But here we are and the Dodgers are two games behind the Cardinals for the last Wild Card spot with two games remaining.
The best the Dodgers can do is force a tie with the Cards, resulting in a one-game playoff for the right to have a one-game playoff with the Braves to make the "real" playoffs.
I watched the game last night and found myself wanting the Dodgers to win -- not unlike any other night. However, I also thought to myself, "It wouldn't be the end of the world if the Dodgers didn't make the playoffs."
At this point, I might actually prefer it, and Clayton Kershaw is the biggest reason for this.
If the season ends after Wednesday, Kershaw will be able to rest his ailing hip without risking potential injury to his golden left arm. That is, after he makes his final start of the season.
Kershaw is going to pitch no matter what happens tonight, but I'd like it if the Dodgers stepped in and said, "No, Clayton, you've done enough."
I said a couple weeks ago I would have sat Kershaw and Matt Kemp for the remainder of the season. I stand by that statement, but it's great to see Kemp mashing again.
I was always more worried about Kershaw than Kemp. Kershaw's injury had greater potential for long-term issues.
Hopefully this is a look at what we'll see next season. Since the Dodgers don't have a lot of wiggle room (third base and starting pitcher are about the only impact positions that could be upgraded), we're looking at the core of the team for 2013 (and beyond).
Not playing October (playoff) ball might be a good thing for this squad. It can start fresh in 2013 and hopefully take the National League by storm.
So, while it's nice to see the team playing well (winners of six in a row), I'm kinda hoping the season does indeed end after Wednesday.
Photo credit: Dustin Nosler, Feelin' Kinda Blue