Dodgers News: Dave Roberts Calls For Improved At-Bats Against Left-Handed Pitching As NLDS Looms
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

For everything the Los Angeles Dodgers accomplished this season, they’ve been saddled by the narrative, perception, or truth — whichever you prefer — of being unable to hit left-handed pitching. The one outlier proved to be San Francisco Giants ace Madison Bumgarner.

Though, Bumgarner righted the ship in some regard over his past two outings against the Dodgers. On Saturday, Los Angeles was stymied by rookie left-hander Ty Blach. He worked quickly, kept the Dodgers off balance, and fired eight shutout innings in a duel with Clayton Kershaw.

“We just couldn’t figure him out. He was throwing fastballs and getting ahead of guys,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said after his club’s 3-0 loss.

“We just really couldn’t put any good swings together, let alone consistent at-bats consecutively.”

Roberts recently refuted the notion that the Dodgers were incapable of hitting southpaws. He pointed to their record in games started by a left-handed pitcher, which is now 22-23 entering Sunday.

One message from Roberts, no matter the opponent, that has remained consistent is an emphasis on strong at-bats. He reiterated that importance after Saturday’s loss.

“[Saturday] wasn’t a good day. The quality of at-bat, some [because] of the lack of familiarity (with Blach) but even with that, I think gave away a lot of at-bats,” Roberts said. “Obviously, we have to be better. We’re going to see a lefty in the next series.”

The Dodgers rank last in the Majors in several offensive categories against lefties. They figure to see one — Washington Nationals’ Gio Gonzalez — in Game 3 of the National League Division Series.

The veteran put together an average season, though allowed just one run on three hits and had six strikeouts over six innings when he faced the Dodgers on July 20 at home. His probably NLDS start will come at Dodger Stadium.