In professional sports there is a cliche that goes something like this: “They play the games for a reason.” That is to say, even if it looks like a sure thing that a team will win their division and go to the playoffs, they still have to go beat the other teams. In the case of the Los Angeles Dodgers, they have received a brutal reminder of that fact over the last two days.
Who would have thought that the honeymoon for the new and improved Dodgers would come crashing to a halt against the last place Rockies? Furthermore, who thought the Dodgers, with all their stars in the lineup, would lose a game against a Rockies lineup that was missing Carlos Gonzalez, Troy Tulowitzki, Todd Helton, and Michael Cuddyer? Who thought the Dodgers would ever be in danger of losing a game in which they sent Chris Capuano to the mound opposite Tyler Chatwood?
They play the games for a reason.
Stand-out rookies Wilin Rosario, Jordan Pacheco, and Josh Rutledge led the way once again. Rosario cracked his 22nd home run as he continues to remind us why we should be patient with him as he develops his defensive skills behind the plate. Rutledge banged a double and a triple, the latter of which almost killed Matt Kemp as he ran into the wall at full speed. Thankfully for Dodgers fans, it appears it is nothing too serious.
Going into today’s series finale, the Dodgers better get serious about winning some games against inferior competition. Take a look at the schedule of the first place San Francisco Giants, who are looking to pick up a couple of cheap games on the 2nd place Dodgers. They are playing the Astros, and then they play the Chicago Cubs. The “new evil empire” will surely show some urgency in the matinee game today and this weekend against the Diamondbacks, perhaps motivated by the realization that they will not, in fact, simply be handed a spot in the playoffs because they made a crazy trade and are spending buckets of money.
You still have to go out and beat teams like the Rockies.