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Dodgers Continue to Just Tread Water, Struggle vs Good Teams

The Dodgers split with Houston continues their lackluster performances against quality opponents.



The Dodgers disappointed earlier this week when they split a two-game series in Los Angeles against the villainous Houston Astros. Since the All-Star break, the Dodgers own a 9-9 record. Playing .500 baseball is not going to push them to their ninth consecutive division title.

Not when the Giants are playing this well.

The Giants 3-1 loss to the lowly Diamondbacks on Tuesday provided an incredible opportunity for the Dodgers to pick up a game in the standings. Instead, Astros starter Lance McCullers pitched a gem as the Dodgers offense sputtered.

Max Scherzer’s dazzling Dodgers debut and epic curtain call deserve their moment in the sun. However, Wednesday’s triumph doesn’t wash away Tuesday’s failure.

The split with Houston continued a streak of subpar performances against top-tier talent in the MLB. For the season, Los Angeles is now 24-29 against teams with a winning record.

They haven’t won a series against an opponent with a winning record since July 1st against the Washington Nationals when Washington was one game over .500.

Currently, the Dodgers are a supercharged American muscle car stuck in second gear.

Final Thoughts

Now, there are almost two full months remaining in the season. More than enough time to catch the Giants, secure home field advantage in October, and avoid the Wild Card game. That sentiment is echoed by a front office that traded its best prospects for two All-Stars at the deadline.

The last time the Dodgers were healthy was February, but that’s not an excuse anymore. Even with Kershaw and Gonsolin on the IL, there’s plenty of talent on this roster to capture the division title.

The time is now to start stringing together wins against quality opponents. The time is now to start decisively winning every series against cellar dwellers.

Time to stop treading water, and start swimming. The finish line is closer than you think.

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Written by Eric Eulau

Born and raised in Ventura, not "Ven-CH-ura", California. Favorite Dodger Stadium food is the old school chocolate malt with the wooden spoon. Host of the Dodgers Nation 3 Up, 3 Down Podcast.

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  1. A lot of this treading water has to do with Roberts and his questionable in game managing decisions as far as lineups and the BP go. If Roberts thinks Dodgers will survive with continued BP games he is sadly mistaken. And playing Bellinger for his defense and sitting the better bats will come back to haunt him as well.

    • All this time I thought I was out on an island bitching about Davey Dingbat but, I am pleased to find out that I’m not the only one. He needs to go and Kenley needs to go with him. Thank you everyone. I feel vindicated now.

      • Can’t agree more. Roberts has done the most stupid moves and had not the team to steal or play small ball his daily lineup changes hurts their consistency at bats. He can no longer defend Jansen and needs to keep Barnes on the bench and ply Bellinger sparingly. Pollack is hot and he needs to stay in the lineup while he is hot. Put Trea Turner 1st or 2nd in lineup

    • Losing extra inning games in the way they have is a matter of being out managed and Roberts is definitely the wrong man for the job. Leaving Price in there for the sixth inning after being hit hard in the fifth just to give up a game tying home run is just another in a line of bad decisions. Seager looks like crap, Pollock rarely gets a big hit with the game on the line and they stink with runners in scoring position. We were beat by a team without Trout, Rendon, Ohtani and Walsh and we were pretty much at full strength and now Mookie is hurt again, Kershaw out until September, Nelson out for the year, we have to face it, this is not our year, there are about 5 teams better than us right now.

  2. This year has been so difficult as a Dodger fan. Outside of the first month of this season, we kind of underachieve and suck. We have probably lost 10 games plus this year, due to the pathetic bullpen. We suck at extra inning games, again due to the bullpen. While we have Buhler and Sherzer that would help a ton in a 1 game wildcard playoff, but throw great pitching at us and we do not score. I fear that we are not playing good enough to catch the Giants, and we absolutely could lose a one game playoff. If the first 4 months of the season has taught us, the 2021 version of the dodgers is nowhere near as good as the 2020, 2019, 2018, & 2017 versions. I cant wait till football season starts as trying to navigate the dodgers this year has been quite painful and depressing.

  3. This has been a very frustrating season for me in regard to the Dodgers, even with them having one of the top winning percentages in MLB. Perhaps I just expected more from them, considering how they dominated last year. Was last year just a fluke? This year seems to be a distillation of all the flaws we have seen in the past: wasted great starting pitching, runners left on base, questionable managerial decisions, players lost to injuries, under-performing former stars like Bellinger and Lux, poor defense, wobbly relievers, and failure to execute “little ball.” Also, the loss of two guys, Pederson and Hernandez, who provided some timely hitting didn’t help, either. Well, with all of that, we are still within striking distance of the surprising Giants, but with the addition of Scherzer and Turner, it’s time to “put up or shut up.” Should be a wild pennant race these last two months.

    • You are exactly right. I have been harping on all those reasons why the Dodgers have been struggling this year. I would definitely add Jansen to the list of under-performers. Losing both Joc and Kike was inevitable because both wanted to walk to greener pastures, but FO should have picked up some creditable bench support. Multiple players lost to injuries were most unfortunate, as that was not much of an issue last year even with the pandemic. Now the FO have given additional weapons for DR to work with so yes, I have also said earlier “ IT’S TIME TO PUT UP OR SHUT-UP !” No excuses anymore, owners and FO have overspent and sacrificed good economical prospects to give you a viable team to work into a championship. Now it is GO time, not tomorrow or next year.

  4. A current 24 win, 29 losses against those better above .500 teams won’t get it done and if no improvement, Roberts and Dodgers will be on the outside looking in come October. A one and done Wild Card game may prove difficult for this team to survive as well.

  5. The Dodgers need to focus one game at a time , no one needs to be a hero , play the game and have fun , yet don’t play sloppy ball ! I am sure it is hard knowing a lot hasn’t changed considering what is going on with Bellinger , He needs to go down , get right if possible, meanwhile play someone who deserves and can help the team , think the present , not who Bellinger was before but who Bellinger is now , and as far as JANSEN , I cannot imagine the feeling in the minds of the players , when they see him warming up or especially coming into the game .We know how we feel seeing him come into a game , the players most likely feel much worse , but are unable to say or do anything .Just play the game the right way ,with the right players , and hopefully be successful at the right time.

  6. Yet another one-run loss in extra innings, and now 1 win out of 12. More wasted opportunities (Muncy on third with one out) and terrible decisions on Robert’s part. I put this loss solely on him. Why the hell would he not have a pinch runner inserted for Muncy on second with them down by one run and two out in the 10th and the game on the line? Plus put both Trea Turner in his first at bat for the Dodgers and also Pujols in the same extremely difficult and pressure situation against his former team? Unfathomable. How I wish we would have a manager that plays by gut instinct like Lasorda back as manager versus a “Sabermetric Stat King” like Roberts. And please, MLB, get rid of that stupid, disgusting “Runner on Second to Start Extra Innings” rule – you have truly cheapened and dumbed down the game.

    • Agree with you that the runner put on 2nd every extra inning has dumbed down the game. No other sport gives freebies to its’ teams in overtime…because the fans want the game to end as fast as possible. To hell with strategy and quality of pitching, hitting, running and defense etc.

  7. That idiot Roberts got out managed by the guy Friedman should’ve brought here in the first place. The guy not afraid to let a pitcher pitch, to play small ball. Joe Maddon..!! Roberts is an ass slappin’ cheerleader, Maddon is a MANAGER.

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