About the time we declared that no one would ever stop the 2017 Dodgers, Sports Illustrated went ahead and did the same thing. You can read the actual story in SI here.
Tonight, the Dodgers lost an unthinkable 12th game out of 13. Corey Seager has been out with elbow issues. They lost Cody Bellinger for a spell. Clayton Kershaw has returned for just one start, the only game in the last dreadful 13 that the Dodgers have managed to win.
The Diamondbacks have certainly proved that they have the Dodgers number; and no matter what, after being swept in Arizona and now Los Angeles tonight, a seed has been planted in the Dodgers minds. No matter what, they’re going to be asking themselves if Arizona escapes that Wildcard game to kick off the postseason (and you can bet every dollar you have, they’re going to do it and get their short series shot at the Dodgers), if this is the one team with match-ups that they simply can’t overcome.
It’s been the perfect but miserable storm that has brought the Dodgers to this seemingly impossible and awful stretch in the dog days of summer.
What I see is they’re a totally different team without Seager – a player who quietly sets the tone with consistency and quiet calmness night in and night out. They’ve been beaten in every fashion that a team can get beat during this bad run, too. Blow out losses, close extra inning losses, out-slugged, out-pitched, beaten when given a quality start, beaten early, beaten late.
Their offense suddenly seems to all be slumping at once and without identity. Curtis Granderson has given them little lift. Dave Roberts is shuffling guys all over the place to try to find a rhythm. Chris Taylor has came back to earth. Justin Turner has cooled off. Cody Bellinger is trying to find his footing again after a return from injury.
These are trying, fearful times. Many will say the Dodgers peaked too early; and I don’t think that’s quite the case. They ran into a rash of injuries and a perfect monster built to destroy them – the Arizona DiamondBacks – at a terribly vulnerable time.
Obviously a huge question mark in Seager’s health will cloud how things are going to go from here. He’s truly that important.
But in regards to what I said before, I believe it’s the Dodgers year until it’s not. Until the last out is made in a playoff series that matters; this team is going to win it all. I firmly believe they’ll find a way to put the toothpaste back in the tube just in the nick of time. The final chapter on the greatest team I’ve ever seen – at least for a period – has not been written. Not even close.