|Bobby Abreu has the Dodgers only home run over their past 16 games. (US Presswire)|
Oh ... my ... g00000000000000000000000dness.
That's 23 O's -- or zeros -- one for each of the consecutive scoreless innings the Dodgers now have racked up.
It's remarkable. The Dead Ball Era has re-entered the game, right here at Dodger Stadium.
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The Dodgers have failed to score in 56 of their past 57 innings. With Saturday's 5-0 loss to Johan Santana and the New York Mets, they now have been shut out in four of their past five games, and in six of 12.
They've now lost seven in a row, and 11 of their past 12.
Doubtful that Lee, even if he waives his no-trade clause, can ride in and fix everything with a home run or two.
But a dinger or a tater or a longball, jack, bomb, blast, shot, round-tripper ... SOMETHING wouldn't be a bad thing.
The Dodgers now have just one homer in their past 16 games (take a bow, Bobby Abreu).
The postgame clubhouse was closed for an extraordinarily long time following Saturday's game. It turned out, there was no Lee acquisition (yet) and no fire-and-brimstone team meeting.
Simply, increasingly desperate manager Don Mattingly and his coaches started talking, and the skipper became lost in the conversation.
"I wish I could come out of that with some monumental news," Mattingly said. "I really don't have any different answers than I've had in the last 10, 12 days."
The worst possible combination has struck them at a most inopportune time: Injuries (Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Mark Ellis) and ineptitude (Juan Uribe, James Loney, Dee Gordon).
"Some really tough days right now," Mattingly said. "But at the end of the day, you've got to recover and come back and, unfortunately, that's where we're at."
The Dodgers have lost 8 1/2 games in the standings since May 27 to slip one game behind the Giants in the NL West. They're waiting for Kemp to return from his second stint on the disabled list (likely to start the second half of the season after the All-Star break). They're waiting for Ellis to return (likely in Arizona next weekend).
And they're waiting for Lee to decide whether to waive his no-trade clause over there in Houston. Or, actually, Chicago, where the Astros were 3-2 losers to the Cubs on Saturday.
Lee went 0 for 4 to drop his batting average to .285, along with five homers and 29 RBI in 61 games. Afterward, he told reporters he would talk with his wife and hope to have an answer for the Dodgers by Sunday.
Though he is nowhere close to the slugger he once was (37 homers, 116 RBI for the Brewers and Rangers combined in 2006), Lee at this point qualifies as a veritable Carl Furillo, or Raul Mondesi, to the Dodgers.
Uribe now is 0 for his past 20. Loney, who did not play Saturday, is 0 for his last 25. Elian Herrera was 0 for 19 before banging a triple the other night.
Loney and Juan Rivera, the tag-team first base combo while the Dodgers await Lee's decision, are mostly responsible for the Dodgers' first basemen ranking 15th in the NL in slugging percentage (.638), 11th in on-base percentage (.299), 14th in RBI (33) and 15th in home runs (4).
And the flip side of this proposed Lee deal is this:
If an aging slugger who has played in a grand total of just three playoff games in a 14-year career that includes more than 2,000 regular season games has to agonize over whether he even wants to accept a trade that would plop him into a pennant race ... is that the kind of character guy the Dodgers should even take on?
Uncertainties are everywhere at the moment at the foot of the Hollywood Hills.
"I think everybody would like to say, 'Hey, can we take the weekend off? Maybe take a couple of days off?'" Mattingly said. "That's not a choice for us."
Across the clubhouse, catcher A.J. Ellis echoed his manager.
"It's tough," Ellis said. "But it's not like they're going to stop the schedule, stop playing games.
"We have to keep fighting and grinding until we get our boys back.
"We showed that when we had everybody together, we were one of the best teams in baseball. We have to remember that."