DETROIT, MI - JULY 9: Manager Don Mattingly #8 of the Los Angeles Dodgers (R) and pitching coach Rick Honeycutt #40 watch from the dugout during an interleague game against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on July 9, 2014 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
93 games down, 69 to go.
And, the Dodgers will knock out the last four to close out their first half starting Thursday at Dodger Stadium.
The Dodgers have managed to get out of their way enough to compile a 51-42 record and a half-game lead on the Giants in the NL West.
The Padres will be in town, which bodes well for LA. They’ve beaten San Diego in four of their six matchups this season. Clayton Kershaw and Odrisamer Despaigne will square off in game one of the series.
The Dodgers problem so far this season hasn’t been the Padres of the world, it’s been the teams with winning records. The club is 14-19 against clubs over .500. And, while that won’t keep manager Don Mattingly from going on his morning runs in the sands of Manhattan Beach, if it keeps up he might make him grow back his legendary mustache for good luck.
The Tigers became the latest potential post-season squad to dispose of the Dodgers, beating them in a quick two-game set Tuesday and Wednesday. They did it by knocking off the LA’s two best non-Kershaw pitchers, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Zack Greinke. It was the second time the two lost back-to-back starts this season. The other time came against the Reds who hold a 48-42 record.
The Dodgers should look to accomplish two things in these four games. 1) The obvious. Extend their division lead over San Francisco. The Giants have five left at home before heading into the All-Star break. The Athletics are helping them out, having already taken two in AT&T park with two more to play. 2) Get over .500 at Chavez Ravine. The Dodgers are a mind boggling 22-23 and home. The Dodgers! The first team to pass two million in attendance this season. The Dodgers! The team that’s supposed to play for a World Series. The Dodgers! The team that plays in the Louvre Museum of baseball stadiums.
Maybe they’re just doing what the Miami Heat did. You know, play just well enough to not jeopardize a playoff spot, but not burn themselves out when they’ve still got two months left to play. Give some key guys a day off here and there. Play some youngsters because, like Miami, they’ll turn it on when it counts and win a championship. Perfect plan, right?!
Ask the Spurs how well that worked out.