Dave Roberts: Dodgers’ Defense ‘Considerably Better’ After Rough Patch

Prior to the start of the current homestand, the Los Angeles Dodgers had been mired in their worst stretch of the season, losing 15 of 20 games and falling to third place in the National League West.

The club struggled to consistently runs but also wasn’t playing defense to the best of their ability. L.A. improved on both of those fronts in their two-game Interleague series against the Seattle Mariners, scoring a combined 13 runs while not committing any errors.

“I think the overall team defense has been considerably better,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said after Wednesday’s 7-1 win. “Again, I’ve always said it hasn’t been lack of focus or preparation. We’re finishing players much better than we had the few weeks prior.”

Entering Thursday’s off day, the Dodgers were tied for 11th in fielding percentage (.984), which marked an improvement from two weeks ago when Roberts first addressed the team’s defensive struggles this season.

While there’s still more work to be done, Roberts believes the Dodgers are getting their confidence back after completing a sweep of the Mariners. “I do. You look at Gavin coming on, Matt Beaty coming on, it adds length to the lineup,” Roberts said of the improved outlook.

“You mix that with good pitching and good defense, what Max has done consistently and guys in the middle of the order, you’re going to have scoring opportunities. Just all around, we’re playing much better.

“We have too good of talent to have guys continue to struggle collectively. It’s just nice to see some guys come out of it, put some wins together. It’s a sign of our club playing good baseball.”

Muncy optimistic Dodgers’ swagger is returning

In sweeping the Mariners, the Dodgers won back-to-back games for the first time since April 16-17. It’s also their first series win since taking two of three from the San Diego Padres at Petco Park last month.

The win streak gives Max Muncy hope the Dodgers can gain momentum and return to the level of play that’s expected of them. “I certainly hope so. We have a very good team, a very good clubhouse, a lot of guys with good heads on their shoulders,” he said.

“What we just went through was frustrating, to say the least. Hopefully we can get back to what we do best, and that’s playing baseball one game at a time. If we can kind of get back to doing that, I think you’ll see more of what you saw.”

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