Dodgers: There Just is No Reason to Start Panicking

PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 29: Starting pitcher Rich Hill
PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 29: Starting pitcher Rich Hill /

The Dodgers are in the midst of a four-game losing streak. Is there reason to worry?

Last night there were Dodger fans on social media that were starting to complain or worry about the Dodgers and their recent slump. All there is to say is “calm down.”

LA is still the best team in baseball; they are 91-40 for a reason. Yes, they have lost five of their last seven games (and back-to-back series) dating back to Rich Hill’s bizarre game last Wednesday, but there is no cause for concern.

The offense did stumble over this past week. They scored a total of eight runs over a five-game stretch from the Rich Hill game to the last game against the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday. This included a paltry total of five runs in the three-game series vs. the Brewers.

A lot of this can be attributed to the absence of Cody Bellinger. We knew he was an enormous bat in the lineup, but who knew that he would leave such a big hole in the offense? But he’s back now, so things will get better.

But then they come back to score ten runs in the last two games, albeit with terrible timing, but the pitching let them down.

It’s official; the Dodgers are in one of their season’s valleys. And it’s about time.

Each good team has its peaks but they also go through at least two or three valleys a season. It’s when things just don’t seem to be going your way, nothing is clicking, and as a fan, it makes you doubt the team, even though it isn’t who they are. And this happens to be one for the Dodgers.

And I’m sure fans and the players would rather have this stretch right now than later in September as the postseason approaches.

You can’t stay hot for all 162 games, that’s just how baseball works. The offense isn’t going to put up 6+ runs each game, and you aren’t going to get shutouts or allow less than two runs each game. That’s the MLB for you.

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In a 162-game schedule, there is going to be a bit of inconsistency at times, and that makes sense. And right now it’s more prevalent because August is considered the dog days of baseball.

And while losing five out of seven isn’t pretty, the players will be the first ones to tell you that they aren’t worried. Just a minor bump in the road. It’s not like they have been routed during this cold stretch. All the games have been close; they have been outscored 23-20 during this seven-game stretch.

They have stuck with how they have played all season by grinding out every game, even the losses.

On Sunday, they were down 3-2 heading into the bottom of the ninth and were facing one of the best closers in baseball in Corey Knebel. While they lost, Curtis Granderson and Logan Forsythe were able to get on-base and set the stage for another Kyle Farmer walk-off with one out remaining. And Farmer battled his way to a full count and then fouled off a few pitches before striking out.

On Tuesday, the Dodgers were down 5-0 after Hill gave up a five-spot in the first inning. They battled back hard in a 7-6 loss. And yesterday, they were down 6-0, rallied, but came up short in a 6-4 loss. They are still fighting.

The one silver lining from this streak is, save for the last two games against the Diamondbacks, the pitching has been holding up its end of the bargain. Including the last two blow-ups vs. Arizona, Los Angeles has a 3.28 team ERA over the past week.

As long as the pitching is consistent, there is no reason to worry. Offense in baseball is more volatile and harder to predict because hot and cold bats come and go throughout a season.

Every hitter goes through a slump or two. Future GOAT Mike Trout was in a 0-17 slump before his homer last night. So it only makes sense that an offense can go cold. It happens every year to every team.

And while the starters haven’t been great the last few games, the bullpen has picked up their slack, and I guarantee you the starters will turn it around. Darvish is back and healthy (had to shake off the rust last game), Kershaw is returning tomorrow and Alex Wood isn’t pitching right now, so LA isn’t even at full strength.

And Rich Hill is closer to the guy who gave up one hit over nine innings last Wednesday than he is to the person who gave up six runs in 3.2 innings this past Tuesday. And Ryu? He’s closer to the guy who had a 2.13 ERA over his nine starts than the guy from yesterday’s blow-up.

And believe it or not, the Dodgers were the only ones from all 30 teams to not have a four-game losing streak this season until yesterday which reiterates my point of “it happens to everyone, even the best.” The reigning champions Chicago Cubs had a 9-16 stretch last summer, but they turned out just fine.

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Remember, Los Angeles started off the season 9-11, and people started panicking and blasting the players and the front office. Then they proceeded to go on a historic 82-25 stretch. The timing of this slump is perfect. With the team getting back to full strength, they’ll get hot again and just in time for October. But if you are starting to doubt, panic and complain about this team’s capability (again), shame on you.