So 4.5 games back stinks, don't it? Especially after the "trade of the century." But I'm not disheartened. Really. If you recall, the St. Louis Cardinals were some 10.5 games back of first place in their division last season towards the end of August - only to win the World Series. And yes, I do believe this Dodgers team has the ability to make such a run. Will they? Who knows. But we know that they are built in such a way that they can get hot and go on a ten game winning streak.
Then there's the schedule. Sure, it's going to be tough in September with games against the Reds (3), Nationals (3), Cardinals (4), Padres (6), Rockies (3) and two more with Arizona after this series. But don't forget the SIX games remaining with the Giants, including the last three games of the season. Like I said, it's a tough schedule, but if they can hang in there those games against the Giants will be very interesting.
This team is still darn good. And they've been together for less than two weeks. Plenty of time to gel and get on a roll.
And don't forget the Wild Card. The Dodgers are only 1.5 games back from a playoff spot. Not that the Wild Card is desirable in this current format but just the same, the playoffs remain within reach.
Lastly, and I know this won't be extremely popular, but I'm not disheartened because for the first time in years I'm excited about the future of the Dodgers. These Dodgers are built to win over the next 3-6 years as currently constructed and will likely get better on paper with additional starting pitching upgrades. "Wait til next year!" Not quite. I'm definitely not throwing in the towel on the 2012 season. Just saying that the future looks good too.
And for that, I'm not disheartened.
...but that's just my two cents.