Dodger Concerns: L.A. Might Be in Trouble

Derek HartCorrespondent IAugust 18, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 17:  Hong-Chih Kuo #56 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals in the third inning at Dodger Stadium on August 17, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

It hurts me to say this, but the Los Angeles Dodgers could be in trouble in the coming weeks.

I always knew it could come to this point. I was just hoping it wouldn't.

Janet Jackson had a hit song in 1986 called "What Have You Done For Me Lately?" That certainly describes the Dodgers now.

After their 3-2 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals last night at Dodger Stadium, L.A. has lost their last four home games. They are 3-7 in their last ten games, and their lead in the National League West is down to just 4 1/2 games over Colorado.

The No.1 reason for this swoon? Pitching.

The starting pitching, just as I had feared, has not been as consistent as they needed to be.

There's no real stopper in the rotation, and that has hurt the Dodgers big time.

Clayton Kershaw has done fairly well, but his bad inning during his last start against Arizona hurt the team and led to their loss. He's coming along, but I want to see more consistency from him.

Randy Wolf? He's OK, but definitely a No. 3 guy at best. He's not going to blow people away or really shut anyone down. If the hitters don't produce for him, he'll lose.

And Chad Billingsley? Let's face it folks, the Dodgers have been counting on him as being their ace this year, and he's just not ace material. He's too inconsistent, and his hamstring injury has not helped matters any.

Don't even get me started on Jonathan Broxton. He's really let me down the past few weeks.

He has blown several saves in his past few outings, games that L.A. needed to keep the Giants and Rockies at bay. And even in the games Broxton has saved, it has not been one-two-three; he's let runners on and has had to sweat things out.

Talk about inconsistency; Broxton's the epitome of that word at the moment.

I know he has 100 mile-an-hour heat and all the potential in the world, but right now, it's still just that—potential. And the Dodgers don't need someone with great potential.

They need results—now.

I know people are asking what L.A. should do to get themselves out of this mess. Here's what I would do...

According to the Los Angeles Times, Vincente Padilla is available after being released by the Texas Rangers, and has stated that he wants to be a Dodger.

He's 8-6 this year, and throws inside, something that the Dodger pitchers dearly need to do. Though some feel that Padilla's a bad teammate, a change of scenery could be just the thing he needs.

The Dodgers need to sign this man ASAP.

Signing John Smoltz would also be an excellent idea. Although he was 2-5 with an ERA over 8.00 before being released by the Red Sox, Smoltz would be good for long relief and spot starting. He's one of the best pitchers of the past 20 years and a sure Hall of Famer. His veteran presence would do wonders.

With the Dodgers needing more consistent results out of their pitching staff in the worst way, Padilla and Smoltz could help this club.

To merely stand pat as L.A. has done (their acquisition of George Sherrill not withstanding) is to invite disaster in my view, and could possibly cost them the division title.

That would be most disappointing after the great start that they had.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.