There’s that scene in Pirates of the Caribbean when they’re attempting to bring their ship back from the world of the dead and they figure out they have to capsize at exactly sundown. They’re wet for a few seconds, but when the Black Pearl makes the flip, they come out back into their world right-side up, everyone alive and breathing air.
The Dodgers’ pitching ship was flipped early this season. The bullpen, which was such a source of strength over the previous three years, was inept. Chad Billingsley struggled with consistency and Kershaw wasn’t able to wrangle in the walk rate, throwing 110 pitches per game through five innings. Then Padilla and Haeger imploded.