While the Los Angeles Dodgers were mired in a six-game losing streak, Thursday’s series opener with the Colorado Rockies represented some reason for optimism. It’s the type of confidence that comes with three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw taking the mound.
That was quickly washed away, however, as the Rockies strung together four consecutive hits before Kershaw managed to record a single out. Nolan Arenado’s three-run home run put the Dodgers in a deficit they never recovered from.
The loss not only extended the Dodgers’ season-worst losing streak to seven games, which now sits at nine, they enter play Sunday having dropped 14 of their last 15 contests.
“It’s bad right now. There’s no getting around that,” Kershaw said after his start. “When you compare it to the first half or first however many games we played, it’s a pretty stark opposite.
“We don’t think we’re a bad team, we won that many games in a row for a reason. We played that well for that long for a reason. But we’re not showing it right now.”
The Dodgers’ slide, coupled with the Arizona Diamondbacks ripping off a franchise-best 13 straight wins, has cut the distance between the two teams in the National League West standings in half.
Yet, Los Angeles still leads the division by 10 games and are 5.5 games ahead of the Houston Astros for the best record in baseball. “It doesn’t make this any easier but I guess thankfully we did win so many games early, so we have a little bit of a lead right now,” Kershaw said.
To a man, the Dodgers have stressed the importance of staying the course in their preparation day in and day out. “Our guys are upset right now, they’re frustrated,” manager Dave Roberts said.
“Trying to figure out how to win one game, where a few weeks ago it seemed like there was nothing we could do to lose a game. Right now it’s sort of the polar opposite. Again, the coaches are getting after it. We’re doing exactly what we’ve done all year long. The results just aren’t there. There’s no quit, we’ve got to find a way to win a game.”
Getting back in the win column is what Kershaw believes could spark the Dodgers to a turnaround as the postseason draws closer. “Losing is not fun,” he said. “Just win a game. That’s usually how it starts.”