Monday, May 21, 2012

Now do you believe?

The Dodgers are scaring me. They're starting to do things that make me take them seriously. As in, they seriously could contend for a postseason spot.

They just swept the best-hitting team in the National League in three very unusual games. They just won their 12th one-run game, best in the majors. They did all of this with a left fielder, center fielder, second baseman, third baseman, another third baseman and a couple of relievers on the DL. Oh, and their shortstop isn't hitting or fielding at ALL.

This is a team that scares me. A team that wins in spite of itself. I cannot help but get sucked in by a team like this. I mean, come on. A team with the best record in baseball, but no one knows how they got it? I am a major sucker for that kind of team. And that's what scares me.

So I watched each day this weekend.

On Friday, a catcher that no one outside of Los Angeles knows, who is unbelievably 10th in the National League in hitting, draws a walk-off walk after the Dodgers almost blew it in the ninth.

On Saturday, something more conventional -- a shutout by the ace of the National League. But then there was that home run by a tattooed, .170-hitting shortstop.

On Sunday, a three-run, pinch-hit home run by Andy VanSlyke's son. (I'm still trying to decide whether he looks like Bill Murray). His first homer in the majors. And the sweep was complete. And the lead is now at seven games.

The Dodgers are 28-13. One-quarter of the season over.

The scary part?

A collapse still could come any day, but I'm no longer prepared. I'm too heavily invested. By this team of little engines that think they can.

I'm believing the Francona-isms, that this team "just finds a way to win." And, I'm sitting back, saying, "OK, boys, you're down by three runs, your starting pitcher obviously doesn't have it, you have one legitimate RBI threat in the entire lineup. Show me how you're gonna win this one." And I totally believe that they're going to win this one.

That's a dangerous way to think when May isn't even over.

But you've seen the results. You can't explain it. You keep expecting them to come back to earth. You expected it a month ago. Three weeks ago. Two weeks ago. And still, they keep winning.

So, do you believe now?

That's not just a question for you. It's a question for me. The guy who picked the Dodgers to finish third.

And I say, yes, I think I'm starting to believe.

That's bad news for me.

Somewhere, some time, I'm going to get my guts ripped out.

It's got to happen.


For crying out loud, Adam Kennedy is hitting fifth.

(Thanks for the Kershaw card, AdamE. Gypsy Queen even uglied up the framed cards this year, huh?)


  1. All of this with Matt Kemp on the DL. And no one out here has noticed because the Lakers are still playing.

    I love that Van Slyke card. Night Owl, if you or anyone else out there has a couple of extras, let me know.

  2. i believed when i called them winning the pennant back on april 12...

    i suppose i was wrong about javy guerra, but otherwise this team showed from the git go they have something special.

    they absolutely never give up and everybody contributes.

    but i tell you what, i wish a.j. ellis would hit 5th.

  3. I went to two of the three games against the Cardinals and am starting to believe. I am too cynical to get confident though. The Dodgers keep winning and in various ways with random players like Elian Herrera and Justin Sellers chipping in.

    I can't wait until the Lakers and Clippers season is over so, the focus of LA will be on Los Doyers. The city will rally behind the team again as we claim victories.

  4. The Dodgers are amazing considering all the players that are hurt. Van Slyke looks like Bob Stephenson from Jericho. Do a google image search'll see.

  5. Winning 1-run games has a large element of luck, and leading the league in 1-run wins should be a huge red flag for you. Rarely does a team finish a season with such a large lead--rather their luck regresses to the mean at some point and their overall winning percentage drops.

  6. I think there's a direct correlation between you're growing realization that the 2012 Dodgers are for real and my realization that the 2012 Angels are now officially the worst team in the West. And where last year when I heard Houston was coming to the AL West and I figured, great, we have some padding between us and the cellar, now I think the Astros will be weight pressing us down even further....

  7. I'm glad you semi liked the card. I still don't understand your Gypsy Queen hate, it was the best looking set last year and on its way to best looking set of 2012 as well.

  8. I actually really LOVED the framed paper Gypsy Queen cards from last year. Compare them to this year's framed border cards. 2011's are light years ahead. Simple, classy, not overdone. 2012 is a border and overdone ugliness gone wild.

  9. This fan of the first-place Orioles is nodding knowingly. I would kill for a seven-game lead, though...

  10. Van Slyke looks like a chubby Konerko.