At one point in the season, the Los Angeles Dodgers were averaging more than one error per game. While the team has managed to decrease their average per game, errors continue to plague them. They now sit at 39 errors, which is second most in the National League and third overall.
Hanley Ramirez leads the team with seven errors and he’s followed by two more infielders — Dee Gordon and Justin Turner, before Matt Kemp’s name appears. Kemp leads the group of Dodger outfielders with four errors, which is most among center fielders in MLB.
Following Thursday’s loss, Mattingly commented on the errors, via Bill Plunkett of the OC Register:
We’ve talked about our defense quite a bit. Those are areas where we’ve got to get better,” Mattingly said again after the latest poor defensive game. “But I don’t think we can sit here and say we gave it away defensively. We gave up some outs offensively too.”
As for Kemp’s take, he realizes the need to improve his fielding:
“Man, I just need to play better defense,” Kemp said. “I’ve been bobbling balls, probably not getting as good a jump as I need to on some plays. I just need to keep going, keep practicing and working on my defense. I cost us one run today by bobbling a ball. That’s nobody’s fault but mine.”
As was the case with Kemp’s error, it has at times this season gifted unearned runs to opponents, but its effects may go even deeper. The Dodger pitching staff has struggled to consistently pitch deep into games and giving away outs hasn’t aided their cause.
The result has been an overworked bullpen, which in turn may have been somewhat to blame for reliever’s poor outings. There doesn’t appear to be a clearcut answer as to how the Dodgers can eliminate or decrease their number of errors. The team held additional fielding practice prior to a home game against the San Francisco Giants, but it’s had little impact thus far.
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