Opinion of Kingman's Performance

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Dodgers Head Home With Heads Held High

The Dodgers continued their winning ways in San Diego tonight, and runs were scored a-plenty as Chris Capuano was on the winning end of a decision for the first time in what seems like a long time.  The Dodger won their 81st game of the year, ensuring them of at worst, a .500 season.
Chris Capuano's 5 2/3 innings of work were good enough for the win. (photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

The offense got in gear again with an 8 run onslaught and 14 hit attack led by multi-hit efforts by Kemp, Gonzaelz, Cruz, Punto and A.J. Ellis.  But oddly, it wasn't the Dodgers ability to hit that broke the game open, it was consecutive batters that showed their ability to get hit that sparked the Dodgers 4-run 5th inning that put the game out of reach.    With two outs and two on, Padre starter  Casey Kelly hit Hanley Ramirez on the arm to load the bases.  He then plunked Shane Victorino on the back foot to force in the first run of the inning.  After that, the flood gates opened.  Luis Cruz lined a single up the middle to punch in two runs and A.J. Ellis grounded a roller up the middle to drive in the fourth run of the inning. 

Luis Cruz's 5th inning liner up the middle broke the game open as he drove in two runs with one swing.  (photo by Lenny Igneizi/AP)

Luis Cruz went 6 for 13 in this three game set in San Diego.  He continues his storybook run with his average now up to a season high .308.

Chris Capuano went an effective 5 2/3 innings for his 12th victory on the year, and the bullpen held the lead as the Dodgers gained a 1/2 game on idle St. Louis to move within three with six to play.  It was a 5-4 road trip, but the Dodgers won three of the last four which is quite the turnaround when considering that the offense a few days ago looked dead in the water as they watch Cincinnati celebrate their division title on Saturday night.
On Sunday, September 23rd, I said the Dodgers had put themselves in such a difficult position that they would need to run the table to win the final wild card spot.  I still contend that statement to be true.  Since then, the Dodgers are 3-1, but they are stuck at three games back with 6 to play.

So let’s say that the Dodgers continue their winning ways and win their final 6 games at Dodger Stadium.  That would mean they would win nine of their final ten contests on the season.  Something that many of us would say would be enough to get them into the post season.  Unfortunately, they had dug themselves in such a hole that playing .900 ball in the final week and a half of the season will not be enough.  The Cardinals have a challenge to face with two playoff teams to face at home, but the urgency that the Nationals and Reds will be playing with is not nearly what it was earlier when they were battling for a playoff spot.

Standings following today’s action for the final Wild Card spot:

St. Louis     84-72
Los Angeles 81-75 3.0
Milwaukee 80-76 4.0

Remaining games:
Cardinals : (home) Washington (3), Cincinnati (3)
Dodgers : (home) Colorado (3), San Francisco (3)
Brewers : (home) Houston (3), San Diego (3)

All you can do is win out and hope for the best.  

I can’t help thinking about this July 14th game though.  A picture paints a thousand words.  The Dodgers were up two games on the division at the time.  Sure would like this one back now.
This one hurt.  Kenley Jansen turned his back on home plate and didn't call time out.  Everth Cabrera stole home and Will Venable followed behind.  It was the "W" that got away. (photo capture: Fox Sports L.A./Prime Ticket)


  1. I recall that game but I don't attribute our present situation to any one game. There were so many games when a hit with RISP could have changed the outcome of the game. Our pitching was good enough to get us to the post season, maybe not deeply into it, but to get us there. Our new offense supposedly making us a feared line up let us down.

    Was it not gelling? I don't think so. Was it putting too much pressure on themselves? I don't think so as the pressure is still great, perhaps greater, and now they are hitting. I think it was because we became a one dimensional offense, all or nothing with the big bats. And maybe, just maybe, the new bats were over-rated a bit.

  2. Harold, I think in the course of a season, all teams had those sure wins that somehow got away. This one seemed to be more memorable to me than most, maybe because at the time this post was written, the Dodgers had just finished off San Diego and it was the Padres that pulled off that game.