The Los Angeles Dodgers fell in Game 1 of the 2021 NLDS against the San Francisco Giants, 4-0. Walker Buehler pitched well after making one mistake in the first inning to Buster Posey but it did not matter. The Dodger bats could not do anything.
The offense has gone ice cold at the worst time. Even the Wild Card Game was not all that impressive. Outside of Justin Turner’s solo home run and Chris Taylor’s two-run home run, the Dodgers have done a lot of nothing at the plate in 18 innings.
Matt Beaty replacing Max Muncy does not help, nor does Cody Bellinger no longer being a shell of his MVP self (although he was good against St. Louis). Perhaps the biggest fall from grace from the regular season to the postseason, though, is AJ Pollock.
Pollock has six plate appearances in the playoffs thus far. In those six plate appearances, he is 0-6 with three strikeouts and nothing that even came close to being a base hit. It’s only six plate appearances, you may say, but it is extremely concerning.
That is because Pollock has a track record of slowing down in the postseason. The 2020 NLDS is really the only good playoff series he has had with the Dodgers with his 2019 NLDS being woefully bad; Pollock struck out 11 times in 14 plate appearances. He went 0-13.
AJ Pollock’s playoff stats for the Los Angeles Dodgers are not just bad, they are historically bad.
AJ Pollock does have some plate appearances with the Arizona Diamondbacks that help elevate his career-playoff numbers some. When it comes to his time with the Dodgers, though, it has been nothing but disappointing.
Pollock is 9-60 with three walks, no home runs, two RBIs, two runs scored and 21 strikeouts. He is hitting .150 in the playoffs with the Dodgers with a super impressive .371 OPS. For those keeping score at home, that is even lower than Cody Bellinger’s OPS from the regular season!
Pollock has struck out a godly 32.8% of the time in the playoffs with the Dodgers. With a .150 batting average, Pollock is over two times more likely to strike out in the playoffs with the Dodgers than he is to record a hit.
His career .495 postseason OPS is the 14th lowest in MLB postseason history among players with at least 25 games played. He has played 21 games with the Dodgers to lead to his .371 OPS with the club.
There are only two hitters in MLB history with at least 21 games played to have an OPS lower than Pollock’s with the Dodgers. Jarrod Dyson and Adron Chambers. Not necessarily the only two players that you want to be better than on a certain list.
To make matters even worse, Pollock’s own teammate, Clayton Kershaw, is one-upping him. Kershaw has a .446 OPS in the postseason which is 75 points higher than Pollock. At this rate, Clayton Kershaw would be a better option at the plate than AJ Pollock.
It will be interesting to see what kind of adjustments Dave Roberts makes. Matt Beaty has done next to nothing at first base and with Gavin Lux and Chris Taylor looming, the Dodgers could easily change the lineup for Game 2. Bellinger can move to first with Taylor in center field and Lux in left field, if they so desire.
Whether it is with Pollock or without Pollock, the Dodgers better figure it out fast.