Saturday, May 10, 2014

Puig's fire not enough in another dull night

At least Yasiel Puig is trying.

He's about the only guy on the entire team who tried to light any sort of fire into the Dodgers on Friday night.  He hit a solo homer, barked a bit with Madison Bumgarner, and made a couple of nice running catches near the line in right.

As for the rest of the team?  Not so much.

The Dodgers' offense again failed to get any sort of momentum going, as another left-handed starter completely overwhelmed them in a 3-1 loss to the Giants.  The Giants are now 10 games over .500 at 23-13, and are leading the third place Dodgers by 4 1/2 games in the NL West.

So, just how poor are the Dodgers against lefties?  Try dead last in all of baseball with a .211 average.  Yikes.  They also have the third most strikeouts at 98, which is another problem they've had all season versus any type of pitcher.  Slice it any way you want, the Dodgers are completely handcuffed by the southpaws.

Back to Puig, and it's nice to see SOMEONE trying to fire this team up.  That sure as hell didn't happen from Dee Gordon (0-for-4), Hanley Ramirez (0-for-4), and Adrian Gonzalez (0-for-4).  Add that all up, and I'm pretty sure that's 0-for-12.  Matt Kemp had a couple hits, both singles.  Scott Van Slyke got the start in left, but was also hitless.

I'm not sure what else to say other than this - the offense HAS to be much more productive and not be so damn boring.  It seems like they have to scratch and claw just to get one run pushed across the board.  They've dropped five of their last six, and have scored eight runs total in the losses.

In the one win?  Eight runs total. 

Other thoughts from the game:

* Paul Maholm wasn't so bad, and was one out away from his fourth straight quality start.  He's made six starts with a 4.76 ERA, but that's a bit skewed because his first start against the Giants didn't go so well (4 1/3 IP, 5 ER).  I don't think I've seen him hit 90 mph on the radar gun yet, but all things considered, I think the Dodgers should be pleased with his fill-in starts.

* And then there's Brandon League, who worked his way out of a bases loaded jam in the seventh by getting Hunter Pence to GIDP, and Buster Posey to fly to right.  League's ERA was lowered to 1.73 with two scoreless innings, best on the team behind Chris Withrow's 0.53.  Could League start pitching bigger innings again late in games?  Don't be surprised, and darn it all, he may have earned it.

* I still like Puig hitting in the #2 spot, but I wouldn't be against him hitting in the heart of the order if guys like Hanely and Kemp continue not to hit for any sort of power.  Hanley just looks like he has no idea right now, as he's down to .254 and only has three extra-base hits in 10 games in May.  Don Mattingly is still rolling with him at #3, but man, he needs to wake up.

* A-Gon is another guy struggling, as he's now in a 1-for-29 slump since hitting a solo homer in the seventh inning at Minnesota on May 1.  Ouch.  To show how well he started the season, he's still third in the NL in homers (9) and fourth in RBIs (26).  I haven't read anything about an injury, so let's hope it's just one of those tough stretches every player goes through.

* I have no idea why Chone Figgins is still on the team, as he's basically useless.  He pinch-hit and struck out.  Get rid of him!

After two straight 3-1 loses, the Dodgers will look to get one back on Saturday afternoon, as Zack Greinke takes on Matt Cain.  That lines up Clayton Kershaw for the Mother's Day start, so if the Dodgers are looking to get two wins, they have the guys on the mound to do it.

Now only if their offense can produce...

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