This hasn’t happened in three months!
June 8-10 was the last time that the Dodgers had a losing streak. It was three games, the first two losses being to the Atlanta Braves with the third one coming courtesy of the Arizona Diamondbacks (who incidentally are the next opponents as the Dodgers begin a homestand this week).
Now with the Colorado Rockies beating the Dodgers in the last of their set in Denver and the Cincinnati Reds sweeping three games from L.A. at Great American Ball Park this weekend, all by one-run scores with the last two in walk-off fashion, the Dodgers are now looking at a four-game losing skid.
It is their second longest skid of the season, as they lost eight straight from May 1-10.
In this latest setback on Sunday, the Reds’ Jay Bruce hit two home runs off the Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, but that was the only two runs he gave up as Ryan Hannigan’s game-winning double off Ronald Belisario scored Zack Cozart and sealed the deal for Cincinnati.
The only thing that can salvage this downturn is the fact that with the D-Backs’ 3-2 loss to the San Francisco Giants on Sunday, the magic number – any combination of Dodger wins and/or D-Back losses – to clinch the National League West for L.A. is now ten.
One question remains going forward: Is it time for Dodger fans to panic?
After all, during their Brooklyn days the Dodgers had a 13 and a half game lead in late August of 1951 before they faltered and were caught by the New York Giants, who forced a best-of-three game playoff, which climaxed with Bobby Thomson’s legendary “The Giants Win The Pennant!” home run.
The Philadelphia Phillies likewise blew a six and a half game lead with 12 games to play in 1964, as they went on a ten-game losing streak and finished second to the St. Louis Cardinals.
Dodger players don’t seem to think it’s time for a panic as Adrian Gonzalez said, “You roll into the playoffs and you’re just winning, winning, winning…And you don’t have to grind through it at the end and play some tough games, sometimes that’s not a good thing.”
As for me, my answer to the Dodger fans who are asking if it’s panic time is…
If L.A. continues to lose, namely to the D-Backs as they are the ones in second place in the N.L. West and are trying to get back into the race and are in Dodger Stadium for a three-game set this week, then it will be time to worry.
It will certainly not be easy, as Arizona is a pesky bunch; they are 11 games behind the Dodgers and would absolutely love to stick it to Don Mattingly’s team.
As such, I’m going to wait and let things unfold in Chavez Ravine this week before I signal any emergency flares, and Dodger fans should take the same attitude as well.