Despite being one game above .500 and third in the NL West standings, the Los Angeles Dodgers are by far in a better position now than they were 45 games into the 2013 season; their record in 2014 suggests this year’s team is four games better than last year’s.
However, even with the marginally better record, the Dodgers have been plagued by many of the same issues that haunted them through June of last season. The rash of injuries is out of their control, while the errors appear uncontrollable, and the bullpen offers more questions than answers.
With Sunday’s loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Dodgers dropped another series and are closer to fourth place in the division than first. Following the game, Dan Haren spoke of the team’s inconsistency and stated his belief they’re in position to make a run, which may hold true as the roster appears to be days away from essentially reaching full strength.
Manager Don Mattingly isn’t quite as fond with the idea that the Dodgers are capable of ripping off a run similar to last summer’s 42-8 stretch and instead wants his club to focus on the daily task at hand, according to Bill Plunkett of the OC Register:
I’m not really worried about a run. I’m really worried about day to day,” Mattingly said Sunday. “Until we can grind out wins then we’re in trouble. I think you have to be ready to play every day, play with some sense of urgency that every game is going to matter, every game counts and you don’t have time to wait.”
With many of the same players back from last year’s roster, it’s natural for the feeling to set in that at any given moment, this team is capable of getting wins in bunches. It would be a dangerous game to play, but with a payroll in excess of $230 million, the Dodgers conceivably have the necessary pieces to pull themselves off the mat yet again.
Dodgers Update: Dodgers Fall Behind Giants And Rockies In NL West