Dodger Bats Went Missing in August

Yasmani Grandal

Hey remember when the Dodgers were on pace to break the all-time MLB record with 116 wins? Funny thing happened on the way to the record books. Ok so the Dodgers are still on pace to win well over 100 games. They have a 92-41 record at the moment with a .692 winning percentage with just 29 games remaining. The Dodgers are a cinch to win 100 and probably break the all-time franchise record for wins which is 105 (set by the 1953 Brooklyn club). The Dodgers would need to finish 24-5 the rest of the way to tie the all-time MLB mark. That seems a little out of reach, but you know anything is possible with this Dodger team.

The Dodgers have hit a little bit of a road block in August. The offense has suddenly disappeared. Remember that incredible hitting club that could overcome any deficit? The club that has ten walk-off wins this season and I can’t remember how many come from behind victories? Well they’ve run into a bit of an issue.

The Dodger bats have been anemic since August 1. The club batted just .234/.325/.408 with 36 home runs in August. They posted a .733 OPS and scored just 121 runs. To give you an example of just how bad the Dodger offense was in August, look no further than how many hits they accrued during the month. The Dodgers collected a meager 211 hits which ranked them 29 out of the 30 MLB clubs. Only the lowly Padres, who the boys in blue are currently playing, have collected fewer hits that month.

A combination of injuries, poor performances, and unnecessary lineup shuffling played a part in the nonexistent offense. The Dodgers lost top home run hitter Cody Bellinger in Detroit when he rolled his ankle playing the outfield. The Dodgers put him there once Adrian Gonzalez returned from the disabled list. The Dodgers are now without Corey Seager who is battling a sore elbow.

It wasn’t just the injuries. Other hitters are in slumps and others are just automatic outs. Justin Turner has been slumping for weeks. Turner is having a fantastic season as he always is, but he hasn’t hit much over the last several weeks. Since August 1, Turner is batting .245 and his OBP is just .313.

The Automatic outs

Gonzalez was just 9 for 47 in the month of August, that’s just a .191 average with a .220 OBP in 50 plate appearances. He’s been really bad since coming back from the disabled list. At least he has an excuse. These other guys have little excuse.

Enrique Hernandez has been an atrocious hitter for the last two seasons now. He batted just .191 in 2016 and has barely eclipsed that pace in 2017, his 11 home runs notwithstanding. Sure his 33 extra-base hits are nice, but he’s posted just a 92 OPS+. He’s been well below average overall and hasn’t hit much in months. August was his worst month yet. He batted just .152 (7 for 46) with just a .235 OBP in 51 plate appearances. He batted .190 in July, and .188 in June. He’s bad and the Dodgers continually start him almost on a daily basis. Not playing Hernandez would be a huge boost to the offense in general. Keep him on the bench please.

Logan Forsythe has also been awful in August. He’s batting just .231 with an 84 OPS + in 359 plate appearances. He’s belted just 4 home runs this year. That’s what’s been the most shocking about his punch-less bat, the lack of power. Forsythe has done one thing well; he gets on base at a decent clip. His .365 OBP and 61 walks are at least something productive. Forsythe batted just .212 (14 for 66) with a .709 OPS in 87 August plate appearances.

The Dodgers scored just one run in Friday night’s 1-0 win over the Padres. Thanks to Clayton Kershaw’s six scoreless frames they were able to snap a five game losing streak. The Dodgers need to get back to the lineup that was working for them throughout most of the season. That formula for success was Taylor-Seager-Turner-Bellinger in the top four spots, Grandal or Barnes batting behind Bellinger and Yasiel Puig in the eighth spot.

The Dodgers still have a huge 16 game lead in the National League West with 29 games left to play. Their magic number is 13 to clinch the division title. It’s not surprising that the Dodgers have stopped scoring runs. With Adrian Gonzalez, the auto outs, injuries, slumps and lineup shuffling has turned a top notch-offense into a struggling mess.

Perhaps recent call ups like Alex Verdugo and O’Koyea Dickson will help. It’s hard to win games when you don’t score runs and the Dodgers need to start scoring runs again.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Former Co-editor of Lasorda’s Lair. Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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15 thoughts on “Dodger Bats Went Missing in August

  1. Today’s line up looks like the OKC Dodgers, not the LA Dodgers. Forsythe, Barnes, Hernandez, Bellinger, Puig, Segedin, Dickson, Verdugo, and Stewart…….Good news, CK is back, Corey starts throwing on Monday, Roberts going to 6 man rotation for now until later in September, BAD NEWS. Same 3 pitchers starting against AZ this week in LA. Hill, Ryu, and Maeda. Let us hope, AND PRAY! , That they are a damn sight better this time around.

