And what exactly is the state of the Dodgers? Not so good.
With news early in the day that Zack Greinke's elbow is not 100%, but he'll make a start on Saturday anyway, to the lifeless performance against the Padres at night, it was not a day to remember. The early 3-0 hole was not overcome this time, as the Padres rolled to an easy win 4-1.
Let's start with Greinke, who provided either good news or bad news, depending on your view. In case you missed it, he will avoid a trip to the DL, which on this team is obviously some good news. The flip side is that he admitted to pitching with elbow discomfort for about a month, and in his own words, "can't guarantee I'll be good from here on out." Not exactly the most comforting words from an ace.
I wrote about this yesterday, so I'll reiterate how much the words "elbow issues" and "pitcher" make me concerned. Greinke was brought in to pair with Clayton Kershaw as the league's best Game 1 and 2 starters in any playoff series. But the playoffs are well over a month away, and even though the Dodgers are in first place now, there's no guarantee that they'll even be in the postseason if they keep playing like they have been lately.
Maybe Greinke will go out on Saturday, throw a gem, then report that his elbow feels great and he's ready to roll with it. Or he'll get hit around and provide even more concern. I guess we'll all just have to wait until Saturday against the Mets to see.
As for the game on Wednesday, there wasn't a whole lot to feel good about. For the second straight night, the Padres got up 3-0 in the early going. It was a combination of three soft singles, two walks, and a horrible bobble by Scott Van Slyke in left. Oh ya, and Eric Stults had an RBI single with the bases loaded. It was bad.
How did the Dodgers do at the plate? Well, they had six hits and one run against a guy who came into the game at 5-13 with a 4.64 ERA. So that should sum up how sorry the Dodgers looked. Only Adrian Gonzalez had an extra base hit with a double, and Van Slyke was the only guy with two hits. Basically, it was a whole lot of nothing going on. With runners in scoring position, they were 0-for-5, including another blown opportunity with the bases loaded.
And by the way, the defense committed three errors. It looked like a flashback to April. Ugh.
A lot has been made about the Dodgers "easy" schedule down the stretch, at least in terms of winning percentage compared to other contenders. So far, the Padres aren't rolling over, and the Mets come in next, and they took it to Jeff Samardzija and the A's yesterday. In other words, I don't care what the records say, these teams are not going to roll over and play dead.
At least the Dodgers can turn to Clayton Kershaw tonight. Then again, his last start he went the distance, gave up three runs... and still lost to the Brewers 3-2. And with Tyson Ross on the mound for the Padres, who's one of the most underrated pitchers in baseball, winning will be tough once again. Let's see how the Dodgers respond.