In football and basketball, you can truly call an upset an upset. Especially at home. If a team's players are healthy, there's little reason in those sports that the favored team shouldn't win. Now obviously, upsets happen, but they happen rarely enough to justify the term.
In baseball, on the other hand, you really don't hear the word "upset" used very much, particularly in a regular season game. Major League Baseball comes with the understanding that good teams lose to bad ones on a not infrequent basis. A No. 5 starter, a team in a collective slump–this stuff is as natural as the grass at Dodger Stadium.
That won't stop folks from calling the Dodgers pathetic for getting shut out 2-0 tonight by Colorado, a team that was 38-68 and that just surrendered 35 runs in three games to San Francisco this past weekend. But "pathetic" happens, and really, the goal of a major-league team is little more than to be the least pathetic team in the bunch.
Los Angeles has lost 26 of its last 43 games, a fairly pathetic stretch indeed, and yet they remain only one loss out of first place in the National League West. The fullness or emptiness of your glass will vary per your vision prescription, but the fact remains, all the Dodgers have to do is stop being pathetic, and they will have every chance to surge into the postseason.
To that end, such players as Hanley Ramirez have arrived in town, supporting leaders like Matt Kemp. Ramirez, and Kemp combined to go a fairly pathetic 1 for 8 tonight against Colorado. But you know what they say about tomorrow.
If you need any more perspective that "pathetic" is a relative term, consider this: If the playoffs started now, the NL division champions would be Washington, Cincinnati, and San Francisco. The Dodgers have a winning record against all three.
For more from Jon Weisman, visit Dodger Thoughts and follow @dodgerthoughts on Twitter.