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Bullpen isn’t the issue, it’s the offense

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MLB: San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Now before you sound off in the comments, yes, the Dodgers do have a problem with the bullpen. They’ve dropped five games in a row, all at the hands of their relievers.

During their current five-game losing streak, the Dodgers have lost by a combined seven runs, with essentially every game coming down to the final innings.

With frustration boiling over with fans, and rightfully so, the disastrous bullpen has taken the attention away from the even more disastrous offense.

Over the last three weeks, the Dodgers offense has been among one of the worst in baseball. If it wasn’t for their 21-run outburst against Milwaukee on August 2, they would be near the bottom in nearly every offensive category.

We’re going to dig deep into the last 11 games, a stretch in which the Dodgers have gone 3-8 and fallen to third place in the NL West.

Over the last few weeks, LA is hitting .219 collectively as a team. The Dodgers have scored 30 runs during the last 11 games (2.72 runs per game). During the stretch, only the Marlins have scored less (29). If you take away the eight runs they scored in Colorado (mostly coming in the last few innings) then we’d really have a problem.

Outside of that eight-run performance, the Dodgers have failed to score more than four runs in a game.

In eight of their last 11 games, the Dodgers have scored three runs or less. In today’s game, scoring three runs isn’t going to win you a lot of ballgames.

The bigger concern with how the bats have gone quiet is how they’ve been performing with runners in scoring position.

Their .179 average with runners in scoring position has been the second worst in baseball. In their 86 plate appearances, LA has struck out in 25.6 percent of the time.

In 199 at-bats, the Dodgers have started with an 0-1 count. They’ve started with a 1-0 count only 125 times. Though getting ahead in the count, LA’s .184 average after starting with a ball is the lowest in baseball.

With the exception of Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger, every player on the team is in a slump, with seven players hitting .200 or below.

After having the best month of his career, Yasmani Grandal is on pace to have the worst month of his career. The catcher is 2-for-28 (.071 AVG).

Matt Kemp still hasn’t found his swing, as he’s 2-for-27 (.074 AVG).

In 26 plate appearances, Max Muncy has struck out 13 times, where Chris Taylor has 16 strikeouts in 37 plate appearances.

It’s tough to win ballgames when all but two players on your team are in a slump. Yes, the bullpen is having issues with the absence of Kenley Jansen, as was expected. The Dodgers have also been without their better relievers for most of the season due to injury.

For the most part this year, the bullpen has been one of the better ones in all of baseball, so I have no doubt they’ll be able to turn things around.

If the Dodgers have any hopes of reaching the postseason, the offense is going to have to step up and contribute. It’s unfair for the bullpen to take the blame when allowing an opposing team to score their second run in the ninth inning results in a loss.

Poll

What are you more concerned with?

This poll is closed

  • 31%
    The Bullpen
    (149 votes)
  • 68%
    The Offense
    (327 votes)
476 votes total Vote Now