clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Dodgers offense hasn’t been getting to opposing starting pitchers of late

Two additions this weekend should help the cause

Los Angeles Dodgers v Pittsburgh Pirates Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

Mitch Keller struck out 10 Dodgers to finish off a Pirates series win on Thursday morning, Pacific Time, and in doing so continued a nearly three-week stretch of Los Angeles not doing much damage against opposing starting pitchers.

Keller’s big game came one day after teammate Roansy Contreras held the Dodgers scoreless through six innings, and six days after Drew Smyly took a perfect game into the eighth inning at Wrigley Field.

It wasn’t until the 10th game of the season that an opposing starting lasted at least six innings against the Dodgers, when Ryne Nelson finished off a third straight win for Arizona on April 9 in Phoenix. Starting with that outing, opposing starters have lasted six innings or longer seven times in 17 games.

April 9 serves as a nice demarcation of starting pitchers performance against the Dodgers.

Starting pitchers vs. 2023 Dodgers

Dates G IP/start 5+ IP 6+ IP BB rate K rate ERA LA runs/gm
Dates G IP/start 5+ IP 6+ IP BB rate K rate ERA LA runs/gm
Mar 30-Apr 8 9 4.67 3 0 17.4% 20.5% 6.21 6.00
Apr 9-27 17 5.25 12 7 7.3% 22.8% 3.43 4.59
Through April 27, 2023 Source: Baseball Reference

Starting pitchers are lasting roughly two outs longer into games against the Dodgers, which means fewer chances against the soft underbelly of bullpens, and less taxing of opposing relief corps.

Opposing starters have cut their walk rate by more than half. The Dodgers walked at least three times against the starting pitcher seven times in the first nine games. They’ve done so only twice in the last 17 games.

The end result is starting pitchers slicing nearly three runs off their ERA over the last nearly three weeks, and the Dodgers averaging 4.6 runs per game in the last 17 games after scoring six runs per contest over the first nine games.

Other factors have played into this, like the Dodgers missing their 3-4-5 hitters his week, and having both shortstops go down the week before further taxed the offensive depth. Max Muncy is expected back off the paternity list on Friday, and Will Smith is likely to return this weekend, perhaps as early as Friday night, so that will help.

But for the Dodgers to get into any kind of groove, they need to start taxing opposing starting pitchers more, to reap the benefits both while and after those pitchers are in the game.

Game info

  • Teams: Dodgers vs. Cardinals
  • Stadium: Dodger Stadium
  • Time: 7:10 p.m. PT
  • TV: Apple TV+
  • Radio: AM 570 (English); KTNQ 1020 (Spanish)