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The Dodgers are playing terribly right now, so here’s a pep talk

Remembering the eight-game, four-city trip that eventually became known as #SaveEli

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at San Francisco Giants Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

I am probably the last person to give a pep talk as I have been told I am genuinely bad at them.

First, let me start things off by saying that:

I live!

Moderate COVID, while vaccinated and boosted, is not great. I have basically been incapacitated since June 3. I was this close to being hospitalized and if the prescribed antivirals were ineffective, I would have been left with no choice. They worked but left me with terrible nausea and a persistent fetid mouth. (Imagine if you had a sour taste of grapefruit, soap, copper, and blood in your mouth that will not go away - sipping applesauce mitigates the taste but does not remove it.)

So needless to say, I was on the IL for Chicago, with a non-refundable stay, and unable to sell my tickets because SeatGeek (unhelpful) and StubHub (offline) decided to stop being helpful. So thrilled about that. So what have I missed?

I’m kidding - I know what has been going on.

5-15 has begotten 4-9

I honestly have not been overly bothered by it, because I have seen this movie before and partly because I have been unconscious:

  • Young pitcher injured and likely out for most, if not all, of the year? Check.
  • The Dodgers’ offense having amateurish-level situational hitting? Check.
  • The Dodgers’ bullpen going from rock-solid to almost comedically ineffective? Check.
  • Dave Roberts being “not sure” how to right the ship? Check.
  • Rock bottom occurring while playing against the Angels? No checkmark yet, but the Dodgers are playing Anaheim this week, which is an ill omen.
  • The Dodgers not winning in San Francisco when I’m not in attendance? Check. (Prior to last year where only David Price had the indignity of losing, I was present for when Pedro Baez fell off the mound and another time when Andrew McCutchen walked the home crowd off happy in the 14th inning, which is why I will defend the Manfred Man with my dying breath.)

That is not to say that if given the opportunity to re-enact that speech from Glengarry Glenross at Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, and Trea Turner, I totally would. I’m not at full power but I used to sing opera, I can put my guts into a speech (yes, it’s the censored version, because this website is a family one):

(Yes, this speech is a good one, but it’s incredibly toxic. The only proper move is to leave and tell Alec Baldwin to “smell ya later,” because no job is worth that level of abuse. But if the salesmen do that, we don’t have a movie.)

I will tip my hats to the Giants, as I did last year. They managed to do just enough to win when by all accounts, they had no right to...until they didn’t. I do not think it is an unfair argument to point out that the Giants coaching staff would likely get more out of the Dodgers players than vice versa. At some point, a Dave Roberts = Mike McCarthy essay might be appropriate to be drafted, but I need to learn more about Mike McCarthy before I publicly proffer such an argument as I do not really follow American football.

That said, the coaches weren’t batting. The players were. And if you like gross numbers with RISP, and last year’s NLCS somehow wasn’t enough for you, then this recent stretch of games is for you!

I can give you the examples from last year’s 5-15 stretch to this year’s 4-9 stretch so far, if it’s truly necessary. But let’s do a little thought experiment, based on the main gimmick from the television show, Quantum Leap. In case anyone grew up under a rock or has no idea what I am talking about, I shall provide a link to the opening credits.

If you pulled a “me” and went from Los Angeles (for the Pittsburgh and New York series), then went to Chicago and San Francisco for the subsequent series, I would be remiss to ignore the point that you would have seen exactly four more wins than I did. Also, do your own thing, copycat! This site is a pretzel town.

Plus, in this scenario, you would be forewarned that the Dodgers were going to lose every single game you see for the next two weeks unlike I was, so it’s not like you can change anything. The thought experiment is this: knowing what you know now, would you be able to enjoy and go to all eight games? Most people that I have posed this exercise to would not, or would try to change the results of the games, which no one other than the players has the power to do! To be fair, I turned the events into a bit and then into a job.

I could have recorded myself giving a similar improvised rant, but I thought better of it:

Sometimes, you cannot win. And that’s okay.

At this point, the Dodgers would need to go 1-6 over the next seven games to match the futility of last year’s 5-15 nadir. That statement would mean winning a single combined game against the Angels (at home, two games), the Guardians (at home, three games), and the Reds (away, two games (out of three)). If only someone wrote a Guide on how to enjoy the Great American Ballpark... The point is that the Dodgers will probably right the ship before matching last year’s futility. And even in the off chance that they match or somehow do worse, which would mean we get to see a ten-game losing streak, they still made it to the NLCS last year...before losing to an inferior opponent. As I said, I am bad at pep talks.

As a Dodger fan, it is not ideal when the Dodgers lose, and it’s doubly not ideal when the Dodgers lose to the Giants, but if life has taught me anything over the past three years is that we must enjoy baseball. When we cannot enjoy it, we need to take a break and go off and do something else. Or just find creative ways to vent until it’s time to hit the road again. (Next stop Anaheim - hopefully!).