Dodgers Offense Gets Lost On Road Trip
Wednesday's loss to the Giants marks a low point for the season. It completed San Francisco's three-game sweep in which they shut out their Southern California rivals in each game – the first time one team had accomplished the feat against the Dodgers since 1937 – and pulled into a tie for first place in the NL West. To make matters worse, Andre Ethier left the game with a strained oblique that could land him on the disabled list for an extended stay.
The injury was added to the insult of a woebegone 1-8 road trip that included six miserable games in the Bay Area. The A's and Giants combined to hold the Dodgers to a grand total of two runs in 54 innings. Six times on the trip, L.A. was limited to five hits or fewer, proving that not being able to score takes a team effort.
With runners in scoring position, the Dodgers were 0-for-15. James Loney posted his own 0-for-15 during the roadie. Juan Uribe was 1-for-21, Elian Herrera went 2-for-31 and Bobby Abreu was 2-for-26 and that was just a small sampling of the offending offensive results.
It also laid to bare the team's worst nightmare – no Matt Kemp, no Ethier and a notable lack of depth in the batting order. That thinness makes the failure to land Kevin Youkilis in a trade with the Red Sox even more glaring. Especially on a day when Youkilis had three hits and two RBI.
It also reinforces general manager Ned Colletti's need for another big bat to add in the middle of the lineup, preferably at a corner infield spot. Having already missed on a potential new third baseman, Colletti could be turning his focus to Cubs' first baseman Bryan LaHair, which could mean the long-rumored departure of the struggling Loney.
However, it could also be worth exploring help at the top of the lineup. Dee Gordon continues to flounder atop the batting order, hitting just .166 (6-for-36) on the road trip with only two runs scored and two walks. The top spot as a whole hasn't fared particularly well, posting a .228 batting average and just a .282 on-base percentage. For a team short on power, the ability to manufacture runs from the top of the lineup is a must and should be the front office's focus over the next month.
Meanwhile, the group that remains heads home for a seven-game homestand, hoping just to hang on until help can arrive. It starts with an Ethier MRI and four games against the Mets, who pasted the Cubs 17-1 on Wednesday afternoon.
Brother, can you spare a few runs?