Dave Roberts: Dodgers Need To Get Back To Winning Mindset

The Los Angeles Dodgers are in the midst of their first prolonged slump of the 2022 season, which has shrunk their division lead in the National League West to just a half-game ahead of the San Diego Padres.

They have just four wins in their last 10 games and have lost nine of the last 13, which included being swept by the Pittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco Giants.

It’s still far too early in the season to cause much panic, but it has been a frustrating stretch for a club that was considered far and away the most talented team prior to the season.

While they have dealt with some key injuries, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts attributed the slump to the club straying away from a mindset of doing whatever it takes to win and focusing on what’s best for the team rather than on individual performances, via Jack Harris of the L.A. Times:

“It’s the mindset of coming together as a group to win a baseball game,” Roberts said. “I just don’t think we’ve done a good job of that. People get caught up in their own individual paths, but the whole focusing on just winning a game, and whatever it takes to win that day, we got to get back to that mindset.”

Roberts isn’t sure why the team has fallen away from the team-first mindset that is needed to win consistently, but he intends to figure it out and address it:

“I don’t know that answer, but I need to figure it out,” he said. “Because it’s getting more clear that we’re not doing enough to win baseball games. We’re too talented. I need to find that out.”

Although they haven’t shown it recently, L.A. still owns one of the top offenses in baseball, with an MLB-leading 307 runs scored while batting .248/.330/.423 with a .330 wOBA and 114 wRC+. Their pitching staff also leads the NL with a 3.07 ERA and they rank fifth in the NL with a 3.54 FIP.

However, over the last 14 days, the Dodgers are batting just .234/.299/.392 with a 98 wRC+ and their pitchers have posted an ERA of 4.38.

Freddie Freeman frustrated by bases-loaded strikeout

The Dodgers had several opportunities to score more than two runs in their loss to the San Francisco Giants on Saturday, but there were a few at-bats that loomed particularly large, including one involving Freddie Freeman in the seventh inning.

Still trailing 2-0, L.A. loaded the bases with nobody out. Giants manager Gabe Kapler turned to Jarlín García for the high-leverage spot despite Freeman being a career 6-for-14 with three home runs, seven RBI and two walks against the left-handed relief pitcher.

Freeman got ahead in the count 3-1 before taking a strike. He then uncharacteristically swung at a fastball outside of the zone for strike three. Trea Turner followed by promptly grounding into an inning-ending double play on the first pitch he saw.

The Dodgers twice left the bases loaded, stranded 14 overall and were 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position. Freeman noted such offensive futility won’t amount to much winning and expressed disappointment with his at-bat.

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