Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Dodgers continue to be a mess at the plate

Remember when the Dodgers busted out for 10 runs against Tim Lincecum and the Giants on Sunday?

Mirage.  It was all a giant mirage.

Things are right back to normal - that is, the Dodgers have scored two runs in two games since then, both big, fat L's.  Simply put, they are just not capable of putting up runs to support their pitching.

The result on Monday night was a 4-2 loss in which Clayton Kershaw gave up a couple of gopher balls to the Cubs.  And on Tuesday, it was an even more frustrating 1-0 loss in 10 innings, completely spoiling six innings of shutout ball from Zack Greinke.

Raise your hand if you're shocked that Greinke received zero run support.  That's right, no hands raised.  The guy hasn't won since May 5, and in nine starts since then, he's give up 12 runs (five in one start in Colorado).  The Dodgers have scored two runs or less in seven of those starts.

If that isn't a completely embarrassing stat for the offense to chew on, then I don't know what is.

As Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles points out, the Dodgers are pretty much stuck with who they have right now.  Hector Olivera, their heralded prospect, is on the seven-day DL with a left hamstring strain.  Nothing major, it would appear, but enough to delay his arrival to the big leagues.  Corey Seager is other big dog down on the farm, but he's hitting .282 at Triple-A, and the Dodgers understandably would like to see a little more from him before rushing him up.

So, there's not a lot of guys to turn to.  They're stuck with what they've got.

Here's the funniest stat about the month of June: the leading hitter for the Dodgers is Kershaw at .364.  In third is A.J. Ellis at .357.  In fifth is Scott Schebler (remember him?) at .333.  Obviously, we're talking really small sample sizes, as Kershaw has 11 at-bats, Ellis 14, and Schebler 3.  But it's very symbolic for just how lousy this team has been.

Adrian Gonzalez has fallen off a cliff at .241 in June.  He'll have the occasional game where he drives in a few runs, but is very easy to get him out in most of them.  Joc Pederson still connects on some taters, but when he's not, his .227 average this month reflects his struggles.  Jimmy Rollins is pathetic at .221 in June, and .207 overall.  He looks about as washed up at the plate as one can possibly look.

If there's any hope, it's that patient Dodger fans (and it's getting tougher and tougher to stay that way) will remember the start of the season and how red hot they were.  It was the same cast of characters playing then as they are now.  Carl Crawford is about the only guy who is not, but he's not much of an impact player nowadays anyway.

The Dodgers still have two games left in Chicago before moving onto the Marlins and Diamondbacks to wrap up the 10-game roadie.  About the only pitcher left whom they should be concerned about is Jon Lester, but even he's struggled some this year at 4-5 with a 3.80 ERA (not terrible numbers, but like Kershaw, not close to what he's capable of).  The rest are a bunch of names only die-hard baseball fans would be familiar with.

The schedule then gets very favorable with a 10-game homestand before the All-Star break against the Mets, Phillies, and Brewers.

At this point, though, the Dodgers simply aren't good enough to count on wins against anybody.  Their offense won't allow that to happen.  Until they do, we have to keep watching games where they have to grind out everything.  That's not going away.

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