodgers, who are watching water gush into the corridors of their star-adorned, $230-million ocean liner.
But perhaps the references to the Titanic are fitting, because Mattingly and the front office seem prepared go forward with the same old ship, with minimal changes to the roster.
"It's going to be the same pieces. Just because you move them around, it's the same furniture," Mattingly said.
Ultimately the Dodgers' big guns do have to start firing, but that doesn't make the lack of little improvements any less maddening. Yes, Tim Federowicz, Scott Van Slyke, and probably Alex Castellanos should be on the roster over Ramon Hernandez, Luis Cruz, Justin Sellers, and/or Elian Herrera. But in the big picture, if Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier don't hit then the team isn't going anywhere anyway.
"We've got to buckle up. You just have to turn it around. The guys in that locker room have had success, and they haven't had success just by showing up and playing," Mattingly said. "They've had to have a determination and a fight in them to get to this level. You can say all the cliches, but you've got to buckle up and get tough. And just get past it.
"Once we get past all that smoke and mirrors, we've got to perform."
Starting Wednesday night. Or a certain wall might have a few more head-sized dents in it.