Have Opposition Stolen Bases Become a Problem for Dodgers?

(Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY Sports)

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.

10 thoughts on “Have Opposition Stolen Bases Become a Problem for Dodgers?

  1. Most stolen bases are off the pitcher but Barnes has a terrible arm for a catcher. Soft and inaccurate. Smith is better but not great. I don’t have the numbers but I’d guess a majority of our pitchers, starters and relievers, are slow to the plate.

    That said, we need to score. Our defense will not bail us out. We are 19th. You know who’s first? The giants. SD is 28th. Pitching? SD is first, SF is second. We’re 3rd.

    We hit, we win. We don’t, we won’t.

  2. Anyone know the relative arm strengths for Ruiz and Cartaya? I seem to remember that Cartaya has a pretty good arm but have no clue where I saw that. Maybe we could get the opposition to hold up on stealing until those guys get here.

    1. Ruiz 50, Cartaya 60.

      Ok, Peters, Pollock and $, Gray, White, Pepiot, Gonsolin and the catcher of your choice for Trout. I’m fishing here.

      1. It won’t. The Angels will never part with Trout and they will never finish with a post season win. I’m just blowing smoke here. The Angels draw well, they are in the Top 10 in franchise value. They make money, that’s good enough.

    1. Alexander got the loss, that is true, but Buehler gave up 5 earned in 6.1. He has to be better than that.

      1. Yep Very true. Not much margin for error with the way the games have been going. If the offense was hitting on all cylinders it would be nice also.

      2. They will eventually. Perhaps when it warms up. They are too good to play like this.

        It would be nice to see guys like Lux, Rios and Peters contribute. I don’t expect any of them to be Bellinger or Seager but a .750 OPS isn’t asking that much. Those guys aren’t close. Rios is hitting 0.93. Time to send him down. Lefty/righty? Screw that. It ain’t working with Rios. Give Neuse the at bats on Turner’s day off.

        Bullpen. How long will Knebel be out? Most of the season was mentioned. Kelly (oh goody) and Gonsolin should be returning soon, Graterol needs to find some edges with that heat and command the off speed better. Gray could be used out of the pen. Or, we start looking for a trade.

      3. Bobby Miller has been impressive at the alternate site and might actually make a better reliever than Gray, whom I think should just be left at OKC to be a starter. Pepiot is another one that are grooming to be a reliever. I’d go with one of those two if they decide to bring up one of the youngsters.

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