Inside the Dodgers’ recent skid and what it means for the D-backs
The Los Angeles Dodgers were one of the greatest regular season teams in MLB history.
At least until the end of August.
Through their win on Aug. 25 against Milwaukee, the Dodgers were 91-36 and on pace to achieve the most wins in a season in the history of the game. They were setting records, like achieving the best 50-game stretch in MLB since 1912 by going 43-7.
Notice all of that was in past tense.
Starting Aug. 26, the Dodgers have won a single time, going 1-16 in their last 17 games. They’re currently riding an 11-game losing streak after Monday’s middle-of-the-night loss to the San Francisco Giants.
Six of those losses in the 17-game stretch were at the hands of the Arizona Diamondbacks, who have matched up well against their NL West rival all season.
With just weeks left until the postseason, it’s reasonable to think the Dodgers might run out of time to fix their problems and their poor play of late could continue.
What does it all mean for the D-backs?
Los Angeles’ pitching has been a large reason for the team’s recent struggles.
Starters and relievers combined have a 5.99 ERA over the last 17 games, giving up 101 runs (98 earned) over that span.
A 17-game stretch is a pretty large sample size, and compared to their 3.10 ERA they had entering the skid, it’s easy to see what needs to be fixed first.
Los Angeles has struggled pitching against the Diamondbacks all season. Against teams they’ve played at least four times, the Dodgers have their worst ERA against the D-backs at 5.15.
Arizona is one of three teams the Dodgers have a losing record against this year at 8-11. L.A. is 7-9 against the Colorado Rockies and 1-2 against the Washington Nationals.
Although the pitching unit as a whole has struggled, the Dodgers starting pitching hasn’t been up to snuff.
Los Angels starting pitchers have taken the loss in 11 of the 17 games. Newcomer Yu Darvish is 0-3, Rich Hill is 0-3, Alex Wood is 0-2, Hyun-Jin Ryu is 0-1, Kenta Maeda is 0-1 and Clayton Kershaw is 1-1.
In their last 17 games, not a single Dodgers starting pitcher has made it past the sixth inning and have lasted an average of 4.4 innings per game. That’s a large workload for the Dodgers bullpen, which was considered the Achilles’ Heel for the team even when they were rolling.
Over this span, Dodgers starters have a 6.54 ERA.
The Dodgers didn’t exactly have the hottest offense in the majors, but they were pulling their own before the ugly stretch began. They entered that Aug. 26 game scoring 5.1 runs per game.
Since, they’ve been scoring half that, plating 2.6 runs per game with 13 home runs in and 158 strikeouts (9.3 per contest).
The Dodgers have scored one run or less eight of the last 17 games, including five out of the last eight.
In 19 total games against the Diamondbacks this year, the Dodgers have hit .229, their eighth-worst mark against any MLB club.
They’ve scored 3.7 runs per game in that span.
The Dodgers had multiple names floating in the MVP race, but the meat of their order has struggled.
Overall as a team, the Dodgers have batted .201 over the last 17 games, and their four offensive stars have all taken a turn for the worse. Corey Seager has seen the biggest drop in production, falling 82 points from .313 to just .231 in the last 17 games. Justin Turner (.332 to .291), Cody Bellinger (.274 to .216) and Yasiel Puig (.259 to .250) have also been unable to get things going.
The Dodgers didn’t have to sweat much when falling behind in the game earlier in the season. They came back to win 42 times, the most comeback wins in the MLB at the time the skid started.
Over the last 17 games, they have struggled to get a lead, and have only scored the first run of the game four times.
With their one win in the 17-game span a 1-0 victory, they have zero comeback victories in the last couple of weeks.
They are currently second in the category, trailing their neighbor Los Angeles Angeles by one such game.
If this continues and the Dodgers are unable to generate an early lead, this is great news for the D-backs if they should meet in the playoffs.
Arizona is 51-19 (.729) when scoring first this season.