The Los Angeles Dodgers have been struggling, and it is due to the fact that they are having difficulty producing consistently in every facet of the game. In their losses, the team has looked listless at the plate and their relievers have not been able to shut down the opposition. With a grueling slate of 15 games in 14 days, the Dodgers need to ensure that they do not continue to falter over the next two weeks.
On offense, the Dodgers have fallen into a pattern of feast or famine. In their losses, they are averaging a mere 2.3 runs per game. In their wins, the team scores 5.3. If the Dodgers are unable to generate runs early, the team tends to struggle mightily throughout the remaining innings. When they do generate those runs, they have turned the ball over to a bullpen that has been unable to hold a lead.
Over the past 10 games, the Dodgers are 4-6. Of those six losses, four have been attributed to the bullpen, the team slipping into second place in the NL West. The next two weeks will show how much fortitude the team possesses, as their response to this early challenge will be enlightening.
Manager Don Mattingly seems unconcerned, saying:
"We’ll go through periods like this, but as long as we continue to work and not be satisfied with what’s going on, I feel like we’ll be OK. I’m not willing to think this is the way it’s going to be all year long."
Mattingly is, of course, right to be unconcerned, especially given how the Dodgers were able to overcome early struggles to still reach the NLCS. Aside from an injury to Clayton Kershaw, all of the main cogs in the Dodger machine have been available, yet the lineup has not produced in the way it is capable of.
If the Dodgers are to make any noise in the NL West this season, they need to get more consistent production out of both their lineup and their bullpen. This next stretch may shed a great deal of light on the wherewithal of this team.
Tags: Baseball, Clayton Kershaw, Don Mattingly, Los Angeles, Los Angeles Dodgers, MLB