The Dodgers dropped the opening game of a four-game series at home Monday night against the Padres. Despite recording a run before they made an out in the first inning, the Dodgers couldn’t get anything going after that and lost 2-1.
In an average season, fans wouldn’t be so concerned about slumps, but in the shortest season ever, every single at-bat and game look to be magnified. While the Dodgers do have the best-run differential in the league, the offense struggled at times over the last two games against the Giants over the weekend, and Monday night left 16 batters on base, including a scenario early where they had bases loaded with no outs. They went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position in Monday’s opener.
The hitters that fans didn’t expect to lead offensively this year have been towards the top of the batting average numbers. Currently, Corey Seager leads the team in batting average with a .340 mark and A.J. Pollock follows at .304. Seager came into the season fully healthy after he dealt with lingering injuries the past couple years, although he’s been day-to-day lately. Pollock had a disappointing first year with the Dodgers, and a rough postseason, but now he has looked like the Pollock that used to torment the Dodgers with Arizona.
Through the last seven games, the Dodgers have only hit for a .189 average. Against Johnny Cueto, they only managed two hits, one of which was lost in the lights and dropped in for extra bases. The question is whether they’ve become too reliant on the home run ball. When they hit a homerun their record is much better, as 20 of their past 26 runs have been home runs.
We’re just past the first quarter of this season, and the halfway point will probably be here before we know it. While fans might not be hitting the panic back yet, followers of the team should have a better idea where the team stands when the trade deadline rolls around on August 31.
With the new playoff format, the Dodgers playoff chances stand at 98.8% at the moment. Colorado and San Diego have shown some early on success, which could make things interesting if they keep this up. As the season continues, hitters will probably get into more of a groove and we can hope the Dodgers offense comes to life.
Through Monday night, the Dodgers ranked first in the majors in defensive runs saved, which has been one of the club’s shining spots.
The Dodgers had 16 defensive runs saved, as the list takes into consideration how many runs a defender saved and involves range, double playability, and arm potential. A good example would be Chris Taylor’s throw to plate to end the game last week against San Diego. If data shows that similar fly balls like that result in a hit 60% of the time, Taylor gains points if he makes the play. If he would have failed to make it he loses points.
The Dodgers’ pitching staff already has a low ERA as a team so being first in defensive runs saved just keeps the ERA lower.
Los Angeles looks to even the series Tuesday. The Dodgers still remain undefeated in overall series this year, so they’ll look to continue that. First pitch is set for 6:40 p.m. Pacific.