Dodgers News: Dave Roberts Points To Sign Of Success Against Left-Handed Pitching
David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Despite overcoming a record number of players put on the disabled list this season and clinching a fourth straight National League West title, the Los Angeles Dodgers have faced constant criticism for their struggles against left-handed pitching.

Their trouble is believed to have influenced the rival San Francisco Giants to acquire Matt Moore from the Tampa Bay Rays prior to the Aug. 1 non-waiver trade deadline. Adrian Gonzalez and Justin Turner recently downplayed the notion the Dodgers can’t succeed against southpaws.

They proved as much on Thursday, eventually breaking through against San Diego Padres lefty Christian Friedrich. He was chased in the sixth inning after allowing five runs.

On Friday, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts explained he was taken aback by the club’s record against left-handers given the perception that exists, via SportsNet LA:

“It’s not even stressing positives. It’s being realistic and being honest. I think there’s been this narrative that I kind of bought into it, just not looking at the win-loss, that we were completely abysmal (against left-handed pitching). When you hear information like that, understanding the point of baseball is win games. Even against left-handed pitching, we’re still winning more than we’ve lost.”

The Dodgers entered the series opener against the San Francisco Giants 22-21 in games started by lefties this season. Los Angeles suffered a loss, though that was largely a result of Brandon McCarthy struggling mightily in his audition as a reliever.

Prior to McCarthy entering the game in the bottom of the sixth, the Dodgers had taken a 3-2 lead on Madison Bumgarner. The Giants’ ace earned his first win against the Dodgers in four tries in 2016. Friday’s victory was also San Francisco’s first this season in a game Bumgarner faced their longtime rival.

While the Dodgers have managed to break even against left-handers, they rank last in the Majors in several offensive categories. Most notably being on-base percentage (.294), slugging (.339), wOBA (.279) and wRC+ (75).