The Los Angeles Dodgers feel like they've quickly assembled a championship-caliber team.
But they haven't gotten quick results.
The offense stalled out for a second straight game in a 10-0 loss to the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field in the Dodgers debut of Josh Beckett. The Dodgers have lost two of the three games since the biggest trade in franchise history, and they have scored two runs in those two losses.
Unlike Sunday, when they wasted copious opportunities, the Dodgers really didn't have many Monday while picking up just four hits. The loss dropped them 2 1/2 games behind the idle San Francisco Giants.
Not bad, anyway. Beckett has been blamed for a lot of things over the past 11 months, but you can't blame him for Monday night. The right-hander was solid, striking out six batters in 5 2/3 innings. He allowed a deep home run to Tyler Colvin leading off the first inning and a couple of two-out hits, but otherwise he gave the Dodgers a chance. They didn't give him a chance.
A little action. There was so little going on when the Dodgers batted, an occasional flurry of activity seemed noteworthy. Shane Victorino created some things and seemed to have emerged from the cold snap that started the last homestand. He walked and stole a base and had a one-out triple in the eighth inning, where he was stranded by Matt Kemp's double play.
A little relief. The Dodgers have acquired nine players since July 25. Two of them are relievers. Neither Randy Choate nor Brandon League had pitched particularly well since joining the Dodgers. League seems to have ironed out some mechanical issues and Choate got a big strikeout -- or at least it looked big before the Rockies poured on seven late runs. The Dodgers got these guys to give their bullpen a deeper, more veteran look, and Monday advanced that cause.
Hanley slumping. We get to find out how Hanley Ramirez handles adversity now, because the jolt of excitement he provided after being traded from Miami has tapered off. Ramirez is in a deep slump, with two hits and nine strikeouts in his past 20 at-bats. He's not exactly a premium defensive shortstop, so he provides little of value when he's not slugging.
Kenley out of work. Kenley Jansen hadn't worked in five days, so Don Mattingly pretty much had to get him some work. What's that thing about closers not performing well in non-save situations? Oh, yeah, Jansen was hit all over the stadium while yielding four runs and failing to get out of the ninth inning. His ERA jumped more than a half-run. That's going to leave a mark.
Confidence? It wasn't as though the Dodgers had a lot of chances. They had only five at-bats with runners in scoring position. They went 0-for-5 and, combined with Sunday's effort, they're 2-for-their-last-22 in those spots. Tuesday is a pivotal game for the offense. Another bad game and you could start seeing some frustration and, maybe, even a loss of collective confidence. This would be a bad time for that.