I can't stand it when teams play to their competition. Either you have a grotesque taste in your mouth that stains your soul when you lose or you use phrases like "it's early," "it's a long season," and "it's just one game."
Arizona splits with the Cubs in Phoenix while L.A. sweeps them at Wrigley. The Mets leave Chase Field with a series victory and go to L.A. to get swept by the Dodgers.
Comparing Arizona is the Dodgers is futile, I realize. They are in the midst of one of the most historic runs of regular season dominance. Remember the Dodgers-D-backs brawl? After that series, L.A. left for Pittsburgh. They lost the series. The Dodgers haven't lost a series since.
If the D-backs won series against Chicago and New York but split with the Rays and lost this recent series with Baltimore, I get it. The Rays and Orioles are excellent teams. There's no shame in losing to those clubs. I haven't figured out, however, how grinders lose to the weak and beat the strong.
Yes, you're wondering why am I writing this after three exciting, unbelievable walk-offs against Baltimore. The answer is, that's exactly why I'm writing this.
If you're truly a grinder, the weak will struggle against you. They should succumb to your grind-it-out at-bats and the unrelenting style. It's the Orioles and Rays who should beat you with their talent. Sure, your "grinder mentality" will steal a game in the series but the margin of error is too slim to win on a consistent basis against teams more talented than you.
I'm complimenting the players and staring them down, but I am not standing on the fence. The last three days show how good Arizona is. The results against the weak teams this year show that "grinder" is an over-used sales term. A grinder would not lower their focus with a rookie on the mound pitching for a below .500 team, but that's what has happened way too often this year.
Anytime a divisional opponent tears up baseball for as long as the Dodgers have, you're probably not going to win your division. It's unfair to expect any team to match the Dodgers. It is fair to expect this team to quit losing to the Padres. When the season is over, we'll look at the Dodgers record against below .500 teams and compare it to the D-backs.
I suspect we'll find out who the true grinders are.