It never ceases to amaze me how some fans just naturally assume or take for granted that just because an opposing team has a worse record than their favorite team, that their team will automatically win or even sweep a series against their opponents. This, of course, couldn’t be any further from the truth.
Fortunately, the players themselves do not see it this way. Oh sure, every major leaguer will tell you that they arrive at the ballpark expecting to win every day (or al least they should), but even they know that on any given day any given team can win regardless of where they are in the standings. It the words of Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda:
“No matter how good you are, you’re going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are, you’re going to win one-third of your games. It’s the other third that makes the difference.”
So why bring this up now?
Because the Dodgers are in the midst of a nine-game road trip against three teams that are at or near the bottom of their respective divisions – the Diamondbacks who are last in the NL West and the Mets and Phillies who are fourth and fifth respectively in the NL East.
Although the Dodgers have dominated the Dbacks thus far this season (last night notwithstanding) and lead the season series 8-2, they can be sure that Kirk Gibson will not let his team to roll over and die. He will instead push them even harder in the nine remaining games against the Dodgers.
And lest we forget that the last place Phillies manhandled the Dodgers taking three of four at Dodger Stadium last month with catcher Carlos Ruiz absolutely torching Dodgers pitching going 7 for 14 with four doubles, one triple, and one home run while driving in six runs.
And while the Mets may be 9-12 at Citi Field, they are only two games under .500 on the season while the Dodgers are only two games over .500.
The point to all of this is that there is no margin for error (literally and figuratively) on this road trip and if the Dodgers try to phone it in, they will undoubtedly get a wrong number.