During their 10-game road trip, the Los Angeles Dodgers saw a surge in their bats and offensive numbers. In six of their last 10 games, the Dodgers scored at least seven runs and received contributions throughout the batting order.
Their two previous series came against teams that are not in the playoff chase and hitter-friendly ballparks, which played a role in the Dodgers’ sudden outburst. In the series opener against the San Francisco Giants, the Dodgers went hitless through their first four innings and then in the final six innings of the extra-innings loss.
Manager Don Mattingly was asked about the drought and quickly put it into perspective, via Mark Saxon of ESPN LA:
It lets you know, hitting-wise, that you’re not in Colorado, you’re not in Wrigley Field. In this ballpark, you’ve got to hit line drives. You’ve got to get good pitches to hit. You’re facing a team with more veteran pitchers who are going to throw the ball where they want and are going to game plan for you and have some weapons. So it’s not quite as easy as it’s looked the last few days.”
In an effort to stay on track, Mattingly continued by stating the Dodgers need to be prepared to face tough pitching in the postseason:
All the teams that are in the playoff [race] or are going to the playoffs, it’s different. You’re not facing young guys firing.”
Although the Dodgers only tallied four hits in Monday’s loss, Adrian Gonzalez made good contact in each of his five at-bats, only to have multiple fly balls tracked down at the warning track. The Dodgers’ one through five hitters — Dee Gordon, Yasiel Puig, Gonzalez, Matt Kemp and Hanley Ramirez — finished a combined 1-for-22.
There will be little rest for the weary after a rough go of it as the Dodgers face 18-game winner Madison Bumgarner Tuesday. Looking further down the line, the Dodgers would likely face the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLDS if the Dodgers are able to clinch the division.
The Cardinals of course eliminated the Dodgers in the 2013 NLCS and have strong pitching that wouldn’t give up some of the crooked numbers the Rockies’ and Cubs’ pitching staffs did. After concluding their series with the Giants Wednesday, the Dodgers will host the Rockies for a weekend series in what will be the final three games of the regular season.