Two hits off a rookie pitcher Wednesday, no runs, outscored in Dodger Stadium 19-4 in three straight losses to Arizona, and no wonder fans picked "Livin' on a Prayer" to be played in the eighth inning.
So much for the sight of Magic energizing the guys.
The Dodgers began the season 21-5 in Dodger Stadium, have gone 8-18 there since, and the feeling around here is things are looking up.
But as I sat here watching Barney Fife pitch for the Dodgers, a day after Chris Capuano and two days after Aaron Harang both reverted to career form, I thought back to something Magic said.
"We don't want to win next year. We want to win now."
For starters, maybe he shouldn't come to Dodger Stadium again. The Dodgers are 0-3 since he returned and 0-2 since he spoke to the team.
OK, so kudos to the Dodgers for getting Hanley Ramirez, Shane Victorino and a couple of relievers who didn't look very good Wednesday.
Ramirez and Victorino were a combined 0 for 6, but they still beat the alternative of Juan Uribe and whoever in left.
But what about a starting pitcher and all those names linked to the Dodgers leading up to the trading deadline, most notably Ryan Dempster?
Maybe Dempster wasn't the right guy, maybe nothing more than a two-month rental, but he would have been starting this game rather than Barney, who lasted 4 1/3 innings.
The Dodgers decided not to surrender one of their top two pitching prospects to improve their rotation.
Fine, maybe Dempster and everyone else was too pricey. But then how does someone say, "We don't want to win next year. We want to win now"?
The Dodgers spruced up their offensive attack, but I asked Manager Don Mattingly if the Dodgers were still at risk of falling short because they failed to improve their rotation.
"I still think it's a concern," he said, wondering out loud whether Capuano and Harang can pitch as well as they have, given their track records.
As shaky a proposition as that might be, the Dodgers are also counting heavily on the return of Ted Lilly, a slow-pitch softball pitcher in the making who hasn't pitched since May 23.
When I told Lilly the Dodgers were counting on his return I thought he was going to curl into a ball at my feet.
"I can't tell the future," quaked Lilly. "I've thrown 25 pitches so far [in the minor leagues]."
When I asked whether he was at least pain-free, he said, "I'd like to feel better than I do."
I passed on the encouraging news to Mattingly.
"Where did Dempster go? Texas. Dammit," said Mattingly in mock disgust, or so it seemed to be mock disgust.
As it is, the Dodgers have gotten "two bullets" from Barney, Mattingly quipped. But the minor league call-up has at least kept the Dodgers competitive in three starts.
"We've added offense to this mix, but [the Dodgers' philosophy] is still built on pitching the ball and catching it," Mattingly said. "If that doesn't hold up, all the offense in the world usually isn't going to be enough."
Team President Stan Kasten has maintained the best way to improve a team is via its farm system. That doesn't necessarily jibe with a "we want to win now" rallying cry.
So I asked Kasten if he was the one who put the kibosh on the Dempster deal or any deal for a starter in order to hold onto the team's pitching prospects.
He immediately changed the subject, saying his staff gave him a Dodgers jersey that now hangs in his office. Fascinating.
He said the name on the back of the jersey reads: "Blow Hard," so we know the jersey fits — the name in reference to something he was called here earlier.
There was talk on the radio from one of those baseball insiders who said the Cubs were no longer asking for one of the Dodgers' top two pitching prospects before the deal was made with Texas.
But Kasten said that was not true. He said the Cubs were still insisting on one of the top two pitching prospects three minutes before the trading deadline.
Kasten also said something about maybe using those prospects to do a deal later, maybe during baseball's winter meetings. I guess everyone will just have to wait until next year.
And I have no problem with the Dodgers looking to their future, so long as they aren't trying to sell everyone on the notion they have done everything they can to win now.
WHEN IT comes to Hanley and Manny Ramirez comparisons, there is one glaring difference so far. Manny owned Dodger Stadium from the start, while Hanley so far is 0-for-Dodger Stadium or 0-for-10 since exciting everyone with his arrival in Los Angeles.
THE WIFE wanted everyone to know Derek Savosh will be celebrating his 21st birthday, his favorite player Matt Kemp and all-time favorite Dodger Tom Lasorda.
I have no idea who Savosh is, but the wife is preparing right now for a colonoscopy so this is no time to get into a dragged-out discussion with her.
Mattingly will also spend his off day having a colonoscopy, and as badly as things have gone here the past few days, things are at least looking up for him.