The Los Angeles Dodgers have been struggling for the past month now going 5-15 in their last 20 games. It’s not time to panic just yet.
The defending champion Los Angeles Dodgers are barely above .500 in the team’s first 35 games. Coming into the new season, high expectations were placed upon the highly touted Dodgers. They’re fresh off their first World Series win since 1988 and they added one of game’s brightest stars in Trevor Bauer. Not to mention that the burden of having to win a title is finally off their backs, they were able to play freely. The Dodgers started off as hot as they came bolstering a 13-2 record in the season’s first 15 games. However, everything has gone in the opposite direction since then.
20 Game Skid
The Dodgers have lost five straight series (San Diego Padres, Cincinnati Reds, Milwaukee Brewers, Chicago Cubs and the Los Angeles Angels) which ties the longest streak in the last 10 seasons for the club. In addition to this, they also have the 2nd worst batting average in the NL at .217 during this span. After starting off 13-2 in their first 15 games, they’ve gone 5-15 in their last 20 games. Within this slump, what’s hurting the team is the lack of being able to score runs. Although the team is getting hits off opposing pitchers at 7.1 per contest, they’re leaving an average 8.1 runners on base per game as well as striking out 9.8 times per contest.
The Dodgers pitching has also been in question throughout the season. The three headed monster of Kershaw, Bauer and Walker Buheler have an abysmal 3-9 combined record. With the likes of three potential Cy Young winners, that is unacceptable. Kershaw is 2-2 during this skid. He’s posting a 1.40 ERA, allowing 17 hits and seven runs with 30 strikeouts in his last 26 innings pitched. Bauer, who is fresh off a Cy Young award season, is 1-4 in his last few starts for the Dodgers. He’s posting a 2.00 ERA, also allowing 17 hits with eight runs and 31 strikeouts in 24.1 innings pitched. Buehler, who many see as a great up and comer, is winless in his last three outings for the club during the 20 game skid. He’s posting up a 3.00 ERA, allowing 16 hits with nine runs and 27 strikeouts in 19.1 innings pitched.
Frustration Is Brewing
Trevor Bauer explained his frustration to the media following Sunday’s loss to the Angels saying:
“I’m pissed, personally. I freaking hate losing. I want to win. That’s why I came here. We are not playing up to our capability right now so I’m mad. I’m not going to speak on behalf of anybody else.
“It’s early and you can say it’s early and you can say there’s no need to panic and you can say all these things, and they’re all true, but at the end of the day, we’re not just going to roll the bats and balls out there and win baseball games.”
“We’re not just going to sleepwalk our way to winning another division title and going to the World Series again. That’s not how it works. You’ve got to go out there and beat someone every day and we haven’t been good at it, we need to be better.”
Some may feel that because this is Bauer’s first season with the Dodgers that he has no right to say anything. However that isn’t the case, although it may be his lone season with the club he is expressing what those in the locker room are feeling. Knowing that they are much better than what their record dictates them to be. Maybe if the message was relayed by Clayton Kershaw, Mookie Betts or Justin Turner it would respond better but his claims aren’t that off.
Although the Dodgers are struggling mightily right now, there is still room for optimism that they can turn things around. They have both the talent and resources to make things happen. However if they aren’t able to, some changes may occur in the club house should they have a disappointing season.
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