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Dodgers Running in Place

Posted By Simran Reyatt On Sep 17 2012 @ 2:17 pm In Los Angeles Dodgers,MLB | No Comments

Well that didn’t accomplish anything, did it? I looked at this four-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals, leaders of the second wild-card, as the pivotal point in the Dodgers season. I felt this series would decide the Dodgers fate for a potential postseason berth. Well, not exactly. After yesterday’s 5-2 loss in 12 innings, the Dodgers are exactly in the same place they were when the series started on Thursday: one game back. I suppose it could’ve been worse as the Dodgers could have realistically been swept. They had to rally from two runs or more down in both victories in the series, including Saturday’s dramatic ninth-inning nail-biter, to salvage a split. A sweep (or even losing three of four) pretty much would have been a death-knell for the team.

The offense continues to stymie even the most devout believer. Time and time again, they’ve had opportunities to score or win the game and each time, as before, they failed to do so. Shane Victorino went 0-6 and Adrian Gonzales went 0-5. Matt Kemp continued his epic struggles. The Cardinals did what would have been the unthinkable earlier this year. With runners on second and third and two out, the Cardinals intentionally walked Andre Ethier to face Kemp, who weakly flied out to center. This all came after Victorino grounded out to second with runners on first and third and one out. All he needed was a deep fly ball or a grounder past the drawn-in infield and the Dodgers would have been victorious.

John Ely, the 10th pitcher in the game (a Dodger single game record), imploded in the 12th. He led off by walking pinch-hitter Shane Robinson. After being sacrificed to second, Ely got Daniel Descalso swinging on strikes. But with two-outs, John Jay ripped a single to right, scoring Robinson. Then Ely walked Carlos Beltran and hit Matt Holiday and gave up an infield RBI single to Allen Craig. He then walked Yadier Molina (with the bases loaded) further compounding the damage.

The Dodgers also received some bad news by way of pitching. A staff that has already seen the loss of Ted Lilly (who was pitching outstanding the first two months of the year) and Chad Billingsley (who won six straight starts before re-injuring himself) is now facing the possibility of losing ace Clayton Kershaw for the remainder of the year. Kershaw, who was scratched a week ago in San Francisco with hip pain, was still feeling the effects and is now going to visit a doctor in New York on Tuesday for a second opinion. Word around Dodger town is that he will be shut down for the year and will go under the knife that could keep him out until May of 2013. That leaves an already shaky pitching staff with Josh Beckett, Joe Blanton, Aaron Harang, Chris Capuano and Stephen Fife. Duck and cover everybody. With the Dodgers now traveling to Washington D.C. and Cincinnati (the two teams with the best records in the N.L.), this could get ugly fast.

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