Dodgers think they're starting to get their mojo working
With apologies to that famous baseball crooner Dinah Washington, what a difference a day makes … or two or three.
Ah, the Dodgers. What to make of them? Are they going to be fun or what? Losing five consecutive games, followed by a three-game winning streak.
Teams are never as good or bad as they appear while streaking in either direction, but the Dodgers are making it particularly difficult to feel comfortable about anything close to a real assessment.
Certainly the rotation remains a major concern, but the hitting that had dissipated and the maddening fielding, all turned around once the team arrived back to Dodger Stadium.
The Dodgers have not committed an error in their last five games. Hold the confetti. Once last in the majors in fielding, they’re up to 26th. Hey, it’s a start.
Even more impressive has been how the offense has righted itself behind the Greatest Hitter in the History of All Mankind, Andre Ethier. Anyway, he was the last three games.
Others have joined in, the Dodgers scoring 20 runs in their last three games.
"I think we’re swinging the bats with a lot more confidence now," Manager Joe Torre said. "Everybody was trying to do it themselves, now a number of guys are doing it and it’s a little bit easier."
Well, not everybody. Casey Blake has had a series of poor at-bats. After a strong start, he has one hit in his 16 at-bats. His situational hitting has been a problem and he has struggled to advance runners.
He was given Sunday’s game off.
"I think he’s just a little tired," Torre said.
Russell Martin also has only one hit in his last 14 at-bats. Although he has had some hard-hit outs, he seems back to trying to pull everything after starting the season using the entire field.
Yet overall, for the moment the Dodgers are feeling pretty good about their offense, and themselves. They might not have their full swagger back, but they’re working on a little strut.
"We’re feeling a lot better about ourselves right now," Torre said. "It’s a real, quiet confidence. Where before when we were in the middle the struggles, I think everybody was trying to be animated but you could just sense it was forced.
"We’re pretty confident right now and hopefully will start off Tuesday the same way."
At least that’s their hope, because they know what a difference a day makes. And baseball has 162 of them.
Photo: Andre Ethier watches his two-run home run off Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Jeff Karstens May 2. Christine Cotter / Associated Press.