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Are the Dodgers Dead Dogs?

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“They get into a funk where they are now, and they can’t find the door,” manager Joe Torre said about his team.

If the Dodgers aren’t careful the door will be shown to them, and it’s not the familiar door of the NL West Division title.

Coming into Monday’s game against the San Diego Padres, the Dodgers are trailing the Padres by eight games for the division lead and the San Francisco Giants by 6 ½ games for the NL wild card. If not for the 34 more games they have within the NL West and 17 against the Padres and Giants, I would proclaim them to be a dead team.

General manager Ned Colletti did a good job of bringing guys to help bolster the team now: Scott Podsednik, Ted Lilly, Octavio Dotel and Ryan Theriot. While those names really don’t jump off the page, they will do a better job of helping the Dodgers try and get back into the race now. Let’s face it: James McDonald, Lucas May and Andrew Lambo are not going to help the Dodgers win the wild card this season.

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It’s up to the players to get their heads back in the game now, but based on the comments of Torre this afternoon I’m not totally optimistic.

Asked if the players are in a funk Torre said, “I hope not. I hope not. Like I said I think they’re frustrated.”

To get out of the funk, “You have to find a way, whatever is going to motivate you.”

One would think that being in fourth place in the division led by teams who can’t hit would motivate a team, but as we’ve witnessed in the last five games against the Padres and Giants the Dodgers just seem to be waving the white flag two months prematurely. But seeing as how I’m not a professional athlete, I don’t know if this is true. The players sure as hell don’t want to talk about it kicking the media out of the clubhouse prematurely in the friendliest of manners.

So in the about 343 words, there are no real insights into the team - just speculation. And I guess we’ll see whether the Dodgers will get their act together and play like a contending team.

Lineup. Here are the lineups for tonight’s game. According to Torre Andre Ethier is batting sixth because he’s been out for a couple of days and he had problems with left handed starter Clayton Richard last week.

San Diego Padres

  1. Jerry Hairston, Jr. 2B
  2. Miguel Tejada, SS
  3. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
  4. Ryan Ludwick, RF
  5. Chase Headley, 3B
  6. Yorvit Torrealba, C
  7. Will Venable, LF
  8. Chris Denorfia, RF
  9. Clayton Richard

LA Dodgers

  1. Scott Podsednik, LF
  2. Rafael Furcal, SS
  3. Matt Kemp, CF
  4. James Loney, 1B
  5. Casey Blake, 3B
  6. Andre Ethier, RF
  7. Russell Martin, C
  8. Ryan Theriot, 2B
  9. Hiroki Kuroda, P