The Dodgers slim playoff hopes took another hit Thursday night in the nations capitol. With their 4-1 loss to the Washington Nationals, the Dodgers now find themselves three games out of the second wildcard spot. Not only that, the surging Milwaukee Brewers have surpassed them, taking over the number two spot in the chase for the coveted second wildcard. And things don’t get any easier for the boys in blue. They go from playing the second best team in the majors in the Washington Nationals, to playing the team with the best record in the Cincinnati Reds. It will be a crucial three game series. Losing two out of three would pretty much be a death knell for the team.
It was a typical performance for the Dodgers. Decent pitching with ZERO hitting. Chris Capuano (11-11) had a typical Chris Capuano game: pitched well for the most part, but suffered an early-inning meltdown that resulted in the only runs for the Nationals. They got to Capuano in the third and fourth, scoring two runs apiece.
The Dodgers only offense was provided by Mark Ellis, of all people. He led off the fourth inning with a solo home run to left-center, cutting the lead to 2-1 at the time. And that was it. Matt Kemp, the hero of the previous nights almost collapse, had only one hit. Adrian Gonzales, Hanley Ramirez and Andre Ethier were all hitless. This is how the Dodgers ninth inning unfolded: Kemp took a questionable strike three for the first out. Gonzales struck out swinging at a horrible pitch at his feet. And Ramirez? Same result. Went down swinging at a horrible pitch that was almost in the dirt.
It’s a tough pill for the Dodgers to swallow. To be honest, they were lucky to come out of D.C. with one win, given the way they were playing. Of course, even they couldn’t win a game with ease when they should have. In game 2 of a double-header on Wednesday, the Dodgers blew a 6-0 lead in the bottom of the eighth inning, giving up six runs. They almost gave up two more, if not for some nifty glove-work by reliever Ronald Belisario. Kemp then belted a solo home run to center giving the Dodgers the lead that they would hold on to.
But they couldn’t keep the momentum going Thursday. It is imperative they play with a sense of urgency against the Reds. However, if the bats haven’t woken up by now, it’s a safe bet that they won’t wake up by tonight. Each game, each series of late, it has been the same story for the Dodgers. Since the mega trade for Adrian Gonzales, the Dodgers have lost seven and a half games to the San Francisco Giants in the National League West race. And they have also lost two and a half games to the St. Louis Cardinals in the wild card race.
There are 12 games left. If there is any hope, it must start tonight in Cincinnati. Please?
About the Author
Written by Simran Reyatt
Growing up in the suburbs of Los Angeles I became passionate about sports around 1988, watching the showtime Lakers and the miracle Dodgers. I have been hooked ever since! Lakers, Raider and Dodgers are my main passions, but really, I'm a huge sports lover as a whole.