Dodgers: The Bullpen is Not the Only Problem, Offense Needs to Wake Up

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WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 17: Hyun-Jin Ryu
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 17: Hyun-Jin Ryu /
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While the pitching has gotten a lot of the heat for the Dodgers’ extended losing skid, the offense should not be free of blame. The Dodgers wrapped up a road series against the Phillies, which they dropped three of four games against the league’s worst team.

Dodger fans have been quick to boo and complained about the Dodgers’ bullpen inability to hold the lead late in the game. It goes with reason as the bullpen is 0-7 in September with an ERA of 7.50 while allowing 15 home runs on a WHIP of .170, but I’m not overly concerned. At some point, before the playoffs, Dave Roberts is going to stop experimenting with these different relievers and throw the relievers who he’s most confidence in. The problem right now is that he’s struggling to find anyone out of the bullpen outside of the two Tonys, Bandon Morrow, and Kenley Jansen. This could get figured out when a starter is moved to the bullpen.

But what is more concerning is the lack of runs the offense is producing. In September, the Dodgers offense is hitting .212 with an on-base percentage of .295 and slugging percentage of .371. Those numbers rank dead last (30th), 26th, and 28th, respectively in the MLB during September.

As you’d expect, the inability to get on-base has led to a drop-off in runs scored as the Dodgers rank 27th in the league with 61 runs scored in 20 games in September. The club has collected a total of 141 hits in the last 20 games and have 188 strikeouts which are the third most in the league. So it’s not just the pitching that has been underproducing, it’s been the offense too.

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Chris Taylor has highlighted these offensive struggles. Taylor has regressed quite a bit in September as he’s hitting just .219 with 16 hits to 21 strikeouts. Regression was expected, but it couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Dodgers.

Along with Taylor, Corey Seager is also struggling in September hitting just .180 with a .236 on-base percentage. There are growing concerns about Seager’s health that might have contributed to his struggles at the plate. But whatever the reason may be, these two struggling atop the lineup is not a good sign for the offense.

We’ve thoroughly covered the struggles of veterans like Curtis Granderson (.122), Logan Forsythe (.190), Yasmani Grandal (.071), and even Adrian Gonzalez (.214). Aside from Bellinger, Turner, and Puig, no other Dodger is hitting better than .280 with more than 30 at-bats in September.

This club is struggling and struggling badly. I thought this curse was broken when Kershaw snapped their 11-game losing streak, but that isn’t the case. The Dodgers have been held to 3 or fewer runs 11 times and have a record of 2-9. When the offense does score over 4 runs, they still can’t find a way to win as they are 3-6.

Next: Taylor the Future at Center Field

I understand that stats don’t always tell the story in baseball. But the fact of the matter is that this team is not clicking the way we saw earlier this season. With 8 games left to play in the regular season, there’s serious cause for concern. The Dodgers already clinched a playoff berth and could clinch the division at home against the Giants on Friday night. Maybe clinching the division will spring them into October with the mojo they had earlier in the season.

Editors Note ** All these stats were generated before the conclusion of Thursday’s game. **

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