Sitting behind home plate, somewhere in the cyclone of balks, misplays, strike outs, stranded runners, dropped balls, dead red fastballs to dead red fastball hitters, my shoulders slumped and I realized that this craptacular four-night cactus-handled anal probe was the reason why you lose your mind when your team wins big.
And that didn’t do a thing for me.
The Dodgers were swept, they looked lifeless, disinterested, and nowhere near a legitimate major league team, to the point where I was wonder to inquire about this:
But while that cyclone of awful was swirling around Chavez Ravine, enabling my baseball stress eating to the point of two Dodger Dogs, two pretzels, and a box of popcorn (DON’T JUDGE ME) it occurred to me. As the Dodger bullpen once more gagged up a lead and couldn’t bail out Kenta Maeda, who even after last night’s pitcher “loss” is still by far the best thing about the Dodgers so far in 2016, the true concern of this series crystallized.
This offense is a mess.
The Dodgers in four games against the Marlins scored eight runs in four games. They amassed a meager 23 hits, highlighted by the two-hit shutout they took in game three. They managed four homers, and that’s where things are really a concern. The Dodgers sit right now at 13th in the National League with 15 total home runs. The power has been lacking, and it’s really killing the Dodgers on this homestand.
Los Angeles’ .235 on-base percentage pretty clearly illustrates how neutered the Dodger offense was against Miami’s pitching. If the Dodgers were a schnauzer, Bob Barker would love them. Unfortunately, they’re not. They are a highly paid group of professional fan torturers who need to remember that they’ve all got pedigrees that suggest that they have what it takes to turn it around.
Adrian Gonzalez went hitless in the four games, slashing .000/.154/.000 and blowing multiple chances to swing the game with a hit with runners in scoring position. The butter went sour and the eggs rotted this week. Gonzalez struck out at a whopping 39% rate in the series. Like most of the Dodgers, he was a day late on fastballs and happy to fish after the endless string of sliders Jose Fernandez and the rest of the Marlins pitching staff wanted to throw at them.
Corey Seager struck out on 25% of his plate appearances in the series on his way to a .267/.313/.267 slash over the four games. These are but two examples of players on whom the Dodgers are counting who could not have found rawhide in a country bar’s juke box.
But this too shall pass. We hope.
Bottom line is that virtually every team is going to suffer a four-game losing streak this year, that the Giants just came off a stretch in which they lost eight of nine, and that this Dodger team isn't even going to be the roster with which they hit the All-Star Break, let alone take into September and Lord willing October. Don't worry about the fact that Puig is predictably regressing but unpredictably cratering, that Joc is essentially a platoon outfielder right now, and that the Ryu and McCarthy are nowhere the light at the end of the rehab tunnel. The Padres are in town, and it's time to move on. The Dodgers are not a great team right now, but they will get better.
That's what I'm telling myself. Anybody else buying it?