Max Muncy has had a somewhat up-and-down season for the Los Angeles Dodgers, starting off hot in April before regressing in May and June, and now picking up his offense again in July.
In total, that has led to Muncy having a solid season despite his low batting average, hitting .196/.328/.470 with 23 home runs, 59 RBI, 56 runs scored and a 116 wRC+. Still, June proved to be a real struggle for the 32-year-old as he hit just .111/.259/.222 with a 43 wRC+.
However, over his last 15 games entering play Sunday, Muncy is batting .207/.343/.500 with five home runs, which is far closer to the level of production the Dodgers expect from him. The two-time All-Star has also homered in two of his last three games, including a long ball against the Baltimore Orioles that he considered a sigh of relief.
Muncy credited his bounce-back to a different mental approach at the plate and focusing on his ability and strengths, via SportsNet LA:
“Just trying to get myself to relax. If I can get myself to relax and just trust in myself, I usually have pretty good results. Swing at strikes and taking balls, and not trying to do too much at the plate. Really, it’s just trying to get myself to relax.”
Muncy has also struggled on the road, posting an on-base plus slugging of .880 at Dodger Stadium versus a .735 mark away from home.
Although Globe Life Field isn’t his home stadium in the literal sense of the phrase, Muncy was born in Texas and still resides there during the offseason, which makes it a homecoming for him. It was also the ballpark the Dodgers used as their temporary home during the 2020 postseason, which adds to the significance.
That comfort level of being back in Texas and playing at Globe Life Stadium also helped Muncy to settle in at the plate:
“Being here and being at home, it’s a chance to kind of relax. A little taste of home cooking helps me out. Hopefully, it gets me going when we get back home.”
Muncy has shown elite offensive ability in the past, but that talent has been inconsistent since his 2021 elbow injury. He’s also shown glimpses of it this year, and the Dodgers would greatly benefit if he can get back to that point on a full-time basis.
But with Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, Will Smith and J.D. Martinez, all the Dodgers really need from Muncy is to be a consistent contributor in the middle of their lineup.
Max Muncy reflects on 2020 World Series at Glove Life Field
The 2020 calendar will go down in history as one of the most notorious in memory, and that’s no different for the MLB season that ultimately saw the Dodgers crowned World Series champions.
Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the celebration was muted, and Muncy remembered the accomplishment lacking the usual buzz and joy.
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