Corporate writers and commentators of various sorts fell for this (I suppose) and began telling the tale of the Dodgers being "perfect" as they are presently constituted.
Well, it seems everybody forgot about the train wreck that is the Dan Haren Express.
If you want to know statistically how bad Haren's been this season, check out any of the stat-head blogs for all the relevant numbers. Believe me, this is one time that numbers spell out "Train Wreck".
Heck, the night's opponents were the lowly Chicago Cubs. It was looking like the Dodgers were going to buzzsaw through this sub .500 team and their rookie, unknown pitcher with no problem at all.
Nobody has to payola me (but payola gladly accepted here also) to say nice things about the Cubbies or Chi-town, as I absolutely love Chicago Dogs and "The Chicago Way"...
...but even Cubbie fans would have to agree it's difficult to find many good things to say about this season.
None of that mattered though, because good ol' Dan Haren can top the Cubs' brand of bad.
Do you know why the Dodgers had a six-game winning streak, swept two series in a row and captured First Place? It's because Manager Damn Mattingly skipped Haren's turn in the rotation. He wanted Haren nowhere near a baseball with first place on the line.
Now I'm sure Haren's mom probably feels we're all being a bit harsh on her sonny boy, so let's forget all that past. Let's forget his 9+ ERA too.
That said, Haren still brought some bad, bad mojo to the mound Saturday night.
He managed to hold the Cubs to not homering until the SECOND inning, and then the wheels fell off and the flames shot skyward for the rest of the night.
It was ugly out there. In one crazy night the Dodgers...
lost the ability to block wild pitches or tag runners out,
lost the mindset of how a First Place team should crush a last place team,
lost that post-Kershaw splendor and swagger, and
lost three players. Crucial players.
Yasiel Puig, Jaguar Gonzalez and pitcher Paul Maholm (<-- perhaps not so crucial) all had to leave the game with injuries sustained in awkward, freaky plays.
When the smoke cleared, the Dodgers had lost the game, lost momentum, and lost a full game in the standings to the Giants.
If I'm Ned Colletti, I'm calling up one of those young arms from the farm right about now. The Haren Curse must be stopped.