Are the Dodgers Human after all?

What has happened to the Dodgers? After going 37-8 over all of July and most of August, they are just 1-9 in their last 10! The Dodgers look human again. They actually look less than human, they look vulnerable and beatable. Their last 4 opponents have been Milwaukee, Arizona, San Diego, and Arizona again. Their only win came on Friday against the Padres, with Kershaw on the mound. They went from up 21 games in the division to only up 12.5 games. With only a month of baseball left and the Dodgers still having the best record in baseball, they should not worry too much yet about being caught in the division, but their recent struggles do cause for some concern.

The Problems

The Offense:

The Dodgers have been outscored 59-24 over their last 10 games. A big chunk of that was the lost they suffered last night in a game where they lost 13-0 to their division rival Diamondbacks. On the season they are now 8-9 against the Diamondbacks, losing the last 4 to them. They are hitting just .204 as a team in games they lose this season, compared to .277 in games that they win. A big whole in their lineup right now is the absence of superstar Corey Seager. He has been sidelined the last 8 games with an elbow injury. They are 1-7 since he has got injured and they are 10-11 without him in the starting lineup all season.

The Pitching:

The offense not scoring runs is a big problem in their recent struggles, they have been shutout twice and scored 2 runs or less in 6 games. The addition of Curtis Granderson has not helped very much so far. He is hitting a disappointing .113 since joining the team. He has 56 at-bats, 4 homers, and 19 strikeouts. Another struggling bat seeing consistent swings is Adrian Gonzalez. He is hitting just .247 on the season with 2 homers, but since rejoining the team after injury he has only hit .220 in 14 games. He is not the same player he used to be and you can tell.

The offense isn’t the only thing to blame though, the Dodgers have given up 59 runs in the last 10 games, or a 5.90 era over that span. Other than the day Kershaw pitched there was no game where the other team scored less than 3 runs. Recently acquired Darvish after a dazzling start and an injury has accumulated a 4.50 era since joining the Dodgers in 5 starts. While that is a small sample size, he did have a 4.01 era with the Rangers before he was traded. It seems his past elbow issues have caused concern not only with health, but also with performance. He’s not the only pitcher though. Alex Wood came off the DL on Sunday and gave up 4 runs in 6 innings pitched. While that hasn’t been like him all season and it shouldn’t happen much again, it was a disappointing return.

The Bullpen:

The bullpen has also struggled recently giving up 25 runs in the last 10. While they do have one of the top closers in the game in Kenley Jansen, he hasn’t been able to pitch a lot recently. He has pitched just twice in the this recent skid. Maybe the Dodgers are saving him for the playoffs, as it has been proven that the having a good bullpen wins more in October. Jansen is having a career year though, so why not pitch him a little more to help win games.

All in all though the Dodgers should not worry too much about their recent struggles. They should focus on getting and staying healthy, getting in a rhythm for October, and just focus on one game at a time. They may not be on the record-setting pace they were just a couple of weeks ago, but they are still the best team in baseball and should go deep in the playoffs.