Heading into Friday’s game with the New York Mets, the Los Angeles Dodgers were 5-5 in their last 10 games and were mired by an inconsistent offense.
Despite some of the team’s struggles, manager Don Mattingly said he wasn’t concerned with the drop in offense, particularly home runs, reports Michael Lananna of MLB.com:
I think our offense comes in stretches,” Mattingly said. “I worry about us winning games, having good at-bats. When we do that, I’m not really worried about the home runs. When you run into good pitching, they’re going to slow you down.
Mattingly also added he believes there’s been a shift in which pitching has surpassed hitting and the Dodgers aren’t the only team who has been affected:
Home runs are way down all over the place, so it’s not like we’re the only club not hitting homers,” Mattingly said. “Offense is down in general. Pitching is that good right now. I think guys strike out more now. They put the ball in play less. Pitching seems to have passed the hitting right now.”
The Dodgers went on to score six runs against the Mets in their win, however they also benefitted from the team committing multiple errors. The Dodgers didn’t hit a home run, but did tallied five extra-base hits.
Adrian Gonzalez leads the team with 17 home runs, followed by Matt Kemp (15), Yasiel Puig (13) and Hanley Ramirez (12). Gonzalez is also the only Dodger who is on pace to drive in at least 100 runs which according to the first baseman, is an area he excels in.
The Dodgers rank 13th overall in total runs scored this season, sixth in batting average (.259) and ninth with a .720 OPS.
It’s no secret the Dodgers are built around strong pitching, led by Clayton Kerhsaw, who is having a Cy Young and MVP-caliber season. However, injuries to Zack Greinke, Hyun-Jin Ryu and others, has weakened the Dodgers’ biggest strength.
Greinke is scheduled to start Saturday and Ryu is expected to return shortly after being eligible to come off the disabled list. Regardless of both pitcher’s presence, the Dodgers would benefit from consistency at the plate given the semi-fragile state of the starting rotation.
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