Can the Streaky Dodgers Start Finding Consistent Success?

Will the real Los Angeles Dodgers please stand up?

So far this season, the Boys in Blue have had four peaks and valleys. They have had streaks of 13-2, 5-15, 13-2, and now they are on an 0-3 run.

Hopefully the team can turn this current 0-3 losing streak around before they lose any more ground in the division. San Diego is now in first place with a record of 34-20, and San Francisco is a game behind them at 33-20. The Dodgers reside in third place, 2.5 games out of first at 31-22.

If the season ended today, the Dodgers and Giants would play in a one game Wild Card game for the right to play the Padres, who own the best record in the National League. This is the most likely scenario, in whatever incantation it presents itself to be.

The Dodgers are actually 2-5 over their last seven games, and the starting pitchers have not been as effective as they once were. Julio Urías gave up six runs in his outing on Saturday, and Clayton Kershaw, after his stellar outing in Houston, gave up five earned runs and two home runs on Sunday. In Friday nights game, Walker Buehler went 6.0 innings allowing two runs, but only struck out three and did not look sharp. The bullpen also then blew that game, with Blake Treinen allowing three runs, and after the Dodgers had tied it up, Kenley Jansen allowing another three runs for the loss.

The offense has also fallen off. They’ve seen spurts—like Austin Barnes’ three run homer to tie the game in the bottom of the eighth on Friday night—but they’re still not quite able to string it all together.

The Dodgers recently welcomed both Cody Bellinger and Zach McKinstry back to the lineup, but neither got a hit in their initial games back. Mookie Betts was also out of the lineup for Sunday’s game due to allergies.

As with many teams, the Dodgers have been dealing with many injuries, but they also have been having some bad luck, or maybe just some bad execution. In Sunday’s game, Kershaw threw a wild pitch, moving runners from first and second, to second and third. The next pitch would’ve been an inning-ending double play. Instead, it scored a run, and the inning continued for a two-run homer to the next batter.

It seems like many instances similar to that have been happening to the Dodgers this season. The team is 7-12 in one-run games, a statistic that has been in the reverse for most of the previous few seasons.

Things will start to turn around and become more consistent for the Dodgers; they are too talented a team for them to not. They’ve been ravaged by injuries and haven’t had their whole team together save for four games to start the season. As I’ve stated previously, there also seems to be a spark that is missing. Perhaps they will get that back when they’re all together and feeling heathy again.

The Dodgers, for how injured and unlucky they are, still have the third-best record in the National League, even if it is within their own division. They just need to stay right within that cusp and get it going at playoff time. But they cannot keep facing big slides and expect that to happen.

The Dodgers look to right the ship Monday night, starting a three-game set against the St. Louis Cardinals at Dodger Stadium. The probable pitching matchups are Monday, Trevor Bauer and righty Jack Flaherty. Tuesday, Johnny Wholestaff against right-hander John Gant. Wednesday will be right-hander Carlos Martinez and Walker Buehler.

19 thoughts on “Can the Streaky Dodgers Start Finding Consistent Success?

  1. Raley had 9 RBI in a AAA game last night.
    Pollock went 0-3 in a Low A game.
    Bellinger and McKinstry, finally back and ready to straighten out our lineup while saving us from the AAA players we’ve had here, have not had a hit between them.
    Baseball is great because you never know what the next game will bring.

  2. Maybe Skip should forbid the Dunk ‘Em finger-wiggling and helmet-tapping gestures until they regain first place in the division. That oughta get ’em back in line. 🙂

    1. A lack of those gestures means not enough runs and, therefore, more losses.
      I suggest we start doing that stuff on strike outs as well. More gestures, more runs, more victories.
      I guess we just view the world differently, Dennis. 🙂

  3. The injuries as you state are the problem. We lost May for the year and so far Gonsolin who reportedly will be back in June. Graterol and Knebel also were lost. How many teams lose two starters and two key bullpen guys without an adjustment period? Dodgers have played without Bellinger and Mookie has been ineffective and Pollock and McKinstry were out. Pollock to be back in June also.
    If/when Gonsolin can start the stress comes off the bullpen and the team can get a bit more out of the pitching although that has not been their biggest issue. Nelson may be back soon and he was having a good start to his year so far.
    When you have to play guys like Bickford and Neuse you are in trouble.

  4. The answer is pretty easy: stop trying to hit nothing but home runs!!! If they would start taking advantage of the shift (until that is mercifully eliminated) with more bunts or oppos, they would be able to advance more base runners (that inevitably got there on walks). This team has been an all-or-nothing (feast or famine) club for a while now and, now that home runs are harder to hit, singles and doubles are the way to go.

