Tuesday night’s 3-0 loss to the Astros was yet another example of how the offense of the Dodgers can go from woke to broke in a hurry, as Los Angeles mustered just five hits and three walks during the entire game. The club advanced a runner past second base just once all evening.
This dismal effort comes one game (with a day off in between) after they pounded the Diamondbacks in a contest that saw the Dodgers plate 13 runs on 14 hits. It’s a narrative we’ve often seen this year, seemingly discounting any real meaning the term ‘run differential’ might give.
By my count, the Dodgers have scored in double digits a whopping twelve times this season. However, there have been 10 occasions when they’ve been shutout or scored just one run, which is surprising for a club with loaded with so much offensive talent. A handful of those losses have come immediately after a prolific offensive effort.
Obviously, it’s probably entirely inaccurate to label this as some type of phenomenon. Credit needs to be given to the opposing pitching staff and defense. Moreover, in this instance, the quality of opposition increased dramatically between the Astros and Diamondbacks. Still, the frequency it occurs is uncanny.
Regardless, as far as team batting average goes, the Dodgers have fallen to 12th in the majors with a .245 mark, but their OBP holds steady in second place at .335, which gives some testament to both their hustle and patience at the plate. Los Angeles leads the majors with 430 walks heading into Wednesday’s games.
As far as power numbers go, the Dodgers have fallen to ninth in slugging at .421 and fifth in homers at 147, both marks which they’ve dominated the league in previous seasons.
If there was an easy way to find the cause of these inconsistencies, the team would have surely addressed it by now. Instead, some fans have pointed their fingers at the team’s plan of attack and inconsistent lineups, while others have blamed certain players like Cody Bellinger, who’s slashing just .165/.262/.284 over 202 plate appearances, which is quickly growing past the point of being just a small sample size.
Bellinger find himself hitting out of the eight-hole on Wednesday.
Trea Turner will be joining the team this week, and while it’s still unclear when he might play, he could end up providing the exact spark the club needs, especially against southpaw pitching.
In the meantime, if recent history holds true, fans can expect a decent offensive performance in Game 2 on Wednesday when Max Scherzer takes the mound wearing Dodger Blue for the first time.
First pitch is slated for 6:40 p.m. Pacific time.