|(AP Photo/David Kohl)|
Saturday, September 7, 2013
No Time To Panic
This isn’t the time to panic. In fact, there are about 13 other teams in the National League that would die to be in the position of the Los Angeles Dodgers today. Losing three straight, two of which to a team in almost a “do or die” position is really nothing to be ashamed of. A break here, a call there and the Dodgers win a few of these games. There’s nothing to be ashamed of and when you consider the Dodgers haven’t played too well the past few days, the signs are that this team is much better. Post season play will be a different animal altogether. We’ll know this team’s makeup when that time arrives.
As Dodger fans, we’ve been a bit spoiled for a few months. Three months of spoilage in fact. Losing is not something we’re been accustomed to lately and after 25 years, you’d think that we’d know that this incredible run wouldn’t last forever. It’s best for them to get losing our of their system now, than in three weeks from now.
There’s always the fear of a team peaking too soon. In the back of our minds, we’re probably thinking that. What needs to be understood is that in a 162 game season, there are bound to be “down” periods. Assuming that the Dodgers will remain scalding hot until the end of the season and continue on into post season play is unrealistic.
The most important thing is that they enter that second season on October 1st at as close to full strength as possible. If there is one thing that will derail this team, it would be injuries. Then there’s another angle that few are recognizing. The Dodgers have lost two games in Cincinnati as victims to the expanded roster. Billy Hamilton came in twice as a pinch runner and essentially stole the winning run in each game. That’s a player that isn’t available when 25 man rosters are in place.
This is not a complaint of the expanded roster format. The rules are the rules and a team needs to take advantage of what is available to them. If Hamilton was a Dodger, we’d be ecstatic about him and probably be engaged in debate about whether he should make the playoff roster. The fact is though, if these games had been in August, there’s no Hamilton inserted as a pinch runner and most likely, a different result.
So there have been a few bumps in the road for Paco, Howell, and even Wilson. So what? They occurred in the regular season with the Dodgers 12 games ahead in the standings. These losses and lapses will be guaranteed forgotten if they pull through in post season play.
Kershaw goes tomorrow. Ain’t baseball great. There’s almost always a “tomorrow.”