Flashback to a miracle comeback, and you're welcome
Ah, yes, I remember the day well. A day much like today. An off-day following another Dodgers’ loss.
The team eight games under .500 and 7½ games back. Absolute toast, I was certain. So certain I wrote a column declaring the Dodgers’ season over. It was July 26, 2006.
The Los Angeles Daily News so loved the column, they didn’t run it in the sports section, but stripped it across the top of A-1. Their very own little rabble rouser. It was just so cute.
Of course, as you all know by now, it was simply a ploy to inspire the disheartened Boys in Blue. Their manhood all challenged, they proceeded to win. And win some more. And then win like it was all they knew.
After that column, the Dodgers came back to win 11 consecutive games and 17 of their next 18. They ended up in a tie for the National League West with the Padres and advanced into the postseason as the wild card.
And to this day, not a word of thanks from the Dodgers for turning their season around.
Alas, here the Dodgers are again, eight games under for the first time since that day in 2006. Albeit, nine games back this time.
Can they pull off another amazing comeback? Absolutely. Is it likely? Absolutely not.
Before 2006, the last time the Dodgers had won 17 of 18 was in 1899. Halley’s Comet has come by twice since then.
At least this time the Dodgers have an almost extra six weeks to work with. And there are some other similarities to that season.
Like that year, the Dodgers were hit hard by injury and were forced to use several rookies who blossomed -- Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp, Russell Martin, James Loney, Chad Billingsley and Jonathan Broxton.
Desperate for a closer, at the break they turned to Takashi Saito, who proceeded to save 24 games. Still waiting for that guy to emerge, but you know, it could happen.
Perhaps the faithful among you are hoping I’ll write them off again, inspiring another extraordinary comeback. Nah, not yet. Another painful month of losing, though, and no shtick is off limits.
-- Steve Dilbeck