When the Los Angeles Dodgers traded for Manny Machado during the All-Star break they acquired one of the game’s top talents who was in the midst of a career year. Machado was joining a Dodgers lineup that was considered among the deepest in baseball.
However, the offense has failed to meet expectations over the past few weeks. The group’s struggles have been overshadowed by an abysmal bullpen. Machado’s impact has been minimal, and key contributors Matt Kemp and Max Muncy have each fallen into slumps.
There’s been recent improvement from the trio, particularly from Kemp and Machado in Wednesday’s win against the San Francisco Giants.
Machado went 3-for-5 with a double, RBI and walk; and Kemp finished 2-for-4 with an RBI and two walks. “I think the last seven to 10 at-bats that Matt’s taken, really good swings,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said after his club’s walk-off win in extra innings.
“So that’s turning. I think Max is really coming along, Cody. I think all the guys, Manny, up and down our lineup, the worm is turning.”
Cody Bellinger endured a slump similar to what Kemp and Muncy are mired in, but has seemingly turned the corner in August. Through 14 games (11 starts) this month, he’s hitting .409/.490/.568 with one double, two home runs and 10 RBI, all the while adding five stolen bases.
Muncy has yet to see results that match his production from earlier this season, but he has made better contact of late, which suggests success could be on the horizon.
As the Dodgers look to make up ground lost to the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies in the National League West standings, Roberts believes the team will begin rounding into form at the plate.
“You’ll see those quality at-bats, you’ll see them passing the baton, you’ll see the runs coming,” he said. “We’re right there. Going forward, I feel good with where we’re at.”