Clayton Kershaw one of few things Dodgers can truly count on

ST. LOUIS -- This has been a hard season for the Los Angeles Dodgers, even though so many nights they make it look so easy.

All season long, we've been waiting for the Dodgers to put their foot on the accelerator and race past the other contenders in the National League West, if not the league, and resume their sprint toward the World Series that always seems to include a showdown with the Chicago Cubs. Tick tock. Tick tock. The wait continues.

Was Thursday the night when the sprint would begin? With this team, who knows? But in a game that looked early on to be one of those easy Dodger nights, it actually turned out to be uncomfortably difficult. That's their 2018 season in a nutshell, and it's why L.A. is scrapping for a postseason spot, as opposed to sailing in with wind at their backs as it has in years past.