The league is a little down on the Drakes. Losing Patrick Patterson, P.J. Tucker and DeMarre Carroll leaves a void on the wing, and vaporizes some of Dwane Casey’s nastiest small-ball lineups. Norman Powell and C.J. Miles — a snug fit, always underappreciated — could fill some of it by sliding up to power forward, but they can’t sop up all those minutes. Tucker was Toronto’s only legit wing stopper, and invigorated a blah defense after the trade deadline.
Even Tricia was amazed at his positive calm. “I kept waiting for him to waver,” she says, “but he never did. Being down or negative is not who he is as a person. It’s one of the things I admire most about him.”
That, too, is the Dodger Way. Back in 1954, Campanis wrote, “It is a Dodger policy not to criticize a player on the day that a game is lost.” (And besides, the Dodgers were still comfortably in front despite the bad stretch and headed toward 100 victories.)
So Roberts smiled as the team tried a variety of slump-busters: Darvish threw salt in the dugout, and the clubhouse attendants took the places of the bat boys. As a former member of the Indians, Roberts welcomed the presence of Jobu, the voodoo doll from “Major League,” in the bat rack.
After they finally snapped the 11-game losing streak with a 5-3 victory over the host Giants on Sept. 12, Aurilia texted Roberts: “That’s over. Now start playing like it’s the postseason.” Doc texted back: “Good advice, buddy.”
The Dodgers then went on a four-game winning streak that included taking the first two games of their three-game set in Washington — a possible precursor to an NLCS matchup.