The Dodgers have certainly been struggling to score runs since their return from the all-star break. Situational hitting, or hitting with runners in scoring position has been a problem for the Dodgers the entire season. The Dodgers do have something on offense that has been a hidden weapon; pinch-hitting.
For whatever reason the Dodgers have one of the best pinch-hitting lineups in all of baseball. As a matter of fact, the Dodgers lead MLB in most pinch-hits, most pinch-walks, pinch-doubles, and tied for the lead in pinch-hit home runs. They have five, if you’re wondering.
When the Dodgers pinch-hit they are slashing .255/.349/.407 ranking them fourth in batting, third in OBP and fourth in OPS. The Dodgers have a .756 OPS pinch-hitting and have scored 29 runs, the most in MLB. The Dodgers have also driven in 31 runs tied for the most in MLB. The boys in blue have hit 14 pinch-hit doubles this year, also the most in MLB. You know how has been one of the best pinch-hitters in MLB this season? You guessed it, it’s this guy….
That’s right, baseball dad/grandpa Chase Utley has consistently been one of the best at coming off the bench ad getting hits in the late innings. In 2018 Utley is batting .448 (13 for 29) with three doubles, a triple, and five runs batted in. That’s an OPS of over a thousand my friends.
I’m not sure why the Dodgers have been so good at pinch-hitting this year. Perhaps it’s because the players on the bench all have or could be starting players. Or maybe they’re just adept at coming off the bench in the later innings. The Dodgers certainly have a secret weapon up their sleeves. Now if they would only stop using a short bench every game, that would be great.