The Dodgers’ late-season woes continue, collecting multiple losses for every win. For the past month and a half, some of their best players have taken a dramatic dive in production.
The Dodgers have clinched the NL West for the fifth consecutive season, but that is hardly what Los Angeles is talking about. All anyone can say is how the team might be doomed, and that they hit their stride too early in the season.
Since the late part of August, all the team has done is flat out tank. They dropped 11 in September and saw their division lead dwindle by more than half into single-digits.
Out of all that, the offensive production might be the most terrifying. While some have continued to thrive, some of the team’s key players are fading quickly. Whether it be due to injuries or fatigue, several cogs in the lineup are causing the team pain.
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Most notable would be the All-Star shortstop Corey Seager. Seager has had a number of ailments in recent weeks, most recently on a foul ball off of his ankle. His sore elbow is probably to blame for a lot of things, but his numbers don’t inspire hope in a championship run.
Seager hit over .300 in four months out of the season this year. In August, he hit .333 over 28 games played. Not bad, but his numbers in the following month are bad enough to warrant a second thought. In 53 at-bats in September, Seager has managed just ten hits putting him with a .189 batting average.
If that’s not startling enough, his power has almost completely disappeared, hitting only one home run in that span. In fact, just three of those nine hits went for extra bases.
Slumps are fine; they happen to even the absolute best of ball players. But this is more than just a slump. This is more than just a tender elbow or a swollen ankle. Seager has struck out in 30 percent of at-bats thus far in September. His season average for strikeouts sits right around 24 percent, give or take.
Not a crazy difference, but enough to question whether he will physically be ready to contribute in October. Looking at it, Seager has walked significantly less than he has all year while striking out more. Not exactly the recipe to make him Mr. October.
The simple fact of the matter is that if the playoffs started today, there is a good chance the Dodgers would get swept. If the playoffs started today, the bullpen would probably give up any lead that the offense might be able to come up with.
And if the playoffs started today, Corey Seager might be sitting. But the playoffs don’t start today. Give it time, and Seager will come back around. Expect big things from this young man come October.