Sound the alarm Dodgers fans, the season is at its breaking point. Dropping back to back games for the first time since June, almost a third of the Major League Baseball season has passed since the last time we saw this surging team lose on consecutive nights. But that is exactly what happened to the red-hot Dodgers, perhaps this is should be considered a slump for a team this hot, especially considering the losses both came against losing teams.
The streak began with a Sunday night loss to a Philadelphia Phillies franchise who has mailed it in for the year already, and was mourning the loss of its beloved manager. Charlie Manuel had been the winningest manager in team history, however with a 54-69 record on the year, his Phillies weren’t getting it done and a move had to be made.
Manuel insisted that still had a special place in his heart for Philadelphia despite making it clear that he was pushed out the door and did not resign from his position. At the Phillies game on Saturday night, just one day after being fired, Manuel was in attendance and stuck around after the game to sign autographs for fans.
Perhaps the fresh wound inspired the Phillies to go out and be world beaters for the night on Sunday when they defeated the Dodgers. A team well under .500 would certainly not have been the choice of many to end the Los Angeles Dodgers ten game win streak, however with a hard fought 3-2 victory they did exactly that. Pitching and clutch hitting came through for a team that has suffered its share of lapses in both departments throughout the year.
With most Dodgers fans chalking up the Phillies loss to dumb luck, the assumption was that the Miami Marlins would be the sacrificial lamb that started the next Dodgers winning streak. At 48-75 the Marlins season ended essentially before it started this season, playing only for pride since before the All-Star break. Surely Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, and the rest of the powerhouse Dodgers would stampede their way through South Beach. Wrong.
The score of Monday nights game was Miami 6, Los Angeles 2. The Dodgers slump now sits at two games.
Pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu pitched well enough on paper, going 7 and a third innings and giving up six hits. However his hits game in two sets of three hit sprees, enabling the Marlins to tack on three runs on the Dodgers starter. As a result, the Dodgers would never lead, and Ryu would lose his first start in ten appearances.
Alright, so perhaps two losses is not a reason to panic, but when you’ve been as hot as the Dodgers over the past 50 games, they won 42 of them, it is easy to over-react to a small losing streak. Odds are they will restart a win streak shortly, before losing becomes a pattern.
In other Dodgers news, the team has added former San Francisco Giants relief pitcher Brian Wilson to its 25 man roster. Yes, he still has the crazy beard.
Follow me on Twitter @CharlieGille
Senior Sports Editor
The Guardian Express