“I don’t necessarily want to speak for the team. But I’m pissed personally. I don’t like losing. I want to win. That’s why I came here. And we are not playing up to our capabilities right now, so I’m mad.”
After yet another one-run loss, Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Trevor Bauer vented to reporters on the state of his current team.
The Dodgers have lost 15 of their last 20 games, and everyone from players to fans is feeling the frustration. Once having the best record in baseball at 13-2, the Dodgers now sit at 18-17, third place in the NL West. They started the season as the clear-cut No. 1 in power rankings, and now they’re not even in the top five.
This run of bad games is slightly reminiscent of the the slide the Dodgers had in August and September of 2017, when the the team also lost five consecutive series. That team pulled it together in time to get hot for their World Series run. When will this version finally do the same?
There’s a lot of talk of how the Dodgers are too talented to not get back to their previous winning ways, and that’s true. Injuries have decimated the team, both within the lineup and throughout the pitching staff. Depth was one of the big talking points of the offseason, and even that has not come through for them.
One thing that I’ve lamented previously about this team is that they have no spark plug, no one seemingly willing to put the team on their back. Mookie Betts had been that person in the offseason, but it seems to be lacking a bit now. They have their fun hand gestures and that’s about it.
The Dodgers have also been unlucky. They’ve now lost 10 one run games, which is unsustainable. Corey Seager has been hitting the ball on the screws all season and doesn’t have much to show for it. Only five players in all of MLB have more hard hits (95 mph +) that he does. In Sunday’s game, Gavin Lux hit a ball 101.8 off the bat that had a .820 xBA (expected batting average) and it was caught. Things like that are bound to turn around.
It’ll be interesting to see if Bauer’s comments have any affect on the clubhouse and their attitude. No one on the Dodgers has been this outspoken in quite some time. Manager Dave Roberts’s go-to lines are usually “we know we’re better, we just need to play better” over and over until the team finally does start playing better. Team veterans usually echo the same sentiment, just bland excuses/statements that they know they’re better and they’re not worried. I can’t remember a player coming out and saying he’s pissed about losing.
Help might be on the way. On Monday, Cody Bellinger posted video of himself running at Camelback Ranch. Roberts had previous said that Belli was running at about 60%, and Cody’s stride in the video looks comfortable and strong.
Also on Monday, the Dodgers sent catcher Keibert Ruiz back to Triple-A Oklahoma City. This will allow Ruiz to get more consistent at bats. He was 1-for-6 while with the big club, his one hit being a home run against the Chicago Cubs. This leaves an open roster spot, and who will fill it will probably not be named until Tuesday’s short series with the Seattle Mariners.
The Dodgers now begin a nine game home stand against the Mariners, Miami Marlins, and Arizona Diamondbacks. Now is the time to get it together before they face the first place San Francisco Giants and Houston Astros to close out the month of May.