The Dodgers have been hard to watch of late. They have lost three straight games, scoring a grand total of two runs in those games, and have just eight runs in their last five games. The offense ranks 15th in the National League in runs per game (3.48), 11th in OPS+ (89), 12th in wOBA (.301), and 12th in wRC+ (86).
That the Dodgers are a mere four games out of first place in the NL West says more about the Giants and Rockies than it does the Dodgers. The fact is, this team is off to one of the worst starts since the franchise moved west to Los Angeles. At 19-23, only the 1958 squad (at 16-26) got off to a worst start by a L.A. Dodger team than this year's version. That 1958 team finished seventh in an eight team league. Three other L.A. Dodger teams started 19-23, and all finished under .500 for the season: 1964 (80-82), 1967 (73-89), and 2002 (63-99, the only last place Dodger team in the last 106 years).
The 2011 Dodgers have also been outscored by 30 runs this season, their third-worst run differential in 54 years. That 1958 squad were outscored by 55 runs in their first 42 games, but perhaps a ray of hope can come with the 1985 team. In 1985, the Dodgers were outscored by 37 runs in their first 42 games. Somehow they managed a 21-21 start, and went on to win 95 games and win the NL West.
With Rafael Furcal and Casey Blake due back within the next week or so, does this 2011 team have a 1985-like run in them? It seems farfetched, but until San Francisco and/or Colorado separate themselves from the pack in the division, hope will remain for the 2011 Dodgers. Right now, that's all they have.
Thanks as always to the great Baseball-Reference.com.
Tonight's 7:10 p.m. PDT game will be televised by KCAL. For more news and information on the Dodgers, or on tonight's game, be sure to read the SB Nation blog True Blue LA.