The Los Angeles Dodgers are getting awfully close to the point of no return.

For a while, you could blame injuries. Not anymore. Matt Kemp is the only impact player still on the disabled list and, frankly, what Yasiel Puig has given the Dodgers in his absence is at least as good as anything Kemp has ever managed, even when he was in MVP form.

It's not bad breaks, not after 72 games. It's not a particularly grueling stretch of schedule any more.

The Dodgers simply can't win, their 5-2 loss to the San Diego Padres on Friday night the latest example. They've lost nine of their last 12 games. Only one team in the National League, the Miami Marlins, has more losses than the Dodgers' 42.

The Dodgers are 12 games under .500 for the first time and 9 1/2 games out of first place for the first time. Heck, they're seven games behind the Padres.

Of course, stranger things have happened than this team turning it around, but betting on that doesn't exactly seem like the smart play right now. If bringing up your best prospect and seeing him bat .455 with six home runs in the first few weeks isn't enough to give you a spark, what is?

The fact the Dodgers have won only half of Clayton Kershaw's starts tells you a lot about this season. Poor run support and shaky relief have made Kershaw's record look deceptively bad most of this season, but Friday night he actually looked like the .500 pitcher he is.