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Los Angeles, CA — It was just a week ago that the Dodgers swept the Colorado Rockies, dropped them 2½ games into their rear-view mirror and Manager Dave Roberts was saying how the Dodgers held their playoff fate in their own hands.
Times have changed.
The Dodgers lost to the Arizona Diamondbacks for the second night in a row, falling out of first place in the National League West with a 7-2 loss Wednesday night.
The Rockies have rebounded from that sweep to win six in a row – a weekend sweep of the same Diamondbacks and three more by a combined score of 34-4 over a fading Phillies team – while the Dodgers have split six against the Padres and Diamondbacks.
That moves the Rockies a half-game up on the Dodgers with four days left in the regular season. The Rockies get another crack at the Phillies on Thursday while the Dodgers are off, giving them time to map the various scenarios that will get them into the playoffs before heading into a weekend series against a highly-motivated Giants team.
The road to a sixth consecutive playoff appearance for the Dodgers has narrowed considerably. The Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers clinched playoff spots with victories Wednesday (NL Central winner or wild card to be determined). The Dodgers hold a one-game edge over the St. Louis Cardinals for the second wild-card spot, their only way into the postseason if they don’t catch the Rockies.
There was some doubt about whether they would try to do that with or without Turner. Paul Goldschmidt hit a hard ground ball at Turner in the fifth inning that hopped up and ricocheted off Turner’s glove.
His left thumb swelled up and Turner came out of the clubhouse after the game, walking by the waiting media and heading for X-rays on this thumb. They were negative.
There were no tests that can determine why the motivated team that won 11 of 14 games against the Rockies, Cardinals and Diamondbacks over a three-week stretch to climb atop the division has been once again replaced by a more familiar version. This one struggles to get a big hit that isn’t a solo home run and can only trust its bullpen long enough for it to let them down.
Against the Diamondbacks on Wednesday, seven of the first 12 Dodgers reached base against Zack Greinke. But that produced only single runs in the first and second innings.
They had Greinke on the ropes in the third with the bases loaded and one out. Yasiel Puig lined out to shortstop, Yasmani Grandal grounded out and the Dodgers came up empty. By the end of the night the Dodgers suffered a loss and they are no longer the National League West Division Leader as they are .5 behind the streaking Colorado rockies.