    1. Michael

      Except for Forsythe being up first, and I know he is much better against lefties, I think Barnes, Hernandez, Cody, and Puig doesn’t sound to bad to me.

      Because Hernandez does hit lefties pretty well, and I rather have Barnes hitting second, then some of the other players who have hit second, since Corey went down.

      And I just wouldn’t bat Forsythe first, because that will cause Forsythe to continue to look for walks, and he isn’t going to be leading off against righties, and I think he needs to try to start hitting, the first couple best pitches, he gets.

      1. He singled in his first AB. Yeah there are some big league guys in there, but still has a spring training feel. Bases loaded, no outs, 1 run, PITIFUL.

    2. Pray is correct! Dodger pitching has gone south. Today’s double header loss was all about pitching.

      I watched Darvish carefully. The guy has no focus, has no consistent control, and this leads to his inefficiency. Those first 3 innings were painful. Somehow, he’s able to strike batters out, but not put the game away. He is an awesome phyical specimen, throws hard and has all the makings of a dominating pitcher, but his head is in the way. He’s been this way for the last 3 years. Would anyone take a chance on spending big bucks to re-sign him in the off-season? He may be fool’s gold at this point. I’m really not sure.

      Roberts toying of the lineups has hurt a lot. With the team on an historic run, how can you alter your course and not let them try for the history books? I don’t buy any other theory. It’s the same with pulling your pitcher in the midst of a no hitter. Don’t buy it, don’t want to see it. Pull out all the stops and go for it. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

      This team is still in the same position it’s been in with their pitching staff for the last few years. No one stays healthy. Many question marks as to who will be the starters next year. We can assume Kershaw, Wood, Hill, and Maeda will be back, but what about the rest? McCarthy, Stripling, Kazmir. Don’t know what their contracts are like.

      Taylor, Seager, Turner, Bellinger are just about the best top 4 in the league with Puig following closely. Granderson looks like a has been which is very strange as he’s got the energy and the look to be a difference maker. Grandal seems to be playing down to his past level again and Barnes is the one that is looking golden this season. The rest of the season and lineup is not a sure thing to win the World Series at all, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they fell on their face during the playoffs given the up and down balance of this team.

  2. Cody ties Piazza’s rookie record in the first game of this doubleheader, and Cody breaks Piazza’s rookie record in second game, of this doubleheader tonight!

      1. Well MJ, he has given up 7 HR’s and he is 3-3. And that is the first walk off homer he has given up. Most of the HR’s he has given up have meant nothing and at worst tied the game. Hitters are hitting a paltry .205 against him. He gave up 11 HR’s last year, and has not even given up the most HR’s as a reliever. Fields owns that distinction and he is 5-0. It should have never gotten to that point. Roberts left Font in too long, Same with Ravin. All those arms in the bullpen, and you are trying to build momentum, you go all out to win that game. Luckily the Padres starter tonight, Jordan Lyles, former Rockie, is having a terrible season as a Padre. Hopefully Darvish rights the ship. With this lineup SD has he should attack the zone. Baez has the third best ERA on the team behind Kershaw and Kenley, so whether you or I or anybody else thinks he is lousy, Roberts trusts him. They had the bases loaded in the 1st inning and scored 1 frippen run. It is not all on Baez. Yeah, he gets the loss, but Roberts made some bad decisions along the way. And the offense sputtered yet again. They really miss Corey in that 2 hole.

        1. Michael

          He has given up 8 HRs because he gave up two HRs in one game, but Puig saved him with a good catch

          And Baez pitched more innings last year, so his 11 HRs last year, was given up in more innings.

          And ERA for a reliever can be conceiving, because WHIP is a better way to evaluate a reliever, and Baez doesn’t have a good WHIP.

          That might be right about Roberts, about those other pitchers, but they have not been on the major league team for four years, like Baez has.

          It is just disappointing after Turner tied this game, and how the team has played lately, it didn’t help.

          At least Barnes hit a run in.

          And I know people complain that Baez is slow, but he has given up a quick HR, right after we have just tied the game or went ahead, to many times, in these last four years.

          1. Michael

            And I know your not happy with this either, so I understand.

            I am just bummed!

            I will say this, I am happy for Turner, and Bellinger!

      2. Throwing 98mph, the percentages of good contact vs. bad is in Baez’s favor. It’s going to happen once in a while. Our starters have been far worse this year.

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