Have you ever noticed how baseball executives, especially general managers and field managers, have an aversion to saying “This is the most important series of the season?” For some reason they simply refuse to accept or acknowledge this fact (or at least try to minimize it) unless it is the actual last game of the season. But the cold, hard truth is that the next six days will pretty much seal the Dodgers post season fate – whether team executives choose to accept this reality or not.
The Dodgers are about enter the first of what are clearly the two most important series of their 2012 season tonight in San Francisco against an extremely confident Giants team (and their obnoxious “Beat L.A.” chanting fans, whose heads are so far up in the clouds… or elsewhere), thanks entirely to the Dodgers being totally humiliated and embarrassed by being shut-out in three consecutive games last month. Without a single pitch being thrown, this gives the Giants tremendous momentum and confidence against a Dodger team that comes limping into town having just had their lunch handed to them by the St. Louis Cardinals – including losses by the Dodgers’ two best pitchers. Simply put, the Dodgers have a monumental task ahead of them and anyone who chooses to ignore this fact is being… well… ignorant.
Heading into tonight’s game, the Dodgers find themselves trailing the Giants by three games in the NL West standings. This is a significant number because it matches their biggest deficit of the season; one which they have been unable to overcome in over six weeks. This means that the Dodgers will come out of this three-game series against the Hated Ones somewhere between being tied with them for first place in the NL West to being as many as six games behind them and quite possibly in third place in the NL West; and with the Dodgers’ propensity for losing when the Giants lose (or even winning when the Giants win), a six-game deficit may very well be insurmountable for the Blue Crew with just over 60 games to play.
And if that isn’t enough to unnerve even the strongest of Dodger fans, the team returns home on Monday to face the Arizona Diamondbacks for three games, a team that has pretty much had its way with the Dodgers of late and who (as of today) are only 3.5 games behind them in the standings. In their nine meetings thus far in 2012, the D-backs have won five of them.
When you put all of this together, the next six days will prove to be the best six days of the 2012 season for the Dodgers or the worst – but either way, they will definite be the most important six days of the season, regardless of what Ned Colletti and Don Mattingly think.
It’s entirely up to you, boys.