The strange, curious case of the missing Dodgers offense
Amelia Earhart. Stonehenge. The tans of "Jersey Shore."
Some mysteries in life just weren’t meant to be understood.
To the long list, we can now add: The Dodgers' offense.
Wow, once they were great. Like last season, when they led the National League in hitting.
This season it’s like a bunch of off-the-Strip impersonators. Particularly in the second half. Really, those are the same guys? Those are the Dodgers?
In the famous words of Tommy Lasorda, they couldn’t hit water if they fell out of a boat. Zombies masquerading as the Boys in Blue.
Hey, wake up! You’re supposed to be trying to rip the hearts out of the Giants, not going through the motions. In the last two games against ’Frisco (I like to write that just knowing it ticks off everybody up there) they’ve managed a total of two runs and five hits.
Which, sadly, is only continuing their downward offensive spiral.
"It's really kind of confusing and frustrating," batting coach Don Mattingly told The Times’ Dylan Hernandez.
You think? It may not surpass the mystery of how they built the Great Pyramid, but I’m thinking it’s a close second.
Take a look at these offensive stats for the Dodgers comparing their first half to their second.
What gives? It’s like that Pedro Cerrano character from "Major League" has a voodoo doll for every Dodgers batter. Only with a ton of pins.
"The second half, all of a sudden it goes the other way," Mattingly told Hernandez. "I haven't done anything different. I never try to change anything, as far as how to approach at-bats."
Hmm, could be it is the time to try something different. Certainly, the current approach ain’t working.
Meanwhile, this has been going on while the team pitching has actually improved in the second half. The staff ERA and hitting average against have gone from 4.09 and .252 in the first half to 3.68 and .229 in the second.
And the Dodgers were 49-39 at the break, and 23-35 since.
The offensive black hole is team-wide. Sure, they miss Manny Ramirez, or at last that facsimile of him.
But Russell Martin had continued his retreat before injuring his hip, Silver Sluggers Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier have regressed this season, James Loney has flatlined, Casey Blake has struggled and Rafael Furcal has battled injuries.
The newcomers have added little; Ryan Theriot is currently in an 0-for-26 skid.
Mix it up, and it’s one bad offensive recipe. One mysterious disappearance.
-- Today’s Quote of the Day: OK, I don’t actually do a quote of the day feature, but this one was too good not to pass along. It comes courtesy of Eric Stephen at Truebluela.com, and he asks:
Could Matt Kemp steal on the Dodgers?
-- Steve Dilbeck