Amid the decisions to not re-sign Hanley Ramirez, and trade Dee Gordon and Matt Kemp, many wondered how the Los Angeles Dodgers’ offense would move forward without its leadoff hitter and two sluggers.
Adrian Gonzalez nearly singlehandedly quieted those concerns himself, and he’s had plenty of help from Andre Ethier, Yasmani Grandal, Howie Kendrick and others, throughout the season. However, the Dodgers are 4-6 in their last 10 games, have scored 23 runs during that stretch but been shut out in their last four road games, which is the longest streak in franchise history.
Remove the six and eight runs scored in back-to-back wins May 25 and May 26, and they otherwise have only pushed nine runs across in the last 10 games. After another frustrating loss in which the Dodgers left six men on base and were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position, manager Don Mattingly admitted to down times, via Time Warner Cable’s SportsNet LA:
I don’t know if we’ve gotten really spoiled from early on, when we were able to put up runs, runs, runs. I don’t think any of us expected that to continue, but I do think we’ve hit a little bit of a lull of scoring runs. That’s just a matter of continuing to give yourself chances. I’ve said it a lot, I feel like if we give ourselves chances, we’re going to win.”
Mattingly has long maintained a stance of the Dodgers being fine offensively, expressing confidence in the law of averages eventually sorting things out. And while his team has been offensively challenged for multiple weeks now, the Dodgers statistically remain one of the better clubs in baseball.
Their 209 runs scored ranks 12th overall, a .260 batting average is eighth-best in all of baseball and they’re tied for second with 62 home runs. When compared to their own league, the Dodgers lead in home runs, rank fourth in runs scored and fifth in batting average. Additionally, the Dodgers lead the Majors in on-base percentage (.339) and slugging percentage (.447).
For those more favorable to sabermetrics, the Dodgers rank first in wOBA (.342) and wRC+ (119). They’ll be looking to cure their road woes Saturday at Busch Stadium against Michael Wacha, who has only faced the Dodgers in the postseason; throwing 13.2 scoreless innings over two starts in the 2013 NLCS.
The Dodgers received a boost Saturday as Yasmani Grandal was activated from the seven-day concussion disabled list.