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Anybody notice that despite the victories, the Dodgers suddenly can't hit a lick?

Lost amid the Dodgers terrific pitching of late, their walk-off victories and their having won six of their last eight is this little tidbit:

They’ve stopped hitting.

Almost to a man. Just shrunk up and disappeared. A powerful offense reduced to looking like the feeble Houston Astros.

Or maybe you didn’t notice that while the Dodgers were masterfully blanking the Diamondbacks for the last 31 innings, they were scoring only two runs in the last 24 innings themselves.

That’s not an offense, that’s a great escape. Steve McQueen should be playing for these guys.

"I think our at-bats have been OK, but you go through those ups and downs," said Manager Joe Torre.

No doubt, but right now it’s like a contagious disease. Not sure if it’s affected their eyes or their strength, but somebody better discover the antidote quick because the lowly D-backs are gone and the red-hot Braves are here for four games.

Aside from Casey Blake, who is driving the ball and has a nine-game hitting streak, and Matt Kemp, who has a modest eight-game streak but has more than a single hit in only one of those games, all the regulars are in slumps of various degrees.

James Loney is 2 for 16.

Russell Martin is 2 for 27.

Blake DeWitt is 0 for 15.

Andre Ethier is 1 for 14 since coming off the disabled list.

Rafael Furcal is only 0 for 7 but has yet to attempt a stolen base since coming off the DL May 25 with a strained hamstring.

Manny Ramirez is 3 for 26.

That’s how good their pitching has been. Six of their eight regulars are slumping, and they’re still winning. Best to not keep counting on that.

"If those guys don’t hit, then you’re asking the guys who are sort of the support people to do the job," Torre said. "And even Furcal is trying to find his stroke.

"I just think we’re going through a little bit of a dry spell, but hopefully we can start coming out of it."

Good teams find different ways to win, which always starts with pitching. At some point, though, the offense has to step up. And now would be a very good time.

-- Steve Dilbeck
 
Comments () | Archives (11)

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Well said, Steve...the entire month ahead is against teams with winning records, except the Angels and they are 1 game under .500. True tests of how the Dodgers stack up outside the cozy confines of the NL West. One easy move is Jamie Carrol to 2nd base until further notice-he is screaming to Joe-play me! I'm concerned that Andre's timing is off and he was rushed back, and that Manny and Raffy are not pushing their nagging injuries. Martin is back to his pulling everything approach, he needs to go the other way to be effective. If Loney had Carrol's fire he would be an All-Star. Blake and Kemp will get enough help to stop the Braves winning streak and the Pads will struggle with the Phils over the weekend, and we'll see what the Dodgers are made of. With the starting rotation feeding off of Ely and the bullpen lights out I like our chances to be in 1st place on July 4th. One caveat-Kuroda looks like he's ready to go on the DL, hopefully not until Padilla is ready to return-look for some key trading deadline moves to bolster the team. Even if Manny is dumped, we'll still be paying him for several more years, better to keep him and hope he gets hot for a salary drive.

True. The hitting has been abominable. But remember back to the early weeks of the season, when they were hitting .315 as a team, besting all of baseball in nearly every offensive category, and yet had a record of 8-14. The pitching, both starting and relief, was a disaster, and they made enough errors to put them on pace to beat single season records.

The defense coming around (though there have been more errors of late than I'd like to see -- I'm looking at you, Rafael Furcal), and some stellar pitching shows once again that those aspects are still paramount. Their record seems to reflect it.

Isn't it easier to turn hitting around than pitching? I have little doubt that those bats will come alive during the Braves' series. They'll have to. Meanwhile, hats off to the pitching staff. And to Joe Torre and Rick Honeycutt for managing them well.

Anyone care to wager that Andre Either will not go 1-14 over his next 15 at-bats?

IF THE HITTING DON'T GET YA. THEN THE PITCHING WILL.

It is a sad state of affairs indeed when it takes Garret Andersons only hit in heaven knows how long to secure a win. No wonder it took until the 14th inning. I've been watching the games on TV and trust me... the pitching against them has been far from unhittable. Even the D'Backs bullpen was able to shut them down for almost 5 innings yesterday.

No. I thought that extra inning 1 run games were the norm ...

Not worried about the hitting. Everybody who hit's well in the lineup has done it for years and will do so again. Manny and Furcal are playing for money and barring injury, i would be surprised if they were not very strong in the 2nd half. More worried about the pitching holding up. Kershaw should continue to dominate with bouts of wildness and Kuroda will be a samurai in the Dodger damyo. The key will be Bills' continued toughness and strike throwing ability, he doesn't have the stuff to overcome the walks and deep counts on the regular like Kershaw. Ely hasn't had an outing where he pitched well and got rocked. It will happen and when it does he's gone have to come right back the next time and throw with the same confidence in his under-powering stuff as he has for the last month. Not worried about the pen it will continue to get better as long as we have Kuo. Gonna be a great series this weekend, i hope Saito has an oppurtunity for the fans to show there apreciation. Was one of the gutsiest Dodgers ever.

Has anyone noticed that with the elimination of steroids (and their cousins) that we have doubled the number of perfect games/no-hitters/one-hitters/two-hitters/three-hitters? The game is cleaner, but not as interesting. Unless you like 14-inning 1-0 games!

Well, as I said last night, Joe is like Tommy Lasagne - all or nothing, swing for the fences, why hit a single when you might hit a HR !
"10th Inning & Joe-No Strategy-Torre does his usual 2 step around any hint of strategy!
Loney leads off with a Double, great! Now, the 1/2 Miliion Dollar bust aka Anderson, is not asked to bunt! Why not, he's batting .156 at that point! You do ANYHING tyo get the runner to 3rd, esp, when not scoring any runs, then a WP, a PB, a Fly Ball, a Bunt, an error, a squeeze scores Loney & game over!
But no, Joe-Shadow of Tommy Lasagne swing for a HR at any cost-Torre lets the weak hitting Anderson strike out! Then Belliard walks & the "fans" get excited & clap - why ? His run means squat & it set up a DP!
Then Raffy & his swing from the heels pop up costs them an out & now the .250, 4 HR, 5 Million Dollar, ahem, "catcher" comes up, also swinging for the fences & pops out, to the pitcher !"

I see you have found another reason to be negative.......just like a times sports reporter.

Thank you, Steve. I kept saying that the past couple of days as I cringed listening to the Dodger announcers mock the Diamondbacks lack of offense. Jeez. Harren and Jackson both had ERAs in the 5.40 range.

the braves, cards, angels, yanks, etc., are not the d-backs. if the bats are going to return to early season form, they better do it quickly.


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