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So, Um, What's Up With The Dodgers?

The NL West powerhouse team looks lost after getting swept by the San Francisco Giants.

The 2022 Los Angeles Dodgers don't look like the reincarnation of the 1927 Yankees the way they were projected to be. The current New York Yankees look closer to the '27 Yankees. The Dodgers look like a team who forgot their bats at home. 

The Dodgers are 4-6 in their last 10 games. They have lost 9 of their last 13 games overall. They were just swept by the San Francisco Giants. In the three games at Oracle Park, the Dodgers managed just 4 runs. A team with three former MVPs and a bevy of MVP candidates should never manage 4 runs in a series. The key hits have not been there. When the Dodgers load the bases, there's a sense the opposing team has them 'right where they want them.' Walker Buehler is now going to be away for a considerable amount of time. What is rotten in Denmark?

Dave Roberts Seems Upset

Dodgers' skipper Dave Roberts feels the frustration.

“People get caught up in their own individual paths, but the whole kind of focusing on just winning a game and whatever it takes to win that day, we got to get back to that mindset. It’s getting more clear that we’re not doing enough to win baseball games. We’re too talented. We need to win more baseball games and we haven’t. It doesn’t feel good to lose.”

Indeed. It was the great Vin Scully who once said, "losing feels worse than winning feels good." In the context of these talented Dodgers, it is worse knowing that they have the most talented team in baseball. Justin Turner, who is 3 for his last 27, encouraged calmness despite acknowledging the problem. 

“I don’t know what that means,” Turner said when asked about Roberts’ comments. “I don’t think we’re doing anything differently. I think it’s obvious when you’re not scoring runs, what you need to do. We’ve done a good job of setting the table. We just haven’t been able to get that big hit to unplug this.”

For the series, the Dodgers left an embarrassing 29 runners on base. 

Adversity

With Walker Buehler's absence, this will test the Dodgers' depth and adaptability even more. Clayton Kershaw is back from the IL, thankfully. Tony Gonsolin has been a revelation, and so has former Rockies starter Tyler Anderson. Julio Urias has pitched well, but his velocity has ticked down, and many speculate he has been overused. 

Bob Nightengale of USA Today noted that the Dodgers were quietly already shopping for starting pitching. In years past, the Dodgers have never been known to do this as early as June. Even in the absence of Trevor Bauer last season, the Max Scherzer acquisition was mostly quiet.

The Answer

The answer is simple. The Dodgers simply need to hit the ball better. Cody Bellinger, Justin Turner, and Max Muncy are all players who have underperformed this season. Even the three-headed monster of Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, and Trea Turner has had stretches of cold fronts. The pitching staff and bullpen have mostly held together despite surprises and injuries.

The bats need to wake up. If they don't, the Dodgers will be facing some bigger issues than being swept. Their NL West lead is already slimmed to half a game. As Pedro Cerrano said in the film, "Major League," it is time to 'wake up bats.'