If there was a way for the Dodgers to get rid of all of those good vibes from sweeping the Giants and Braves, this was it.
Like the headline says, there's no other way of putting it than to say the Dodgers were embarrassed at home the past three days, as the Cubs won another one today 7-3. In the two loses on Friday and Sunday, the Dodgers were outscored 15-5 to a team with the third worst record in all of baseball, and the second most road loses.
There were all sorts of reasons the Dodgers lost, so let's take a look at them.
1) Josh Beckett was ineffective once again. This time he only lasted four innings for six hits, three runs, three walks, and six strikeouts. He started the fifth inning tied 1-1, but then watched Edwin Jackson crush a double to center, Chris Coghlan smack a two-run homer, and Arismendy Alcantara single. That was it after that. He made a whopping 94 pitches, and only got four innings out of it. Ouch.
There's definite reason for concern now, as that's now five straight starts of five innings or less. Hardly what you'd want from your starter. Over the course of that time, his ERA has risen from 2.02 to 2.88. As I tweeted out during the game, the Dodgers are only a three-deep rotation right now with Haren's struggles as well. It's a great three, but then a huge dropoff after.
2) The clutch hitting was, well, not clutch. Today the offense was 2-for-12 with RISP. Saturday it was 1-for-10. Friday it was 0-for-4. I'm pretty sure that adds up to 3-for-26, or a .115 average. That is really pathetic.
The offense got all sorts of hits against the Giants and Braves, and that was a big reason why they went 6-0 in those games. In these games, it's as if everyone was looking around at everyone else waiting for someone to step up. Nobody really did.
3) Brandon League and Chris Perez are really, REALLY bad. I thought maybe League was good again, but I was wrong. He is terrible. His ERA of 2.49 is not at all a reflection of the type of pitcher he is. He got that good number from pitching a bunch of meaningless innings with no pressure. Today he entered the game in the eighth down 3-2. He then proceeded to walk the bases loaded with nobody out, and then give up both an RBI groundout and two-run single. It was embarrassing. And that's why he sucks - he can't be relied upon to pitch any sort of big innings.
Perez is just so pathetic, I don't even know what else to say about him. In one inning today he gave up a solo homer, single, and walk. His ERA is 5.03. I don't care what the situation is, that guy has no business being on this roster. Ship his ass out!
4) Carl Crawford and Andre Ethier are giving them NOTHING. These two are interchangeable in left field only because neither one of them can hit to save their lives. Crawford is hitting .230 and Ethier .243. It's either a strikeout or popup every single freakin' time. In a perfect world, they'd be gone, and their contracts would be history. But basically they have to stick around because they're making a BOATLOAD of money to perform like crap. Man are they hard to watch.
What went right today was the fifth homer in six games by a suddenly red hot Matt Kemp, who is now hitting .285. Most importantly, he's swinging the bat like a guy who believes he can cause damage again. If he really is in Beast Mode, then look out. Let's hope so.
The other positive was Justin Turner, who filled in for Dee Gordon at leadoff and went 2-for-3 with two runs and a stolen base. That guy always plays hard and is fun to watch.
I can't say the same about the rest of team, because this series was not fun to watch at all. The Dodgers played like a team that thought they could simply walk onto the field and beat a bad team. Well, that bad team is still full of Major League players, and when a minimal effort is put in, that's what happens.
We're about to find out how the Dodgers will respond, because they have the Angels and Brewers this week. The Angels would be in first place in any division except their own, as the A's own the AL West. The Brewers are tops in the NL Central.
If the last couple of weeks is any indication, maybe the Dodgers are about to play better, because they certainly seem to play to their competition.