The Los Angeles Dodgers dropped the second of three games to the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field Thursday afternoon, as they were shutout, 4-0, by former teammate Brett Anderson.
The left-hander tossed five innings and was able to escape trouble on multiple instances, most notably a bases-loaded jam in the fifth inning. Anderson got Yasiel Puig to chase a pitch out of the zone after falling behind in the count, and the at-bat ended in a foul out.
Conditions at Wrigley Field didn’t always aid the Dodgers’ efforts, though the Cubs were impacted Wednesday night when well-struck balls died at the warning track.
Beyond that, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts believes his players were trying to do too much at times, via John Jackson of MLB.com:
“I think there’s a little of trying to do too much with runners in scoring position,” Roberts said. “I think if you look at aggressiveness in the count, we’re a little bit aggressive with balls out of the zone and expanding too much. I know it’s early, but it’s a little bit of guys wanting to do too much.”
The Dodgers were 0-for-10 on Thursday with runners in scoring position, and overall in the series went 1-for-24 in such instances.
Those struggles have been present all season long, as in their three-game series against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field, they were 7-for-30 (.233 batting average). Overall this season, the Dodgers are batting just .200 with RISP, which ranks 22nd out of 30 MLB teams.
In 10 plate appearances with the bases loaded this season the Dodgers have just two hits and one walk. Some of that stems from a lack of patience at the plate.
The sample size is small as the season is only two weeks in, but if the problem continues then the Dodgers front office may need to make a move for a right-handed bat to place in the middle of the order.