It's time to panic. It really is. Changes have to be made, or there is no way this team reaches the playoffs. But there are some reasons to believe, still.
On August 5, 2007, the Colorado Rockies sat at 56-54, 5.5 games behind the division leading Arizona Diamondbacks. They had lost four straight. Those Rockies had the added disadvantage of looking up at three teams in the standings; the Padres and Dodgers were between them and Arizona. The situation got worse before it got better; by August 20th the Rockies were 7 back, still looking up at three teams. (In fairness, they were only 2.5 back in the wild card, but still had a lot of teams in the pack with them.) Even going into September they were in 4th, 5 games behind the Padres and D-backs.
Those Rockies, of course, rode an incredibly hot September to a home series with the D-backs where a sweep (combined with the Padres losing the series in Milwaukee) would have given them the division. The D-backs took the first game, but the Rockies won the next two, then the one game playoff over the Padres in incredible fashion to win the wild card. We all remember what happened then, of course.
Is this team as good as that 2007 Rockies team? I'd say at least as good, relative to the rest of the division. And while the Rockies didn't have to make up quite as much ground in the wild card race, they did have a lot of teams between them. No one is between the D-backs for either the wild card or the division. The Dodgers have been incredibly hot, but now face at least a little bit of time without two of their key players. In reality, .500 baseball against everybody else, and winning every series against
NFC West NL west teams should be enough to win the division, or at least catch Cincinnati for the wild card if we can win that series in Cincy. Sweeping all 7 against the Dodgers would be nice, but even a 5-2 should be enough to overtake them if we can do our job in the other games.
In conclusion, things aren't hopeless. But things need to turn around quickly, and we can't afford to do any worse than stay where we are relative to the Dodgers in this next month, or September will simply be an opportunity to play out the string and see what the young talent can do going forward.