The Los Angeles Dodgers are back home after a ten-game road trip in which they went 2-8, a period in which they’ve also lost 15 out of their last 20 games. In the two games in which they won, the Dodger offense exploded for double-digit runs. Other than that, it’s been quiet.
If the team is going to have a stretch as bad as this one, it may very well be during this early part of the season instead of October. Despite the struggles, the Dodgers currently sit with an 18-17 record and in third place in the National League West behind the Padres and the Giants. They are only a game behind the Padres and three games behind the surprising Giants.
Tuesday night will mark the beginning of a nine-game home stretch for the Dodgers. First up will be the Seattle Mariners for a quick, two-game set.
The two teams played each other in a brief two-game series in Seattle three weeks ago, which they split. That series marked the beginning of the tough stretch for the Dodgers, as they have not won a series since around that time frame.
Perhaps a return to Dodger Stadium will change the momentum for the team. The Dodgers are currently 8-5 at home as opposed to 10-12 on the road. This was as bad a road trip in recent memory as we Dodger fans we can remember. With so much success in the past couple of seasons, we may have forgotten what it is to have such a slump.
Personally, this team in a small way reminds me of the 2013 Dodgers, who were off to a start even worse than this due to injuries and other external factors. However, they then went on a 42-8 stretch during 50 games, the best 50 game stretch until the 2017 Dodgers did one better, going 43-7.
Regarding 2021, it is quite early to hit the panic button as we still have a lot of baseball left.
Dodger right-hander Walker Buehler will start the first game of this homestand, making his seventh start of the season. The 26-year-old right-hander has posted a 1-0 record with a 3.13 ERA, frequently being the victim of poor run support from his team. In his last start against the Cubs, he went six innings allowing two runs which came on a homer and five hits.
Facing Buehler on the mound will be Japanese lefty Yusei Kikuchi. Some of you may remember Kikuchi originally signing in free agency with the Dodgers a couple of seasons ago. However, the deal was waived off due to some medical issues and he returned to Seattle. Kikuchi is 1-2 this season with a 4.30 ERA. In his last start, he gave up three runs over seven innings.
Set to pitch the second game is Julio Urias against right-hander Justin Dunn. Urias is 4-1 with a 3.59 ERA, and he most recently pitched against the Angels, allowing five runs on eight hits over five innings.
Seattle currently sits at a record of 18-17, so the two teams do have identical records. Let’s hope that a return to Chavez Ravine in front of the home crowd will bring some much-needed energy and firepower.
The first pitch for Tuesday’s game is set for 7:10 p.m. Pacific.