Could a Late-August Team Slump Be a Good Thing?


Skipper Dave Roberts will be one of the first to tell you that there’s some type of positive lesson in every negative situation—that’s just the type of person he is.

It’s one of the primary reasons he’s been so successful as a manager.

He’ll also be quick to say that the 162-game season is a marathon and even the very best teams go through some spurts of non-productivity.

The Dodgers are no exception.

Although it was a freak throwing error from center field that was the chief ingredient of the loss on Monday evening, many fingers have been pointing back to a quiet offense that has otherwise been a juggernaut since the beginning of the season.

What’s more, fans can be certain the Dodgers are gaining valuable insight from a stretch when they’ve scored just 13 runs over six games. Since the beginning of the weekend series with the Yankees last Friday, Los Angeles has lost three out of four contests.

During those four games, the team struck out a whopping 52 times.

With runners in scoring position, the Dodgers went just 2-for-16 against New York. In the opener against San Diego on Monday night, they went 1-for-10.

Slumps happen to the best of teams. Whether or not this is just a mini-decline or something that will stretch a bit longer remains to be seen—that’s the beauty of baseball and why the game is played. However, the fact that a slide in production is happening now rather than October could be a good thing.

Third baseman Justin Turner, amid a moment of frustration after Monday’s loss, offered up a few of his own thoughts.

“This is baseball,” Turner said to reporters. “I mean, if you guys expect us to score 10, 12 runs every night, you guys are out of your minds. We just got to keep working. Keep trying to put together ABs. Stuff like this happens to every single team throughout the course of a season, no matter how good or bad they are.”

Regardless of the reasoning, the fact that the Dodgers are playing the Padres may be the perfect opportunity for Los Angeles to break out of its current funk.

Walker Buehler, who is slated to start the middle game on Tuesday night, has absolutely owned San Diego over his short career. In three lifetime starts against the Padres, the young righty has a 3-0 record with a 0.82 ERA with 31 strikeouts over an even 22 innings of work. His WHIP over those three appearances calculates to a ridiculous 0.545.

Part of those numbers includes a game back in May of 2018 when Buehler and three relievers combined to no-hit the Padres during a series in Monterrey, Mexico.

The Dodgers will be facing righty Cal Quantrill, who is part of a very young, but exciting San Diego rotation. Despite his recent success, though, the 24-year-old righty took the loss against the Dodgers back on August 3. Turner had the hot hand for Los Angeles that evening, going 2-for-4 with a home run in the fourth inning that broke the game open.

First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM Los Angeles time.



7 thoughts on “Could a Late-August Team Slump Be a Good Thing?

  1. They slumped in 2017. They were so far ahead by the time it happened that it made no difference, they still ended up getting home field. This time they have 2 teams who are just as good. In order to get home field they are going to have to turn it up a notch. Turner not in the lineup tonight. Pederson leading off, then Muncy, Pollock and Belli. Scooter Gennett placed on release waivers by the Giants and the D-Backs lose Peralta to season ending shoulder surgery.

  2. I’ll trade a late August slump for a late October hot streak! Wash and Atlanta playing good ball right now and we’d have to beat both probably to get back to WS. It won’t be easy and we’ll have to be playing our best ball to get there. I can’t wait to see the Yankee Astros series with the Yankees healthy. Should be epic series and they wear themselves out before losing to us!

  3. There are a few teams in the NL that might be ready for us by October. St Louis is one of them.

    We are striking out again. I don’t think that will continue, but if it does, we are vulnerable.

    What happened to Scooter?

    1. They have not exactly been on fire the last 12 days if you hadn’t noticed there Rich. They had not scored more than 3 runs since the first game of the Jays series. Atlanta lost their second game in a row and the Mets were beat by the Cubs. DC lost to the Orioles who we play on the next road trip along with the Mets. Dodgers will not fly to Arizona after the game tonight. They fly out tomorrow morning.

  4. Gennett was placed on release waivers probably because the Giants needed the room to call up their premier infield prospect, plus he was not really hitting well. He has been injured most of the year. Hill threw a 30 pitch bullpen and will pitch a 2 inning up and down later in the week. Urias and Stripling are pitching in games in AZ today. Royals owner is in talks to sell the team. He bought them for 96 million. The price for the team now could reach 1 billion dollars. Looks like SD is going with a BP game tonight against Maeda. Wingenter is the opener. Dodgers have not announced the starters for the AZ series, but AZ is sending Kelly, Gallen, Ray and Young against them. Magic number is 10. They could clinch at home next week. Earliest clinch in Dodger history was Sept 10th in 1955. Doubt the Dodgers will try picking up any, but there are over 20 players with MLB experience out there as free agents right now.

    1. If Gennet is injured, why was he on the field? He was an All Star last year, OPSd over .800 two years in a row, then off the cliff he went. I was pimpin for a trade to get him here when we needed a second baseman, which we still do. Glad I didn’t actually accomplish that.

      Clubbing the Padres isn’t a sign the güfendene has ended. (I made that word up. It means foul play. And as you can only see, I’m speaking parenthetically). We’re supposed to win every series the rest of the way. We can lose 1 game per series and set ourselves up for a successful post season run.

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