Well that was a week of baseball worth forgetting about.
The Los Angeles Dodgers finished their week at 2-5, and nearly were swept in a four game series by the Philadelphia Phillies. They had already lost two of three to the Pittsburgh Pirates, and the Dodgers were thoroughly owned by teams from the great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
The Phillies series could be chalked up to a lot of things. A sudden pressure on the starting rotation to go deep into games as they had lost Clayton Kershaw to the 15-day IL on Friday. The knowledge that the pitching staff as a whole was going to have a tough time navigating the home stand that includes eight games in seven days. Shock when the Dodgers found themselves down in every game, only to try to climb back in it and still lose. Unforced errors by the Dodgers compounding all the craziness. And one thought that Philly was supposed to have a weak defense- that team made incredible plays left and right robbing the Dodgers of more scoring opportunities.
Fans of the Dodgers should hope that the Phillies stay hot, through their next three games only, as they will open up a home stand against the San Diego Padres. The Dodgers will see the Phillies again on Friday for a three game set, hopefully with better results.
The good news is, the Dodgers still have one of the best pitching staffs in the majors, currently tied for first in ERA with the New York Yankees. They also are still tied for first in the NL West with the San Diego Padres. They come out of that last week being statistically no worse for the wear.
But now the pitching staff faces another challenge, playing four games in three days, two being day games, and having been taxed the last four games. The Arizona Diamondbacks are in town, and their last meeting jumped the DBacks into playing some really good baseball. Arizona took two of three from the Dodgers in Phoenix at the end of April, then went on to win 10 of their next 16 games. They are now 18-17, 4.0 games out of first in the division. The NL West still has all its teams at .500 or higher.
The Dodgers also need to hope that their offense gets more consistent. While there have been offensive outbursts, it’s still not anything what the Dodgers fans were hoping to see out of the All-Star lineup. Not one Dodger is batting over .300 – Freddie Freeman is the closest with a .295 BA. Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger are both hitting close to the Mendoza line, and Max Muncy is still down around .150. Mookie Betts leads the team with seven homers, and the team that has a lot of pop hasn’t quite been able to get those long balls going.
Probable starters for the Arizona series are Monday, Tony Gonsolin and Madison Bumgarner. Tuesday’s matinee will see a spot starter from the Dodgers against Merrill Kelly. The evening contest is TBA for the DBacks against Tyler Anderson. And Wednesday’s matinee will be Zach Davies and Walker Buehler.