Monday Morning Coffee

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, center, removes Clayton Kershaw from the game against the Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium.

October 9, , 2023

I’m sorry but there is absolutely nothing positive to come away with from Saturday’s Dodger game. This feels like the 10th installment of a bad horror movie. I feel terrible for Clayton Kershaw, but he has absolutely dominated the D’Backs consistently, while Merrill Kelly has been obliterated by the Dodgers consistently. Yet inexplicably, none of that mattered on Saturday night. There’s simply no excuses for Kershaw, not that he’s making any. Imagine if you went to that game. By the time you got to your seat it was 9-0! Now you expect me to feel good about the Dodgers taking 3 of the next 4 with Zac Gallen on the hill for Arizona tonight? There’s really nothing to say about the Dodgers here. It’s just another unexplainable playoff disaster, that feels like it’s going to end badly by the time I’m writing the next edition of MMC.

In the NFL, the Rams put up a good fight once again, but they were no match for the Eagles yesterday at SOFI. The team is only 2-3 with losses against teams you would expect to be Super Bowl contenders. However, you can’t help but think they’ve had enough opportunities to win one or two of these games, and that could be the difference between them making or missing the postseason. The good news was that Matt Stafford and Cooper Kupp renewed their connection, racking up 118 yards. The Kupp-Puka Nakua- Tutu Atwell trio has a chance to turn into the Kupp-Robert Woods-Brandon Cooks trio of a few years ago. However, they simply aren’t making enough big plays in the big moments to take control of these games. That doesn’t mean that can’t change before the season is over. However, the Rams need to take care of business in the next couple of weeks with their schedule getting softer.

Cooper Kupp is tackled by Philadelphia cornerback Darius Slay in the first half.

Elsewhere around the NFL in week 5, Cowboys fans are about to enter the transfer portal after last nights beating they took from the 49ers. Belichick is about to break out the spy cameras after the Patriots started 1-4. The NFL probably forced Travis Kelce to come back and play injured yesterday so they can keep the Taylor Swift money train going. Meanwhile, Sean Payton talked all that smack about Nathaniel Hackett just to lose to him and his backup QB.

In the College ranks, USC may be undefeated after getting by Arizona, but all is not well. Any Trojan fan has to admit to themselves that their defense couldn’t stop a parked car, and that they are easily the one of the weakest undefeated teams remaining. At best, they are the 3rd best team in the PAC-12, behind Oregon and Washington, but still vulnerable against others. It also doesn’t help the Trojans that Notre Dame got bombed by Louisville over the weekend. Caleb Williams is phenomenal and still in Hesiman contention, but the Trojans have 5 really tough games out of a remaining 6, and already appear to have reached their ceiling.

As for the Bruins, they came up with a big win against #13 Washington State on Saturday at the Rose Bowl. I’m impressed that Dante Moore was tough enough to overcome some critical mistakes and made big plays, and also impressed that the entire stadium didn’t melt in the heat. UCLA is now up to #18 in the rankings after a 4-1 start. They still have Oregon State and USC on their schedule too, so there’s an opportunity to contend for the conference title if things go really well. Otherwise, there’s a lot to feel good about with Moore’s future.

The NBA preseason got underway on Saturday night for the Lakers as they took on the Warriors. I don’t like to make a big deal out of preseason sports, although I’m sure the Warriors fans will, exacting revenge on last years playoff exit by playing their starters big minutes against the Laker reserves. However, the Lakers should take away the fact that Max Christie looks like a really good rotation player that’s going to make an impact this year. His teammates are noticing it too, and giving him lots of love.

Finally, as I said previously, I don’t like to draw conclusions from preseason sports. However, in the NHL, the Kings played their regulars against the regulars of the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday. They lost 7-4, after taking a 4-2 lead. It was a game that was a complete re-incarnation of last years team. They can score, but they can’t play defense. I have no idea how Rob Blake looked at this team and said “we just need more goal scoring, and who cares about the defense and goaltending”. To make matters worse, Blake has created such an imbalance in the roster and slowed down players development so much, that many are now subject to waives when they are called up. Things are not promising to start for the Kings.

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