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Tuesday, August 25, 2009
What's wrong with the Dodgers?


In the wake of the Rockies' incredibly unlikely win Monday night -- late Monday might -- Buster Olney writes about how the Rockies have won 51 of their last 73 games and improbably gotten back into the running for a division title.

Of course, while the Rockies have been winning the Dodgers have been losing.

Well, not losing, exactly. Just not winning as much as they were. Little more than a month ago, the Dodgers' record stood at 61-34, which gave them the best record in the majors and a nine-game lead over the (then) second-place Giants. Since then, though, they're just 13-17. Now they have the third-best record in the majors and their lead is just three games over the (now) second-place Rockies.

So what's wrong with the Dodgers? Not much. If you want to pick nits, you might point out that they're just 13th in the National League in home runs -- they get little power from their first baseman and virtually none from their bench -- and that now they're hoping that Vicente Padilla will shore up their rotation.

But everybody's got problems like this. The Dodgers still are in first place, and they still have the best run differential in the National League. And perhaps most to the point, the Dodgers' three-game lead is largely irrelevant. What's largely relevant is the Dodgers' seven-game lead over the Giants in the wild-card standings. If they somehow blow that one ... well, then we can talk about what's wrong with the Dodgers.