With the Dodgers currently in second place, every remaining game is crucial. However, this upcoming six-game stretch might be a stretch that can either make or break LA’s season.
The Dodgers will face off with the Giants at home for three games, and then will travel to Seattle for a three-game set as well. As mentioned, with only a month and a half left in the season, every game is do-or-die.
Over the next six games, the Dodgers offense will be put to the test, as five of the six upcoming starters are left-handed pitchers. Since June 29, the Dodgers have been the worst team in all of baseball when it comes to hitting lefties.
During the last six weeks, the boys in blue have hit .201 against left-handers, which is the lowest number in baseball. To go along with the lowest average, they are also last in slugging percentage (.312) as well as OPS (.592).
The player who has most notably struggled the most is Kiké Hernandez. For his career, Hernandez has been known as a better hitter against lefties. When he’d get opportunities to start, they would normally be against left-handed pitchers.
Since June 29, Hernandez has been the worst hitter in baseball against lefties. In 44 plate appearances, Kiké only has four hits. His slash line sits at .095/.116/.143/.259, all the worst in baseball during that stretch.
Hernandez is hitting in the cleanup spot Monday against Madison Bumgarner — a pitcher he has owned. In 34 plate appearances over his career, Hernandez has 15 hits and a walk, including four homers. It would be a nice time for him to get going.
Another player vitally struggling to hit south paws has been Chris Taylor. In 2017, Taylor hit a remarkable .297 against left-handers. Since June 29, Taylor is hitting .167, which is tied for third-worst. His .217 on-base percentage is the fourth worst.
Since being acquired at the trade deadline, Brian Dozier only has one hit off of a left-hander (.125 AVG). Austin Barnes is 4-for-27 (.148 AVG). Cody Bellinger is hitting .175 and has the sixth lowest slugging-percentage.
Matt Kemp is hitting .195 and has the third lowest average on balls put in play.
Although Max Muncy is hitting a respectable .270 versus left-handers, he’s striking out more than 1⁄3 of the time (34.9 strikeout percentage).
Not everyone has been helpless against left-handers. Manny Machado is hitting .381, and so is Yasiel Puig. Justin Turner is hitting .360.
As mentioned earlier, five of the next six starters the Dodgers face will be left-handed, so this upcoming week may present one of the Dodgers’ biggest challenges of the year.
Kenley Jansen News
Kenley was back at the stadium after leaving Denver when he experienced an irregular heartbeat. He provided updates on what happened, and when he expects to return.
Jansen says he feels “great.” He was eating breakfast when he felt get out of rhythm and knew what the issue was. He got a 911 call and then his heart was shocked back to normal.— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) August 13, 2018
Jansen: “ It’s not going to be four weeks. It’s not going to be six weeks.”— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) August 13, 2018
Kenley threw a bullpen session today. He’s able to perform light running and will soon be lifting weights. Jansen said there’s a good chance he’ll get open-heart surgery in the off-season. The same he had in 2012.
The good news is, if any, he’s not going to let this incident stop him from ever returning to Denver.
Jansen said he’s not sure it was the altitude and he doesn’t plan on skipping trips to Denver moving forward. “I’m going back. You can’t be scared of life.”— Dodger Insider (@DodgerInsider) August 13, 2018
Dodgers Reinstate Erik Goeddel
The #Dodgers reinstated right-handed pitcher Erik Goeddel from the 10-day disabled list and optioned switch-handed pitcher Pat Venditte to Triple-A Oklahoma City.— Alanna Rizzo (@alannarizzo) August 13, 2018
The Dodgers will get another bullpen piece back. Goeddel was placed on the 10-day DL back on August 3 with right lat inflammation. In 25 games with LA, Goeddel is 1-0 with a 3.54 ERA. In 28 innings the right-hander has 34 strikeouts.
For Pat Venditte, he’ll head back to OKC yet again. In the past week, he was recalled twice. It was his seventh time being with the club, the most of any player. He hasn’t pitched in a big-league game since June 8.