In the regular season, the Dodgers were one of the better teams in baseball with runners in scoring position.
Los Angeles scored the most in all of baseball with RISP with 635 runs, ranked third in batting average with RISP, hitting .276, and had a 117 OPS+ with RISP. With all the success that comes in the regular season, it won’t amount to any postseason success if the Dodgers can’t replicate the same results they had before October.
Since the 2021 NLDS against the San Francisco Giants, the Dodgers struggled to be consistent with runners in scoring position in the postseason. They hit a paltry .200 with RISP against San Francisco in the Giants, leaving 32 men on base, followed with a .250 average with RISP in the series loss against the eventual World Series champion Atlanta Braves.
The results became worse in the 2022 NLDS against the San Diego Padres. One of the main reasons the Dodgers were eliminated by San Diego was their complete inability to hit with runners on in the thick of the series, as they went 0-17 with RISP in Games 2 and 3 of the series. Overall the 2022 Dodgers had just five hits in 34 at-bats (.147) in the four games they played, and the trend is continuing to show in this year’s postseason.
The Dodgers in last night’s Game 1 blowout had one hit in six at-bat with runners in scoring position, and were simply outmatched by Arizona starter Merrill Kelly. A two-run triple by Will Smith in the bottom of the eighth inning was a sign of relief that the Dodgers could actually avoid a zzero on the scoreboard.
The Dodgers are set on making a deep postseason run with the roster they have, but they won’t be able to go far if they can’t bring in the ducks on the pond— let alone, put runners on base, which they did just eight times in Game 1.
One game is a small sample size, but there are shades of years past where the Dodgers failed to capitalize with men on base, leading to premature eliminations. Should the Dodgers find stable pitching from their rookie starters and Lance Lynn, the offense will have to start succeeding with men on base, just as Arizona did in Game 1.