Happenings here and there in the baseball world in Southern California.
That pressure seems to be getting to everyone at Dodgers Stadium. It’s crunch time and there are problems in every corner of the dugout and clubhouse.
With two weeks left in the season, the Blue have issues. They are now down to two healthy reliable ace pitchers, the Cy Young award winner Clayton Kershaw, and his running mate Zack Grienke.
The third starter Hyun Jin-Ryu is ailing again, this time with shoulder inflammation, triggering a cortisone shot. The 4th starter Dan Haren is up and down, and the other starter Roberto Hernandez is staggering.
Add to that, a group of setup, relievers, shakey at best, and now maybe an overworked Kenley Janzen as a closer.
The everyday lineup has issues. Shortstop Hanley Ramirez has had five different injuries, and is no longer the feared productive bat he used to be. Big money outfielder Andre Eithier is having a substandard season.
Aside from Adrian Gonzalez, the rock in the lineup, and the now healthy Matt Kemp, there is no consistency, and that’s with a team still in first place.
And then there is the Wild Horse, Yasiel Puig, staggering thru a summer long slump, that has seen him hit around .200 with no homers since early August.
He continues to make wild throws from the outfield, still has baserunning problems, and has some on going personality clash problems with fellow teammates.
Don Mattingly has had to deal with issue after issue over the last four years in LA. Injuries, the McCourt bankruptcy, his own in game decisions, Puig, and the expectation from ownership, fans, and the media.
The standings say first place, but body language, storylines, and rumors paint a very different picture.
You cannot control injuries, but they better fix all the other issues, or the Dodgers post season may be short and the offseason then stormy.