Nomination for when the Dodgers' season turned
There are numerous reasons the Dodgers’ season went south. They’ll be analyzed from now until the start of next season.
But as turning points go, it’s hard to beat Sunday, July 18.
Remember, the Dodgers were still very much in the race at the All-Star break. They were 49-39 and just two games back of the Padres.
They had to start the second half in St. Louis. Everything seemed to come undone there, and although they had plenty of time to get it right afterward, they never truly could.
The Dodgers were swept in a four-game series in hot, humid St. Louis. In one game they were shut out, in another they scored only one run.
The most painful defeat, however, came on the final game of the series. On that Sunday, they held a 4-0 lead after seven innings … and still lost.
The bullpen depleted with either worn or ineffective arms, they called on Jonathan Broxton to record the final out of the eighth, and then pitch the ninth.
And he couldn’t pull it off. The Cardinals rallied for three runs in the eighth and two more in the ninth to stun the Dodgers.
The Dodgers went on to lose six consecutive games and fall six games back of the Padres. They are 24-40 in the second half.
They would never seem the same. The offense that had struggled to score in St. Louis would prove an on-going, second-half theme. Broxton’s failed 44-pitch effort against the Cardinals would be a harbinger of things to come.
A team they had knocked out of the playoffs the previous year had sent the Dodgers spiraling, and they just weren’t good enough to recover.
-- Steve Dilbeck