The Los Angeles Dodgers saw their seven-game winning streak snapped at the hands of the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday afternoon, falling 3-2 in the series finale at Chase Field.
It was the Dodgers bullpen that faltered in the loss as the team carried a 2-1 lead into the eighth inning and Pedro Baez gave up a run to tie it and then Scott Alexander served up the walk-off hit in the 11th.
The offense can also shoulder some of the blame considering they could only muster seven hits and two runs, failing to score in the final eight innings of the contest. What made the lackluster performance so surprising is that the Dodgers had been on a roll offensively as of late.
They averaged 5.6 runs per game throughout the course of their winning streak that was the club’s longest since 2017. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts is not going to put too much into one bad game though, chalking it up just to his team being too aggressive, via SportsNet LA:
“We hadn’t really seen Duplantier and just kind of the unfamiliarity, I thought we were a little bit too aggressive today. Pulling balls on the ground and not running counts like we normally do. Especially when we got in the bullpen, I thought that our bats got a little too anxious. But that’s going to happen. We’re playing well, swinging the bats well, taking good at-bats.”
Chase Field used to be one of the most hitter-friendly ballparks in baseball, but prior to the start of the 2018 season, the Diamondbacks installed a humidor that has significantly decreased the hitting output.
That may have been evident during this series as the Dodgers hit a handful of fly balls that were caught at the warning track and may have been home runs or doubles off the wall in previous years.
The offense that the Dodgers could muster in the loss came courtesy of rookie catcher Will Smith. He launched his second career home run, a two-run shot to left field in the third inning.
Smith has provided the Dodgers a nice offensive boost in his short time with the team although he is expected to return to Triple-A Oklahoma City with Austin Barnes being activated off the injured list before Friday’s series opener against the San Francisco Giants.
Los Angeles will face division opponents in 23 of their final 29 games leading up to the All-Star break, so it will be important for them to stay hot offensively so they can really take a hold of the National League West and cruise to their seventh straight division title.