Dodgers Slump? Not When They Play In West

The Dodgers never slump against the National League West

Nothing cures what ails the Dodgers like playing against the National League West.

Los Angeles had gone from looking like a World Series contender to looking like they may not even win the division in the last couple weeks. Their bats had gone silent, scoring just three runs in their last 27 innings. Adding to their woes, their pitching ace Chad Billingsley is going to miss at least one start (Wednesday). It got so bad that after another loss on Sunday night Joe Torre had a closed-door meeting to remind the players they don’t suck, they still had the best record in baseball and still lead the division by more than five games. Just start playing well and they can still go to the playoffs, Torre reminded his team.

He didn’t need to bother — all the Dodgers needed was to start playing the teams from the National League West again.

Monday the Dodgers did what they have done all season — beat up on the NL West. This time it was a 4-2 win in San Francisco, keyed by Manny Ramirez going 2 for 4 and Matt Kemp hitting a bases-clearing, three-run double.

Despite the recent slump it was all so predictable — the Dodgers are now 31-12 against their fellow National League West buddies.

The really good news for the Dodgers is that two-thirds of their games in the next five weeks are against the NL West. It’s time to fatten up again.

The Dodgers are going to be playing so well they won’t need to look at John Smoltz, as is rumored they are. Smoltz is being let go by the Red Sox this season because now at the end of his brilliant career he probably couldn’t get the teams in the Little League World Series out.

The Dodgers already have guys like that on their roster — lately it has been relievers Ramon Troncoso and Guillermo Mota — they don’t need another.

But those guys will likely suddenly look like Cy Young contenders now that the Dodgers are back playing against the National League West. That is where the Dodgers look dominant; you can worry about how to beat those teams from the other divisions when the playoffs roll around.


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