Hard numbers and hurt feelings

There are three basic types of people in this world: optimists, pessimists and realists. As we have been told all of our lives, the optimists see the glass as half full and the pessimists as half empty.

And then there are the realists, who fully understand that regardless of whether the glass is half full or half empty, the moment a sip is taken from it, it is no longer either.

Realists also believe what they see as opposed to seeing what they believe. In other words, they see things exactly as they are and not with any hopes or wishes to them. They live in a world that is, as Sergeant Joe Friday often said in the immensely popular ’60s and ’70s television show Dragnet:– “Just the facts, ma’am.”

In no way is this piece intended to try to sway anyone from being one type of person to another; heaven knows that even our politicians cannot accomplish this. It is, however, intended to lay some cold, hard numbers on you. In other words, “Just the facts, ma’am.”

According to the Elias Sports Bureau – those remarkable folks who somehow manage to dig up some of the most obscure statistics for every professional sport – the Dodgers brutal 13-0 / three-hit loss to the blazing hot Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday night was the largest shutout against a team that is at least 40 games above .500 at the time since the Cleveland Indians blanked the 80-38 Philadelphia Athletics by a score of 15-0 in 1930. That was 87 years ago.

Elias also notes that the Dodgers have now lost nine of their last 10 games. The only other teams in major league history to lose at least nine times in a 10-game stretch after already having won at least 90 games in that season were the Philadelphia Phillies in 1964 and again in 2011. The 1964 Phillies suffered a 10-game losing streak immediately after winning their 90th game and the 2011 Phillies lost nine of 10 following their 97th win. (The Dodgers are currently at 92 wins). But perhaps of greater interest (or concern) is that Elias notes the the ’64 team actually missed the playoffs entirely and the ’11 team was eliminated by the St. Louis Cardinals in the first round of the playoffs and went on to win the World Series in seven games over the Texas Rangers on the unlikely heroics of (then) little known Cardinals infielder David Freese.

Despite allowing only two runs on two hits with one walk and nine strikeouts in his six innings of work on Monday night, Dodgers left-hander Rich Hill suffered his seventh loss of the season. (Photo credit – Ron Cervenka)

And then there’s the Dbacks current 11-game winning streak, which began on August 24 and includes four wins over the Dodgers. For as great as the Dodgers have been this season, and make no mistake about it, this is perhaps the greatest team in franchise history, the Dodgers longest winning streak thus far this season is (wait for it…) 11 games. Simply put, should the Dodgers lose to the Snakes on Tuesday night (or the Snakes win, for you glass-half-full types), the 80-58 NL West second place Diamondbacks will have pulled off a winning streak longer than the longest winning streak of the 92-45 NL West first place Dodgers, who have 25 regular season games remaining and have a magic number of 13. The good news, if you can call it that, is that after Wednesday night’s series finale with the Dbacks at Dodger Stadium, the Dodgers will not face the Dbacks again this season … at least not in the regular season, if you get my drift.

The Dodgers had only three hits against the Diamondbacks on Monday night. Dodgers second baseman Logan Forsythe had two of them. (Photo credit – Ron Cervenka)

As he often does and, in fact, is paid to do, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts is downplaying his team’s current 1-9 skid.

“I don’t think there’s anything I can do to soothe fans and their passion. Each and every night it’s Game 7,” Roberts told reporters, after the Dodders worst loss in 87 years. “But I can assure you we’re going to win a game again. I know that. And the tide will turn.”

Half full.

The very obvious problem with this statement is that the Dodgers have a magic number of 13 to win a franchise-record-setting fifth consecutive NL West title and a magic number of nine to secure a Wild Card berth with only 25 regular season games remaining. This isn’t an optimistic or pessimistic thing, this is a Sergeant Joe Friday “Just the facts, ma’am” thing.

“We got our butts kicked all around,” Roberts said. “We haven’t had many games like that, if any, all year. They’re playing well, they’re playing really well, and us … not so well.”



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5 Responses to “Hard numbers and hurt feelings”

  1. oldbrooklynfan says:

    I’m a pessimist and at no time like the present am I more aware of it.
    I hope Roberts is right when he says, “the tide will turn”.

  2. porch says:

    The Dodgers do not have to win 13 games to clinch the west. They need any combination wins and Diamond back losses that add up to 13. For example if the Dodgers win tonight they would shave 2 off of that number since a Dodgers win means a DBacks loss and the magic number would now be 11. Also the magic number to clinch the wild card is only 7 over the Rockies. So any combo of Dodgers wins or Rockies losses that equals 7 and the Dodgers are in. Basically the Dodgers could play like the Giants for the rest of September and they would still make the playoffs. No need to panic.

    Those are the real facts.

  3. CruzinBlue says:

    There is no panic on my end. I would rather see the Dodgers roll into the playoffs with momentum on their side instead of trying to “work through” many of the issues they’re dealing with now. Get it fixed and compete. That’s all any of us could ask for.

    • Respect the Rivalry says:

      If the Dodgers don’t “work through” the issues facing now they won’t “roll into the playoffs with momentum on their side”

  4. oldbrooklynfan says:

    The Dodgers can clinch a playoff birth by winning one more game, which I’m sure they will before this regular season ends. With a little help from the Cubs and the Brewers.

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