The Dodgers are in a bit of a funk here. They have gone 18-21 over their last 39 games, despite giving up more than four runs only nine times during that span. No, the problem hasn't been the pitching, with a 3.31 ERA over those last 39 games. In fact, the Dodgers have outscored their opponents 162-144 over this stretch of games. Their expected record should be something like 22-17, so part of this slump is luck. But, if there is one area to fix, its the offense.
The Bobbleslam game is the turning point for the offense. The team finished a sweep of the Reds, and were riding a five-game winning streak. Since then, the offense has slowed to a crawl, averaging just 4.15 runs per game, hitting .270/.334/.408 over that time. As it stands now, the offense is basically Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp, with only occasional contributions from everyone else.
A main reason for the offensive downturn has been the lack of walking. There was a sharp decline in bases on balls after the Manny Ramirez suspension, which was to be expected, but since his return I expected a return to the patient ways of the early part of the season. That just hasn't happened:
|April 6- May 6||29||4.86||5.55||.283/.376/.426|
|May 7 - July 1||50||3.34||4.40||.265/.333/.385|
|July 3 - present||55||3.40||4.71||.276/.344/.430|
|Walks As A Percentage of Plate Appearances|
|Player||Apr 6 - May 6||May 7 - Jul 1||Jul 3 - present|
The Dodgers are 12th in the National League with 118 home runs this season. Their run scoring relies a lot on sequential hitting, bunching hits and walks together, essentially avoiding outs (novel concept, I know). For the Dodgers to get back to scoring runs, its time to be a little more patient at the plate.