The Dodgers have had their issues the last two weeks. An offense that can’t score. A bullpen that can’t get outs. Their starters need no such critique.
Through Friday, Los Angeles Dodgers starters have the best WHIP (0.82) and lowest walk-rate (4.4%) of any staff since April 18th.
Besides Kershaw’s start against San Diego and Buehler’s outing against Cincinnati, every start in that window has given the Dodgers every opportunity to win. Regardless of the starter’s collective positive performance, the Dodgers starters are 3-4 during that stretch.
They’ve even given the bullpen a break. The starters have registered the second most innings pitched (72.1) and tied for the league lead in strikeout rate (34.1%).
Could the Dodgers’ lackluster offense be adding stress for the starters?
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A staff that knows the run support won’t be there feels additional pressure in each game. Buehler appeared to try to throw every pitch perfectly when he faced the Reds. He did collect 10 strikeouts, but pileup five earned runs.
If the Dodger bats can’t create offense, the starters won’t need to walk the razor’s edge each and every start.
Dustin May’s unfortunate injury on Saturday creates a need for another starter who can perform while the offense finds its footing.
Many fans, including this writer, were not pleased to see reliever Scott Alexander make the Opening Day roster. However, Alexander has the second-best reliever ERA on the team currently (2.53) of pitchers who have thrown at least four innings.
Through Friday, Alexander has yet to walk a single batter. For those of you doing the math at home, that’s a walk-rate of 0.0%.
If he can continue to induce ground ball outs, he could be a trusted high-leverage arm this season.