Let’s clear the air a little first. The Dodgers have been really bad for quite a lengthy period of time now. Not many people can say that they saw the best team in the league, at least on paper, playing at such a horrendous level. The World Series hangover excuse can’t even be used to defend this team. Granted that there are some key players missing from the active roster right now, we shouldn’t be feeling heartbroken after every game.
The pitching has been spotty at times while the lineup has forgotten how to score on most occasions suing this awful stretch. When the team scores 4+ runs, they have a record of 13-5. However, when they’re in close games where they score 3 runs or less, they’re only 4-10. Even more so, in one-run ball games, the team is 4-9.
That’s just unacceptable, especially for a team like the Dodgers.
Yet, where Los Angeles has been their worst is when their backs are up against the wall. While they could have prevented every single event, the Dodgers have played in 7 extra inning contests, and have an unfortunate 1-6 record. Even a runner on second to start the inning hasn’t been able to help them.
In fact, it’s hurt them more times than not.
What’s The Problem?
The main issue has been the lack of production at the plate. As a whole, the team is batting .244 with only 3 extra base hits (one home run) and 10 RBIs. In 4 of those extra inning losses, they failed to score a single run in 5 innings. Strikeouts have been a huge contribution to that issue as well as just in general. It’s not just the players in the lower half of lineup who are struggling either, Mookie Betts and Corey Seager have been nonexistent at the plate.
Don’t even get me started on pitching. As a whole, the bullpen hasn’t been as bad as it seems, yet they tend to be bad at the wrong time. Part of that issue can be attributed to how Dave Roberts is utilizing the bullpen. Just take the second game of the doubleheader against Chicago for example. Roberts called on Mitch White to save the game. Calling on a rookie pitcher who has never closed out a big league game or possibly any professional game does not seem like the right call.
What did we learn? It wasn’t the right call.
Walks have hurt Dodger pitching the most this season. The ‘pen has allowed 14 base on balls to opposing teams in those 7 extra inning contests. Having a defense that hasn’t been as effective as in years past doesn’t help either. I’m talking about you Corey Seager.
The extra inning rule has haunted the Dodgers all season. The league hoped it would help cut down the time of games by deciding them faster, and they have. Unfortunately, it hasn’t gone the way we hoped. The bullpen does need to get better at shutting down opposing lineups, yet with the runner starting at second, they’re going to score a majority of the time no matter who’s pitching. Our only hope for future occasions is for the offense to get back on track and pile on the runs.