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The Horror of American League Parks

Since the beginning of the 2005 season, the Dodgers have played 33 games in American League ballparks.  They have won only five of those games.  They haven't been terribly unlucky either.  They have scored 100 runs (3.03 per game) and given up 190 (5.76 per game), so their pythagorean record is only two games better, at 7-26.  They have only had five one-run games, and they've lost them all.

They have been victimized by a vengeful Jose Lima, ran into Johan Santana and Francisco Liriano at their peaks in Minnesota, been bested by Mark Buehrle on the South Side, had their asses handed to them by Roy Halladay north of the border, lost to former farmhand Edwin Jackson in St. Petersburg, and been demonized by many Angels in Anaheim.

Part of the reason for this awful stretch has been poor starting pitching.  In those 33 fateful games, Dodger starting pitchers have lasted 5.74 innings per start, which is decent enough, but they have a 5.61 ERA and a 1.468 WHIP.

The bigger problem is the Dodgers' utter inability to fill the designated hitter role with any production.  Over this dreadful period, Dodger designated hitters are "hitting" .203/.266/.289, with one home run (by Luis Gonzalez) in 33 games.  The chief culprit has been Olmedo Saenz, who has started 14 of the 33 games at DH, but he has been joined by such luminaries as Juan Pierre, Marlon Anderson, Antonio Perez, Kenny Lofton, Mark Sweeney, and Andruw Jones.

Here's a quick rundown the Dodgers' last 11 interleague road series.

Year Opponent W L Comment
2008 Detroit 0 3 The low point of 2008; the Kershaw rain start
2008 Angels 1 2 At least they won one
2007 Tampa Bay 1 2 The revenge of Edwin Jackson
2007 Toronto 2 1 Only series win; Chad Billingsley rejoined the rotation for good
2007 Angels 0 3 Dodgers scored 4 runs in 3 games
2006 Angels 1 2 This snapped a 15-game AL road losing streak
2006 Minnesota 0 3 Johan and the peak of Liriano
2006 Oakland 0 3 Included a 17-inning loss
2005 Angels 0 3 Dodger starters went 7 each game; still got swept
2005 White Sox 0 3 Two last-AB wins for Chicago, including a 4-run 9th off Brazoban
2005 Royals 0 3 The Lima Game II
Totals 5 28 The Dodgers are due

This year's AL gauntlet takes the Dodgers to Texas and Anaheim during the next two weekends, followed by Chicago to play the White Sox from June 23-25.  But this year's Dodger team has been the best team in baseball so far.  They have met just about every challenge thus far, so how about some wins in an AL park, huh?