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Long Road Trip Struggles Nothing New For Dodgers

There isn't much left to say about the just concluded road trip.  When the Dodgers hit, they didn't pitch.  When they pitched, they didn't hit.  The end result was a dismal two wins and seven losses, and a trip home with the worst record in the National League, at 8-13.  However, long road trips have given the Dodgers problems for quite some time.

In seven of the past eight seasons, the Dodgers have had a road trip of nine games or longer with three or fewer wins:

Recent Dodger 9+ Game Road Trips
Year Worst Trip
2010 2-7
2009 3-6
2008 2-8
2007 5-5*
2006 3-6
2005 2-11
2004 2-7
2003 2-7
*Dodgers had two 5-5 trips in 2007

That 2005 trip still gives me nightmares.  They began the trip by getting swept by Jose Lima and the Royals, went winless in the Windy City against the soon-to-be world champs, split a four-game set in San Diego, then got swept by the Angels.  Since the beginning of 2003, the Dodgers have had 20 road trips of nine games or longer, and they had a losing record in 13 of those trips.  They have done far worse during extended road trips than during shorter jaunts:

Dodgers on the Road 2003-2010
Road Trip W L Pct
9 games or more 82 112 .423
8 games or less 195 193 .503
Overall Road Record    277 305 .476

The bad news for the Dodgers is that they have two more long trips scheduled this season -- facing the Reds, Red Sox, and Angels in June, and facing the Padres, Astros, and Giants in September.

The good news is that the Dodgers are coming home, and have a 10-game homestand starting tomorrow.  After each of the previous six bad road trips (3-6 or worse), they have come home and played much, much better:

Home, Sweet Home
Year Road Trip Next Homestand
2009 3-6 2-1
2008 2-8 6-0
2006 3-6 4-2
2005 2-11 3-3
2004 2-7 4-2
2003 2-7 5-1
Totals 14-45 (.237) 24-9 (.727)

The 2008 trip and subsequent homestand was memorable because the Dodgers lost the first eight games of their 10-game road trip, were 4½ games behind the Diamondbacks and were set to face Dan Haren and Brandon Webb in the final two games.  The Dodgers not only won those two games, but won all six games at home -- including two more against Haren and Webb -- to complete the unprecedented eight-game winning streak following an eight-game losing streak.  They took the division lead and never looked back.

It's too early for this homestand to have that kind of an impact, but history suggests the Dodgers will play well against upcoming foes Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, and Colorado.