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The Dodgers aren’t hitting home runs anymore

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Cincinnati Reds v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

NBC on Friday rescued ‘Brooklyn Nine Nine,’ which one day earlier was canceled by Fox. If NBC wants to also reboot ‘Powerless,’ perhaps it could start by casting the major league team that used to play in Brooklyn and was formerly owned by Fox.

The Dodgers enter Saturday ranked 27th in the majors with 33 home runs in their 38 games. They are on pace for 141 dingers in 2018, which would be their lowest total since 2014. LA’s .386 slugging percentage ranks 25th in baseball. They haven’t had a slugging percentage that low since 2012, also the last season they missed the playoffs.

This is one season after the Dodgers set a franchise record with 221 home runs, including six players who hit at least 20.

  • One of those six has yet to play this season, though Justin Turner could change that shortly. He’ll begin a rehab assignment with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga on Saturday night.
  • Another of the six won’t play again this year. Corey Seager, who combined for 48 home runs in his first two full major league seasons, had just two homers in 26 games before succumbing to a torn UCL in his right elbow.
  • Cody Bellinger set a Dodgers rookie record in 2017 with 39 home runs, the most ever hit by a National League first-year player. This year he has four home runs in 38 games. Last year through 38 team games Bellinger had seven home runs, and that was after spending the first three weeks in the minors.

Longest Yasiel Puig home run droughts

Dates Games PA
Dates Games PA
7/31/14-9/16/14 37 165
5/28/14-7/3/14 33 139
9/30/17-present 28 111
  • Yasiel Puig hit 28 home runs in 2017, nine more than any other season for him. This year he has zero in 27 games, his string of 111 plate appearances without dating back to last season is the third-longest drought of his career.

Perhaps it is fitting that the Dodgers on Saturday night face Reds starter Homer Bailey, who leads the National League with 11 home runs allowed.

Only two active Dodgers have a home run, or even an extra-base hit, against Bailey. Puig’s one homer against Homer came in 2014, and Matt Kemp hit his one long ball against Bailey in 2009.

Where is Adrian Gonzalez (13-for-27, seven home runs against Bailey) when you need him?

Bailey is 0-5 with a 5.61 ERA in eight starts this season, and since the beginning of 2015 has a 6.19 ERA while injuries have limited him to just 34 really bad starts. Cincinnati is 0-8 in his eight starts this season.

Saturday is the 11th time in 2018 that the Dodgers will face a starting pitcher with an ERA of at least 5.00 entering the game. In the previous 10 games the Dodgers were unable to hang a loss on any of those starters, who are 3-0 with a 3.02 ERA with 43 strikeouts and 20 walks in 50⅔ innings. LA is 2-8 in those contests, while hitting .225/.304/.366 against those starters.

Game info

Time: 6:10 p.m. PT

TV: SportsNet LA, MLB Network (joined in-progress, 7 p.m.)