Our beloved Dodgers need to look back to July.
Being that the San Francisco Giants have resided in the cellar of the National League West for almost the entirety of the season, coupled with the fact that they are only a few games away from the Philadelphia Phillies for having the worst record in all of baseball, one would have presumed that a three-game series at AT&T Park was just what the doctor ordered to ease the Los Angeles Dodgers out of perhaps one of their worst team slumps in decades.
While there’s been very heavy speculation lately about the effectiveness of the Dodgers‘ most common batting orders, there’s little guarantee that moving around several regular pieces will make a huge difference in the overall potency of the offense. The same can be said about moving up right fielder Yasiel Puig in the lineup—he’s definitely thrived in the lower part of the order, but when given the chance to hit in the middle, hasn’t made much of a notable difference at all.
“Are you nervous?” my husband asks me before the Dodgers game. “Not yet,” I reply. I rattle off a number of reasons why not, that this isn’t the batting order that worked so beautifully earlier in the season, that the pitchers who got demolished in Arizona did really well against the same team the second go-round, Kershaw is on the mound.
Without question, there’s no one particular area of the team that can take the brunt of the blame for the Dodgers‘ current losing skid. It was only less than a week ago that the starting pitching was borderline horrendous, yet once that particular problem began fixing itself, a major epidemic of ineffectiveness started to lurk over the majority of the bullpen. All this while the offense, which was once shouldering a huge load of the club’s success, has become nearly dormant.
To say the Dodgers‘ offense has been lackluster lately would be a bit of an understatement. After scoring 10 runs in Milwaukee last Friday, the Dodgers have only scored five runs in five games since then. Granted, they were facing some of the best pitchers they’ve face so far in Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg, but still the offense has left something to be desired.
Undoubtedly, the most common conversation themes these days between fans of the Dodgers have been about inconsistencies in several areas of the game, primarily discussions regarding either the sputtering offense or the somewhat unsteady starting rotation.
Last year, a few stubborn fans who didn’t care to comprehend simple math believed it to be a season-long jinx. But only ten games into the 2017 campaign, the struggles the Dodgers have been wrestling with against left-handed pitching have become so obvious that other teams are realigning their pitching rotation when they see a series vs. Los Angeles appear on their respective schedules.
So far during the young 2017 season, one of the more common lineup themes of the Dodgers has been to employ utility man Enrique Hernandez in center field against left-handed pitching, while stashing away Joc Pederson on the pine for possible appearances later in games against righty pitching, or for his skills as a defensive replacement.
After skipper Dave Roberts informally revealed the remainder of the club’s 25-man roster makeup late last Thursday, the public relations department of the Dodgers announced the official Opening Day squad on Sunday morning. There were no new changes in the latest version, but the team did report what we suspected as far as players beginning the year on the disabled list.