Every Los Angeles Dodgers fan can agree the consistent problem for this team in the postseason has been the offense. Their two losses against the San Francisco Giants in the NLDS featured zero runs. In this NLCS … do we even want to talk about it?
The offense is hitting a paltry .222 with runners in scoring position. Overall, the Dodgers’ bats are the worst of the remaining teams. They’re hitting .219 with a .671 OPS with just four homers and 14 RBI.
And you’re all getting on manager Dave Roberts for his pitching decisions?! How about his stubbornness with this lineup?
Though Mookie Betts and Corey Seager have delivered, they’ve been far from consistent. Meanwhile, Trea Turner and Justin Turner have been two of the worst performers of ANY player in this entire postseason. What’s going on here?
Bottom line: the Dodgers got lucky in Game 3. And they needed to take that luck and run with it. Instead, Roberts, knowing his team is averaging three runs per game since the start of the playoffs, has continued to bat Trea Turner in three-hole. His hottest bat in Bellinger has remained hitting seventh. Gavin Lux is batting fifth and sixth? Justin Turner, before getting injured, was jumping between cleanup, fifth and sixth.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts doomed LA by not changing the lineup.
We’re not saying kick Betts out of the leadoff spot and boot Turner to the nine-hole, but … something? Trea Turner shouldn’t have been eating important at-bats after Game 2 of the NLCS. Bellinger clearly needed a bump up after his heroics in the NLDS. Justin Turner probably should’ve occupied the eight-hole considering Chris Taylor is hitting .286 with an .882 OPS.
Instead, in Game 4, which featured two runs scored in a bullpen game from the Braves, Roberts had Trea Turner third, Lux fifth, Justin Turner sixth, Bellinger seventh and Taylor eighth.
Cold streaks happen. It’s part of the baseball pendulum. And we’re not saying to “punish” underperforming players … but lineup alterations are necessary to put your best hitters in more favorable spots while giving your worst ones a breather and less pressure.
Somehow, the spotlight of Roberts’ criticism has been on the usage of Julio Urías in Game 2 … which just wasn’t that egregious given the left-hander’s postseason exposure.
Fans should be much more infuriated with the lack of changes on offense. When you’re allowing an average of just 3.3 runs per game in the playoffs, the problem CERTAINLY isn’t the pitching.