    1. You are so right! If the clubs would start penalizing players by not giving them huge contracts for 100 plus strikeouts a year things would change. Until the players are not offered more money for their OBP things will not change. As an older baseball fan, I despair watching players continue to attempt to pull the ball into the shift rather than hit to the other side that has 1 defender. It’s Maddening & Frustrating.

    2. What you state is so painfully obvious, I’d love to hear Doc or AF’s explanation as to why our hitters can’t seem to, or don’t want to use the exact strategy you laid out. If we as baseball fans can identify a solution, why can’t team management.
      I’m not being facetious when I say I’d really like to hear their explanation.

      1. It would probably start with “scoreboard”. The Dodgers have won a lot of games over the last 8 years.

        My problem is with the two strike approach. I’ll give them strikes 1 and 2 to try to launch it 400’ but after that you need to put it in play. And that is just not part of hitting strategy anymore.

        It would appear Bellinger isn’t ready yet. McKinstry looks like a defensive liability to me.

        I think this team might struggle with consistency for a while. The second half is where the division will be won and hopefully everyone is healthy for that stretch run.

  5. Taylor’s at bat was the highlight of the game. Must watch TV for sure. I have no clue what the solution is. But when Belli was up with a runner on third late in the game, Arenado was playing in the next county. He could have bunted for a hit so easily. I care less about the unwritten rule. Just get on.

    1. I had the same thought Bear. When you’re going bad, try something different. A bunt with his speed could have turned him around. Or just trying to punch something to left instead of thinking every time you swing the ball needs to leave the stadium.

      1. Davis and Orel were talking about his first MLB hit which was a little dribbler down the 3B line against the Giants. With his speed, he would have no problem beating that out. Instead he is swinging at fastballs at his eyes that he could never hit anyway.

      2. I wonder if any left handed hitter on this team is even required to work on bunting skills. If they don’t do it in practice they won’t be doing it game situations. Bellinger will likely keep swinging from the heels (even my wife noticed he rolls over on his freaking ankles when he swings and misses, which is several times a night) until he runs into one. I expect that to happen sometime this month.

        We scored 9 and won easily. I’ll take it.

      3. If these idiots would hit the ball against the shift the teams would eventually change their shifting patterns. Bellinger is fast he could reliably get doubles out of balls hit to the left side as there aren’t any defenders on that side. Once they change he could go back to pulling the ball but ya gotta keep the defense honest.

  6. Slap hitters and guys who bunt don’t get paid, so everyone wants to be Joe Homer.

    No Scoop, I doubt any of these guys practices bunting. Maybe a few of them take a few oppo swings in batting practice but nobody wants to make it “his thing”. I’ve been happy to see that Lux is willing to go to left every so often. Now someone just needs to teach him to bunt.

    The fact of the matter is that just an occasional bunt would be enough to make the defense line up at least a little bit differently and that would lead to more hits through the infield. It would also make the game more exciting for the fans. I think Manfred needs to mandate that every player must bunt or hit against the shift at least once every two games. If not, they are suspended for a game. I’m sure he’d have no problem sneaking that rule through with all the others he’s proposing.

    What do you think folks? Since we obviously have all the answers, I propose that we form the “Thinking Blue Committee for the Adoption of Actions and Regulations Leading to the Betterment of the Grand Ol’ Game”. I’m drafting the resolution for the formation of this committee and I expect that MLB will want to sign us to a lucrative contract. Also having hats made but they tell me they’re having a hard time getting the full name of the committee on the hat.

    1. Except for rare moments like Taylor’s 14 pitch at-bat the current game is dead boring. I seldom watch a game live as I record it and FF through a lot of it. Watching the idiocy of player after player hit into the shift is mind-numbing.
      I do not believe that batting average and OBP are not revenue enhancers though. Betts is not known for his power. Betts gets on base and makes things happen. And he is an elite defender. Betts is valued for his overall WAR.

    2. I’m in Jefe.

      But a bunt lobby will go nowhere with these guys. That runner on third situation and Bellinger up he’s thinking one thing and that is get the ball in the air. In fact there is no other thought in his head but that. Launch. He’s thinking about what he’s going to have for launch when he sits down for breakfast.

      Our game, like roller skate keys, is history. They say history repeats itself but who are they and what do they know. Today’s players are all big, strong, professionally trained free swingers targeting fences closer than those high school fields on which we played. A pox on your bunt, you past your prime gray haired old timer. The money is in the air. Sing it! ….. Give me a hit with air, long beautiful air. Streaming, blastin, I just waxed it,…. bangled, spangled air. Up to there, down way over there, long as it can carry it will land by itself.

      Ok, I’m done. Headin poolside….

      1. Nice lyrics Scoop. The new Dodger fight song, although the melody seems a bit familiar. No problem, we’re the only guys old enough to remember it.

        Yes, the game has passed us by, as they say.

        Since I’m in the process of forming committees and organizations, how would you like to be a charter member of the Old Codger Dodger Club?

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