You smell that?
That’s the Los Angeles Dodgers’ season.
Somehow, it started with total dominance, a 13-2 record and talk of them not only repeating as World Series champs, but also the notion that this team was so talented and stacked that it honestly had a chance to set the all-time record for wins in a MLB season. Three weeks later, their season has turned into goo. And it stinks to the high heavens.
The Dodgers dropped the rubber game of a three-game series against the Angels, 2-1, on Sunday.
The only thing worse than the Dodgers giving up bragging rights to the struggling Angels is how ugly the Dodgers’ swoon has been.
No one — and we mean, no one — could have imagined how low the Dodgers have sunk.
With their loss to the Angels, the Dodgers have lost five straight series. It’s been four years since they did that. They have lost five of their last six games, eight of their last 10, and 15 of their last 20.
Welcome to rock bottom.
“I don’t necessarily want to speak for the team. But I’m pissed personally,” said Dodgers starter and Sunday loser Trevor Bauer to the media after the team’s latest debacle. “I don’t like losing. I want to win.
“That’s why I came here. And we are not playing up to our capabilities right now, so I’m mad.”
And Dodgers fans should be furious, too. All teams go through slumps, a rough patch.
They, however, rarely last this long. Usually, all it takes is one player to get hot and carry a team to wins until the rest of the team starts hitting.
We saw that with the Yankees. They got off to a terrible start, but rebounded and caught fire when their DH Giancarlo Stanton went on a 12-game hit streak. It got the Yanks back to .500 and kickstarted their season.
Granted, the Dodgers have had some injuries, including one to star centerfielder Cody Bellinger who has been out since April 6th. He has just 19 at-bats thus far. His MVP bat is definitely missed. Pitcher David Price is out and L.A. also lost starter Dustin May for the season due to Tommy John surgery.
Still, the Dodgers (18-17) have played sloppy ball, making critical errors. Their bullpen has coughed up some games, too. Mostly, though, the hitters haven’t come through. Remember, Mookie Betts, Justin Turner, Max Muncy and Corey Seager are all in the lineup, taking swings.
Some thought, maybe, the Dodgers had broken out of their prolonged offensive slump. They banged out 14 runs on Saturday night in Anaheim.
Maybe, they should have saved some runs for Sunday. They managed just a single run and yet wasted a quality pitching performance and earned yet another loss.
The NL West — which the Dodgers have won eight straight seasons — isn’t the pushover it has been. The surprising San Francisco Giants lead the division. The up-start San Diego Padres are second and showed the Dodgers they mean business this summer after taking three of four at Dodger Stadium. For sure, the Dodgers have their work cutout for them. They aren’t just fighting against good competition, but against history, too.
No National League team has repeated as World Series champs since the 1975 and 1976 Cincinnati Reds. Sounds impossible, but it’s true.
And we know there’s a long season still to go. It’s just that the team doesn’t feel right. This is definitely not the team they were a year ago when they posted the best record in MLB and was the highest-scoring offense in the game.
Now, they can’t buy a run or a win, for that matter.
For sure, there are fans and soft media members singing the “They will be fine,” tune. But there’s something wrong with this team. They just shouldn’t be this bad.
“You can say it’s early, no need to panic, and (it’s) true, but at the end of the day, we’re not going to roll the bats and balls out there and win baseball games,” Bauer told reporters. “We’re not going to sleep-walk our way to another division title and World Series.” Few teams that have ever reeked this bad during one stretch in a season seldom win anything.