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After a loss to the Cubs last night, the Dodgers have now lost six of seven series. Heading into Wednesday night's game, the Dodgers have fallen back to third place and are 6.5 games behind the Padres. So what's wrong with the Dodgers? The main culprit has been the pitching. The Dodgers sport a woeful 4.70 team ERA. Can you ever remember a Dodger team with that high of an ERA? LAist can't. Only Cincinnati and Colorado have pitched worse in the National League.
With the exception of Derek Lowe and Brad Penny recently, the rotation is in tatters. Jeff Weaver insists on pitching with a "weak shoulder." Odalis Perez basically came into the season hurt, he's on the DL, and his shoulder might bother him all year for all we know. Scott Erickson bombed in the rotation, and replacement Wilson Alvarez has lost the ability to be a starting pitcher in professional baseball. Derek Thompson's first start brought LAist a glimmer of hope, and we eagerly await his second start.
Even the bullpen has struggled lately. Yhencey Brazoban seems to have decided that it's OK to give up runs if you're not a closer. Duaner Sanchez would rather throw gloves at balls instead of fielding them. Giovanni Carrara has looked like the pitcher who struggled two years ago for Seattle, boasting a 5.21 ERA. And we're still wondering how long the Dodgers hang onto D.J. Houlton and his 7.41 ERA, even if he is a Rule 5 guy. Where's Steve Schmoll when you need him?
The hitting has been inconsistent of late too. The third base hole is no longer a scapegoat, considering the way Antonio Perez has been hitting. But Jeff Kent seemingly took May off. We're still waiting for JD Drew to erupt. Milton Bradley was hitting well, but now he's hurt and might be DL-bound. Hee Seop Choi has been up and down, and his range at first base is pathetic. Jayson Werth is just getting back into the swing of things. And Jason Phillips is cooling down. At least Cesar Izturis is hitting well.
Still, the hitting should get better with time. Our recommendation to Paul DePodesta would be to take advantage of his deep farm system, and trade for at least one quality starting pitcher. Easier said than done, but the Dodgers have a chance to win, and it's times like these that call for more of DePodesta's creativity.
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