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Couldn't any team but Giants be poised to eliminate Dodgers?

September 30, 2012|By Steve Dilbeck
  • Dodgers fans had plenty to cheer about Sunday, when Luis Cruz hit one of the team's three two-run homers in a 7-1 victory over the Rockies. But the end of L.A.'s season could be imminent.
Dodgers fans had plenty to cheer about Sunday, when Luis Cruz hit one of the… (Christina House / For The…)

This should be funny, right? It’s just painfully hard to laugh when it’s the San Francisco Giants. Unless, of course, it’s the Giants who are about to be eliminated by the Dodgers. Then it’s side-splitting hilarious. Provides the kind of deep laughs that can last generations.

Only the Dodgers are the team currently hanging onto their playoff dreams by the thinnest of threads.

They are two games from being eliminated from that newest playoff position, the second wild card. Two games -- any combination of their losses or victories by the Cardinals that equal two -- and it’s over for the Dodgers.

They have won five consecutive games to keep their dimming hopes alive, but a postseason berth remains about as remote as my needing a restraining order against Scarlett Johansson. Which is not the same thing as saying the Dodgers have no chance.

“As long as we keep winning, we still have a chance,” said Matt Kemp.

Not exactly true, of course. The Dodgers could sweep the Giants -- it is their turn, right? -- and still be eliminated if the Cards take two of three from the Reds in their final series.

“We put ourselves in this position,” said Manager Don Mattingly. “The only thing we can control now is to put another 'W' on the board.

“If we do what we want to do, they have to win two games.”

The Giants, however, are set up to end the Dodgers’ fading playoff plans. A movie we’ve seen before (see: Joe Morgan, 1982) and in reverse (see: Mike Piazza, 1993). There’s also their preferred version in which  the Dodgers dramatically enter the playoffs themselves (see: Steve Finley, 2004) by beating the Giants, but it’s best not to count on it.

“We’ve put ourselves in this situation just by not playing better,” Mattingly said. “We didn’t do enough to win games. If we were both tied, then I’d look at as them knocking us out if they beat us. But right now I look at this as [being about] St. Louis.”

Yeah, right. If the Giants knock the Dodgers out of the playoffs with a victory over the next three days, I’m thinking they’ll take great joy in eliminating their rivals. Their fans might do a little Snoopy “happy feet” dance all over the Golden Gate.

If the Dodgers can somehow beat Matt Cain on Monday and the Cardinals lose their opener against the Reds, then it could get real interesting.

“There’s a chance we can squeak in there,” Kemp said. “The way we’re playing, I like our chances against any team we’re playing.”

There’s just a greater chance the Dodgers’ season comes to an end against the Giants. And that’s absolutely not funny.

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