The Los Angeles Dodgers have lost six out of their last eight games, but still find themselves having one of the top records in baseball. Ironically enough, their current 15-7 record through 22 games is the same record they had through 22 games in their championship run last year.
It’s probably just a bad string of games featuring poor offense and shoddy relief pitching, and they’re likely to rebound soon. There is one thing the Dodgers rank first in, though, that they probably won’t like. That statistic is stolen bases allowed. In the weekend series against San Diego, it seemed like the Padres were running wild on the bases.
The Dodgers allowed five stolen bases in back-to-back games against the Padres, something that hasn’t happened in the majors since 1976. Overall, the Padres accumulated 12 stolen bases in the weekend series, which was certainly instrumental in them taking the series.
Out of 33 attempts this year by the opposition, the Dodgers have allowed 28 stolen bases, which are way too many. No other team in the MLB has allowed more than 15 stolen bases.
The Dodgers have played four extra-inning games so far this season and they are 1-3 in those games. They have allowed four stolen bases in extra innings games alone. With runners being placed at second base to start an inning, one could see how a key stolen base could make the difference.
On Monday night, the Cincinnati Reds doubled their stolen base total when they stole two bases, as they had only come into last night’s game with a league-low two swipes all year.
Catcher Will Smith has allowed 16 of those 28 stolen bases, while Austin Barnes has allowed 12. Obviously, they don’t always fall on the catchers, as sometimes pitchers are slow in their deliveries while also paying little attention to the runners on the basepaths.
Closer Kenley Jansen has been known for being one of the easier pitchers to steal bases against. He has allowed six stolen bases so far this season.
Sunday night, the Padres pulled off a double steal in extra innings that resulted in the game-winning run. Rookie reliever Garrett Cleavinger paid little attention during that sequence as both runners had quite a sizable lead.
Dodger relievers have allowed 18 stolen bases this year, which proves that a good number of these stolen bases are coming in the later innings. In close games, these swipes could certainly help a team come back or allow them to pull ahead.
Teams do not steal bases as much as they have decades ago, but just look at the Reds last night. They had two stolen bases coming into the game and more than likely had an advanced scouting report about the Dodgers’ vulnerability. If teams continue this success, most teams will try to capitalize on the trend.
The Dodgers look to even up the series against the Reds Tuesday after dropping the series opener by a score of 5-3 in ten innings.
Right-hander Walker Buehler will make his fifth start of the season. He is currently 1-0 and has a 2.16 ERA with 21 strikeouts over four starts. Buehler will face Red’s right-hander Jeff Hoffman, who was previously with division rival Colorado. In four starts, Hoffman is 2-1 on the season with a 2.66 ERA and 16 strikeouts.
The first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. Pacific time.