The Dodgers faced a bit of adversity for one of the few times of the season, as they suffered their longest losing skid of the season, dropping three straight games during last week. It was just the second time they lost more than one game in a row.
The week began on an ominous note with a rain out on Monday at Wrigley Field, the fifth time in 21 days the Dodgers had a game postponed. They won the next day over the Cubs thanks to a 14th-inning home run by Kirk Gibson, who hit .292 (7-for-24) with two doubles during the week.
But the next three games didn't go the Dodgers' way, including a pair of 2-1 losses, one in Pittsburgh to the Pirates and one at home to the Phillies. But the middle game of the three-game losing streak was perhaps the most disturbing.
Orel Hershiser, who was 6-0 with a 1.74 ERA in his first six starts, pitched the 14th inning to earn the save in Chicago on Tuesday, after every other reliever except for Brad Havens was used. Two days later, Hershiser started in Pittsburgh against the Pirates and allowed seven runs in seven innings, just three fewer than he allowed in his first 47⅔ innings of the season. Hershiser allowed three home runs in Pittsburgh, including two by Barry Bonds and one by National League home run co-leader Bobby Bonilla, who has hit 10 long balls on the season. But Hershiser insisted that his brief appearance in relief threw off his starting rhythm.
"I felt great. I had no problems other than my location. The home runs were all poorly located, and I wish I had them back," Hershiser told Sam McManis of the Los Angeles Times. "Physically, I felt good. Mechanically, I felt all right. But something's missing."
But the Dodgers recovered to beat the Phillies twice during the weekend to salvage a 3-3 week to sustain their 2½-game lead over the Astros in the National League West.
Dodger Batter of the Week: For his game-winning home run Tuesday in Chicago and his team-leading .870 OPS, Kirk Gibson claims the honor this week. Gibson had one home run and one stolen base during the week and through 33 team games he has six home runs and seven steals, on pace for 29 homers and 34 steals on the season. There have only been five seasons in Dodgers history of 20 home runs and 20 steals, and not one 30-30 year: Babe Herman (1929), Willie Davis (1962), Davey Lopes (1979), and Pedro Guerrero (1982-1983).
Honorable mention goes to Guerrero, who homered Sunday to beat the Phillies, and walked five times during the week for a .423 on-base percentage. Guerrero has just three home runs on the season, but is hitting .345/.418/.474 with a team-leading 25 runs batted in.
Dodger Pitcher of the Week: Though he walked five in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, Fernando Valenzuela takes the award for allowing one run in seven innings in a no-decision against the Pirates, with eight strikeouts. Honorable mention goes to Jay Howell, who pitched 4⅓ scoreless innings with one save during the week.
Week 6 Record: 3-3
24 runs scored (4.00 per game)
20 runs allowed (3.33 per game)
.583 pythagorean winning percentage
Seasonal Record: 21-12
160 runs scored (4.85 per game)
110 runs allowed (3.33 per game)
.665 pythagorean winning percentage (22-11)
Griffin ends his slump: Shortstop Alfredo Griffin suffered through an 0-for-23 slump, but ended that on Sunday with a two-run single, starting a seven-run fourth inning. But even with Griffin's slump and subsequent .162 batting average this season, his 19 RBI through 33 games rank fourth on the team. Fourteen of those RBI have come with the bases loaded, thanks to Griffin's three triples, two singles, and a sacrifice fly with the bases full so far this season.
Griffin's skid wasn't even the longest skid seen in Sunday's game, as Mike Schmidt, tied for eighth all-time with 534 home runs through Sunday, suffered through an 0-for-30 slump that saw his batting average plummet to .207.
Hamilton ends the bagel: Third baseman Jeff Hamilton singled in the sixth inning on Friday night against Kevin Gross of the Phillies, for his first hit of the season in 13 at-bats. Hamilton hasn't been asked to bat much this season, as he has started just one of the team's first 33 games. But he has been a defensive replacement for Guerrero at third base in 18 games so far this season. Before his hit, Hamilton was one of four major league position players who had yet to record a hit this season.
- Thursday: activated John Shelby from the disabled list, and optioned outfielder Mike Devereaux to Triple A Albuquerque.
- Friday: After the loss to Pittsburgh, reliever Brad Havens was sent outright to Triple A Albuquerque. Tim Crews was recalled from the Dukes to take his spot in the bullpen. Rather than accept the minor league assignment, Havens on Monday morning opted for free agency, as was his right with more than three years of major league service time.
- Monday, May 9: Dodgers at Cubs (ppd, rain)
- Tuesday, May 10: Dodgers 6, Cubs 5 (14)
- Wednesday, May 11: Pirates 2, Dodgers 1 (11)
- Thursday, May 12: Pirates 7, Dodgers 4
- Friday, May 13: Phillies 2, Dodgers 1
- Saturday, May 14: Dodgers 3, Phillies 2
- Sunday, May 15: Dodgers 9, Phillies 2
Upcoming Week: The Dodgers run the Hubie Brooks Gauntlet, finishing up their nine-game homestand with series against the Expos and Mets.
Week 6 Stats