While the Los Angeles Dodgers have righted the ship, if looking at a portion of the past week, they are just 5-17 when taking a broader scope. The stretch includes 11-game losing streak that was the longest in franchise history since 1944.
What’s more, the Dodgers became the first team to win 15 of 16 and lose 15 of 16 games in the same season. In spite of the skid, the Dodgers still maintained a comfortable lead over the Arizona Diamondbacks in the National League West.
The race for the best record in the NL and overall did become tighter, but back-to-back wins against the Washington Nationals have again created some separation in the NL standings.
While the losing knocked the Dodgers from a lofty perch, Nationals manager Dusty Baker was not in the least surprised they became the latest team to fall victim to the rigors of the sport, via Mark Feinsand of MLB.com:
“I’ve seen a lot,” Baker said. “You’re told, ‘They’ve got the best team in baseball’ and ‘They’re going to win 122 games’ and stuff like that. Baseball has a way of kind of humbling us all as soon as you think you’ve got it figured out. So I’m not surprised.
“Every day, you’re one game away from a 22-game winning streak like Cleveland. Did anybody think on day No. 1 that they were going to win 22 in a row? When [the Dodgers] lost 16 out of 17, it started with one day. Did they ever think that this would snowball to this? So not much surprises me in the game. It’s a daily game.”
As the Dodgers hit into their slide, the Nationals went on an 11-4 stretch that included a five-game winning streak. Since that point, however, they are just 3-5, with losses to the Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves prior to facing the Dodgers.
Los Angeles and Washington have each clinched a spot in the postseason, with the former still looking to wrap up a fifth consecutive NL West title. The Nationals were the first team to qualify for the postseason, winning the NL East a fourth time in the past six seasons.