The Los Angeles Dodgers were able to find late offensive success against the Colorado Rockies on Friday night, giving them their sixth straight win and 18th since the start of the second half.
Having a successful trade deadline provided manager Dave Roberts with an influx of production on the offensive and pitching side, while adding to the cohesiveness of the current clubhouse. Entering play on Saturday, the Dodgers hold a 7.5-game lead over the San Francisco Giants for first place in the National League West.
“Right now we’re just in that mode of we know how to win and we’re finding ways to win baseball games,” Roberts said. “Whether it’s a good pitching performance or big hit late, it’s nice that every night, ultimately we feel like we’re going to score more runs than the other team.”
Coming off one of their tougher parts in their schedule, the Dodgers are making the most of this soft spot, creating some distance from the rest of the NL West. Since the All-Star break, Roberts has guided the team to the best record in the NL, and believes they’re in a good spot.
“I think so. We’re taking care of business,” Roberts said. “There’s a lot of playoff teams still in it and they’re duking it out or jockeying for position. Because we’re winning baseball games, there’s certainly some more separation.”
Earlier in the year the Dodgers relied on the home run ball as their main source of offense, but have since found a way to scratch across runs in other ways. After being unable to break the game open against Rockies starter Austin Gomber on Friday, they capitalized with long at-bats and building-block relief appearances, which closed out the win.
“It was a tight ballgame that could’ve gone either way,” Roberts said. “Fergy (Caleb Ferguson) had a clean sixth, which was nice to see, and then Mookie (Betts) starts it off with a double and we sort of took off from there. Freddie gets him over and the hit by pitch, some walks and some big hits when we needed to.
“Offensively, it’s kind of we hang in there and if you give us an opportunity, we’re going to take advantage of it.”
The Dodgers possess a 113 wRC+ from the sixth inning on, which is first in baseball. Having an 11.1% walk-rate during those late game spots has also been key, because of their ability to push across runs with productive outs.
How good have the Dodgers been past the sixth inning?
Across MLB, the Dodgers hold the top spot in RBI with 272 after the sixth inning, while also leading in sacrifice fly balls. They’re making the most of each scoring opportunity, while possessing the number one on-base plus slugging as a unit in the latter parts of games.
According to wRAA, which measures how many runs a hitter contributes with zero being league average, the Dodgers have a 28.3. The Texas Rangers rank second with 17.9.
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