Opinion of Kingman's Performance

Friday, September 14, 2018

Dodgers Hold Serve with Win Vs. Cardinals, Still 1 1/2 Back in Division

On August 22nd of this confusing, inconsistent and tumultuous Dodger season I made a mental note that the Dodgers would need to win 24 of their remaining 34 games to qualify for post-season play. 

At the time, it seemed like a daunting task.  The club was coming off being swept at home by what appeared to be a superior St. Louis Cardinals team.  Kenley Jansen was getting smacked around, obviously not himself.  The offense wasn't hitting with men in scoring position and the team was a mere six games over .500 at 67-61, 4 1/2 behind first place Arizona.  They had a day off to think about things, regroup and start over against a couple of last place opponents, (San Diego and Texas). 

So now, 19 games later, the Dodgers have played at a 13-6 clip, still behind in the division standings, but certainly in the running for a playoff spot.  They continue to frustrate us losing to cellar dwellar Cincinnati in 6 of 7 on the year, but taking a series on the road from first place Colorado, in a respectable performance over the past weekend.  This is a Jeckyll and Hyde team that is impossible to predict.  My confidence in them taking the National League Pennant again isn't high, yet then there are signs every once in a while that the magic has returned, only to see the team to fall back into bad habits.

Let's take last night's 9-7 win at St. Louis for instance.

Kershaw started striking out 6 of his first 7 outs recorded, but a homer surrendered to relief pitcher Tyson Ross opened the flood gates.  He gave up 4 runs over six innings in earning his 5th straight win.  (Associated Press photo)

The team looked fantastic.  Kershaw was dominant in early innings.  Striking out Cardinals at a clip we hadn't seen all year.  The offense clicking, hitting with runners in scoring position, at one point 5 for 7 with men in scoring position.  Even hitting back to back sacrifice flys, a rare occasion this year.  Up 8-1 in the 5th, this game was in the bag, right?  Not this year.

Kershaw started getting hit.  The defense sloppy.  The base-running, stupid, (what were you thinking Barnes?). Relievers struggling.  Offense stranding runners again.  Kenley Jansen - lost.  By the ninth, this laugher has turned into potential tragedy. 

A win in game one at St. Louis should have raised confidence, but the way it ended put a damper on that.  Last night's game was 2018 in a nutshell.  It should have been an easy win.  Instead it was a roller coaster ride.

They go at it again tonight with Walker Beuhler.  Another "must" win.  With a victory, the Dodgers ensure themselves of at worst a .500 season with their 81st win.  I continue to believe that 91 wins takes the division.  That'll require an 11-4 close out to the season.  Again, not impossible, but a formidable task.  Do the Dodgers have it in them?  Again, the 2018 team raises doubts.

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