The 2010 Major League Baseball playoffs are right around the corner and the city of Los Angeles is nowhere near the postseason hunt.
The Dodgers and Angels are at least nine games back or more in the West division of their respective leagues and entering the last month of the regular season does not appear to be getting any easier.
The defending back-to-back National League West champion Dodgers had high expectations for the season after reaching the National League Championship Series the last two previous years.
The Dodgers started on a bad note, as they lost a three-game series to the mediocre Pirates to open the season.
Around mid-April the Dodgers couldn’t get anything right. They went on the first big road trip of the year, consisting of a nine-game East Coast swing. They went a disappointing 2-7, which included a five-game losing streak.
Their most successful stretch was from May 9 through 18, in which they posted a nine-game winning streak. This included sweeps of the Diamondbacks, Padres, and Astros.
The rest of May and June was steady. The Dodgers were in first place at one point but after the All-Star break it went all downhill for the Boys in Blue.
The Dodgers are 14-23 in the second half of the season and now they sit 12 games back of the National League Padres.
The Dodgers made a couple of key acquisitions, like trading for pitcher Ted Lilly and outfielder Scott Podsednik, but it was already too late in the season.
The Angels’ story is not any different from that of their neighbors to the north. They also began the season on a losing note.
The Angels started by losing three of four to the Twins on their own home field.
In May the Angels hottest player at the plate, Kendry Morales, suffered a freak-accident after he got injured while the Angels were celebrating his game-winning home run. Morales hasn’t got back on the field since.
A lot of the Angels’ recent failure to consistently win ballgames can be attributed to a loss of key players to free agency.
Key losses included slugger Vladimir Guerrero, ace John Lackey, and leadoff man/utility player Chone Figgins. The addition of minor leaguers to replace these players hasn’t necessarily translated into wins for the Angels as they sit nine games behind division leader Texas Rangers.
The Dodgers and the Angels have a tough road ahead, but both still have extremely talented young cores that they’re building their teams around. Players like the Dodgers’ Matt Kemp or the Angels’ Jered Weaver still give hope for the future.
However, miracles do happen. The Rockies came back from a six-game hole to earn a playoff berth in 2007. The 1951 New York Giants came back from a 13½-game deficit in the final month and a half to reach the playoffs.
It’s up to the baseball gods to see what transpires, but until then, our Los Angeles teams will have to wait until next season.