The Dodgers’ main culprit of the 2018 season resurfaced in only the second game of the season. That is hitting with runners in scoring position.
The Dodgers’ were plagued all of last season by their inability to hit in the clutch. For whatever reason, when runners were in scoring position the Dodgers could not come through time and time again. In fact, only the Baltimore Orioles and San Francisco Giants hit worse in the clutch than the 2018 Dodgers.
In game one of the 2019 regular season, the Dodgers bashed eight home runs a new opening day record en route to an easy 12-5 victory. In Game two they cruised to a 3-0 lead but then the game fell apart in the seventh inning and after thirteen long innings the Dodgers were handed their first loss of the 2019 season.
While the bullpen is not perfect and will have its fair share of blown games, the main issue in last night’s game (or this morning’s) was once again lack of clutch hitting. Corey Seager and David Freese who are both clutch, failed to deliver to give the Dodgers their second win of the season. Pollock had his chances too but to be fair he was 4-6 with three RBI’s so what more can you ask of him?
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Last year the Dodgers tied with the Orioles for dead last with a .199 batting average with runners in scoring position and two outs. Last night the Dodgers left nine runners in scoring position although one of those saw Hyun-Jin Ryu come to the plate. Ryu put the ball in play at least, and the biggest culprit was Enrique Hernandez who left three runners in scoring position with two outs.
In total, the Dodgers went 3-13 with runners in scoring position Friday night and left a whopping seventeen runners on base. It’s obviously way too early to get on the team about hitting with runners in scoring position but it will be one the main areas to watch in 2019 to see if the Dodgers’ new approach pans out.
As it will happen many times throughout a long season, Friday’s game was just a bad loss, the team had Robbie Ray on the ropes and failed to deliver the knockout punch. They also had multiple opportunities to end the game in extra innings but couldn’t knock the winning run in. Hopefully today the Dodgers pile on plenty of run support for Kenta Maeda.