The 2021 Dodgers will be doing plenty of things we’ve never seen before, if all goes according to plan, but on Wednesday, fans were treated to a ghastly and hopefully not repeatable sight.
Try as they might, it’s hard for baseball fans to accurately assess how their team performs with runners in scoring position.
Only the blown opportunities stick in your craw, after all. All the successes and sacrifice flies always blend into one montage, whereas the first-and-third, no-out situations that turn to dust calcify.
If RISP fail is baseball’s most polarizing misnomer, then Wednesday’s loss in Oakland was the crown jewel of the industry.
Blame Kenley Jansen all you want — and believe us, we understand the impulse to do so.
But the Dodgers lost this game long before it hit extras, with one of the most ghastly stat lines you’ll ever see. Hopefully, it’s not a trend.
How well do the 2021 Dodgers hit with runners in scoring position?
Well…as you’d expect from a team this talented, they perform fairly well in this situation, despite the optics.
Wednesday’s abysmal 2-for-21 really drags them down (imagine putting that many men in scoring position in the first place?), but on the season, LA is batting .245 as a team in those scenarios, including an impressive .380 OBP. They’re without a dinger, but have still netted 33 early RBI.
With two outs and runners in scoring position, the average rises to .298. In so-called “late and close” scenarios? An even .300 in 30 at-bats.
Truly, Wednesday’s failure against a desperate A’s team trying to claw their way to their first victory in seven tries should never be repeated again — but it’ll definitely stand out as one of those end-of-year historic head-scratchers in a Jayson Stark column.
In no other game this year have the Dodgers struggled to score runs in any way, as their powerhouse offense is hitting .310 as a team with a +15 run differential heading into their home opener.
There’s nothing to do about Wednesday’s loss but toss your head back, laugh, and tweet a few anti-Kenley memes just for the interaction.
This L was on the offense, something we’ll almost never be able to say this year, and their execution was beyond poor in the most important scenarios.
No reason to believe this will become a clutch trend, however.