The Los Angeles Dodgers enter play on Tuesday with a disappointing 16-24 record after suffering a four-game sweep at the hands of the Cincinnati Reds over the weekend. It was the first time since 1976 that the Reds accomplished as much against the Dodgers.
Through 40 games, Los Angeles has been stricken by a combination of injuries and regression. Not only that, but inconsistent play has plagued Los Angeles through nearly one-quarter of the regular season.
That led Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman to attribute the club’s struggles to not being able to sync as a whole, according to Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times:
I think this is primarily a function of us not being able to sync up the various components of our game. Our pen’s overall performance hasn’t been good enough. Our rotation’s, for the most part, has. Our offense hasn’t been good enough. Good teams click on two of three components most nights: starting pitching and defense as one, offense and bullpen. Most nights, we are clicking on one. It’s almost random, night to night. The overall team performance will obviously get much better as we click on at least two of those cylinders.
As Friedman points out, the Dodgers must begin clicking on multiple cylinders on a daily basis, rather than succeeding at only one facet of the sport.
The Dodgers, as an offensive group, rank 12th in all of baseball with 5.1 WAR (FanGraphs). While that’s far from unfavorable, the club’s struggles stem from a shortage of power, as they place 26th in home runs.
On the pitching side, the Dodgers’ starting rotation has collectively accounted for 4.0 WAR this season — good for seventh in the league. The downside, however, has been Los Angeles’ abysmal bullpen.
The Dodgers’ group of relievers rank 28th with -0.1 WAR, having posted an underwhelming 4.51 ERA and 4.40 FIP in 153.2 innings. That’s a far cry from last season, when the club boasted one of the better bullpens in all of baseball en route to a World Series appearance.
While the Dodgers haven’t lived up to expectations thus far, Friedman offered reassurance that Dave Roberts remains the best managerial option for the club going forward.