After taking the series opener from the San Diego Padres, the Los Angeles Dodgers went into the All-Star break with an offense that had been quieted and on a three-game losing streak. Overall, they had dropped seven of their last 13 before the time off.
The Dodgers still were owners of the best record in baseball and had a 13.5-game lead in the National League West. Manager Dave Roberts dismissed the notion that any sort of team meeting being necessary and vowed his club would be ready for the start of the second half.
Ahead loomed a weekend series with the Boston Red Sox in a rematch of the 2018 World Series. Rather than come out rejuvenated, the Dodgers were sluggish yet again in an 8-1 loss at Fenway Park.
They mustered just five hits on the night, with two only coming because Andrew Benintendi couldn’t quite hang onto a diving catch attempt.
Despite another loss, Roberts maintained there isn’t any heightened concern, via Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
“I don’t want to get too much into it as far as kind of trying to overanalyze it,” Roberts said. “I think right now we’ve just got to find a way to put some at-bats together, still take quality at-bats. I don’t think we’re walking as much as we have been when we do score runs (just four times during the losing streak). But you don’t go in there trying to walk. You go in there trying to execute a good swing on a good pitch.
“It’s cyclical — hitting, pitching, all that stuff. So we’ve just got to kind of ride this out. … It’ll turn. We’ve just got to trust that taking good at-bats we will score runs.”
Roberts previously called on players to improve their at-bats after the Dodgers suffered a second consecutive loss to the Padres. L.A. responded to score three runs, their most during the current losing streak.
The Dodgers stormed out to the best record behind a balanced offense that still is largely predicated on slugging but was much improved situationally from last season. They led the Majors in walks for a prolonged stretch and currently are tied for second.
However, the team is batting just .190 during the losing skid.
For all their success, the Dodgers like any other club have endured a fair share of struggles at various points during a given season. A record-setting stretch in 2017 was soon after accompanied by losing 16 of 17 games.