Following a seven-game road trip that took them to rainy Colorado and Cincinnati, the Los Angeles Dodgers return to Chavez Ravine Friday to begin a homestand against the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Rockies.
Normally, for a team that’s been on the road for an extended period of time, coming home is a reason for optimism. However, for the 2014 Dodgers, home has been a place of befuddlement and losses. At 35-33 on the season, the Dodgers have 22 road wins, which is the most in MLB.
The high number of wins on the road comes with a 13-19 record at Dodger Stadium, which is only one win ahead of the Diamondbacks for the worst home record in the league. Following Thursday’s loss to the Reds, manager Don Mattingly didn’t have an explanation for the drastic difference in records, via Bill Shaikin of the LA Times:
You don’t really do anything differently at home than you do on the road,” Mattingly said. “It’s hard to understand why you would not be as good at home. Guys traditionally have always played better at home.”
One theory Mattingly mentioned was the upgrades Dodger Stadium has undergone under the new ownership, which no longer necessitates that players are together as much:
At home, it’s so big now,” he said. “There’s a quiet room. There’s a locker room. There’s a weight room. You can go back in the sauna. We’re not quite all in one room.”
At the time of the unveiling of the blueprints for the clubhouse renovations, team president Stan Casten claimed the number of people using the facilities was being cut in half while the size was doubled.
Along with the Dodgers getting new equipment and rooms, a batting cage was dedicated to the visitors’ clubhouse. While Mattingly may not have been entirely serious in his theory, the Dodgers had the new clubhouse amenities last season and weren’t hindered as they went on a 42-8 stretch, eventually winning the NL West division title and reaching the NLCS.
Whatever may be ailing the Dodgers, they will need to solve their home woes if they hope to catch the San Francisco Giants in the standings.
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