A 2-1 loss to the Angels in Sunday’s final at Angel Stadium was a fitting end to the Dodgers’ worst road trip in recent memory. In 10 games against the Brewers, Cubs and Angels, the Dodgers have gone 2-8. It’s their worst 10-game road trip since August 22 and 31, 2008, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
It’s a radical change of pace for a team that started the season 13-2. Since then, the Dodgers have fallen 15 of 20, losing five straight series. They haven’t been able to string back-to-back wins since April 16 and 17. They’ll return to Dodger Stadium just one game over .500 and third in the National League West, 2 1/2 games behind the Giants and one behind the Padres.
âI don’t necessarily want to speak for the team,â said starter Trevor Bauer, who allowed two runs on four hits, striking out nine in six innings. âI am pissed off, personally. I hate to lose. I want to win, which is why I came here, and we just aren’t playing to the height of our ability right now.
While the Dodgers hope returning home will help them right the ship, here are three takeaways from the road trip:
The offense is inconstant
The Dodgers have scored 29 combined points in their two road wins, including 14 on Saturday. In the other eight games, they scored 19 points, averaging 2.4 points per game. In five of those games, they’ve only scored once, including Sunday.
âWe work at bats and have guys on base, we just can’t do what it takes to drive them it seems,â said Chris Taylor, who drove in that one race on Sunday. âLast night we did a good job taking what they gave us, not trying to do too much, using all the ground. And I think when you do that, and you just take your single, so to speak, good things tend to happen.
Manager Dave Roberts offered an optimistic perspective: âHonestly, I think things are turning out, I really do. I think it’s easy to watch the results – we’ve put together a race today. But I just think the work done today, over the past few days and over the past few weeks, has been much better.
And sure enough, the top of the range looked a lot better in May than in the last few weeks of April. Mookie Betts increased his OPS from 0.768 to 0.823, while Corey Seager went on a three-hit streak. Justin Turner remains stable, punctuating the team with a 0.978 OPS.
Cracks forming in the enclosure
For the most part, the Dodgers’ starting pitch was reliable. The ERA of their combined starters is 2.97, a hair below the 2.96 Mets for Best in the Netherlands. While the fifth starter issue still looms as something to be addressed later this month, the bigger issue has been the pickup enclosure.
On the surface, the Dodgers’ survey pen appears to have been fairly intermediate during the road trip with an ERA of 4.54. But he also totaled six failed saves, the most in the Majors during that span. And on Saturday, three of the Dodgers’ young relievers – Dennis Santana, Mitch White and Garrett Cleavinger – combined to allow 11 runs in 1 2/3 innings, although only five of them were won.
With seven relievers currently on the injured list, some of whom are expected to miss most if not all of the season, the Dodgers are going to need better than those called upon to take their place.
âOur guys were in this situation, which I see as an opportunity, and you learn by recording the innings, the Major League innings,â Roberts said ahead of Sunday’s game. âWe’re all trying to improve, and I’ll continue to lead these guys over there when the situation calls for it. And then it’s up to them to attack the strike zone and get the Major League hitters out.
There is still hope
Despite their struggles, the Dodgers haven’t lost much ground in the NL West standings. Neither the Padres nor the Giants at the top of the division were able to pull out. These two teams have divided the six games they have played in the last 10 days.
Although Clayton Kershaw and Bauer stressed that the team did not want to use “it’s early” as an excuse, fearing the team could fall prey to complacency, the point is that it is still far too early in the game. the season. to draw conclusions about divisional chances. After all, the Dodgers still have more than three-quarters of their schedule.
âWe’re going to be on top of this division,â Roberts said. “I have no doubts in my mind.”