Considering the record number of players the Los Angeles Dodgers have put on the disabled list this season, that should’ve been their undoing. But the Dodgers’ organizational depth and grooming of prospects has not only kept the club afloat, but led to success.
A prime example of that is the club falling eight games back of the San Francisco Giants when Clayton Kershaw last pitched in June, to five games ahead when the ace returned last weekend. However, a consistent thorn in the Dodgers’ side has been left-handed pitching.
Kiké Hernandez hasn’t been able to replicate his success from last season, Trayce Thompson was eventually lost to injury, and Scott Van Slyke never found his footing prior to succumbing to a wrist injury.
The Dodgers’ woes against southpaws were back in the spotlight on Tuesday, as CC Sabathia allowed just three hits and had seven strikeouts in 6.1 innings of the New York Yankees’ victory.
According to ESPN’s Doug Padilla, Adrian Gonzalez isn’t to the point where he’s overly concerned by the club’s prolonged struggles:
“We know we can do it,” Gonzalez said. “I hope we do it when it counts. We’re not going to look too much into it, other than the fact that we’re pissed that we lost and we didn’t score any runs today. But we’re not going to look too much into those struggles until we don’t do it when it counts.”
Meanwhile, Justin Turner doesn’t believe there’s any reason to belabor the point:
“We know there are lefties in our division and we have to win games. Just to sit around and talk about it all the time isn’t a solution to fix anything, so hopefully we don’t have to spend too much time talking about it.”
One left-hander the Dodgers have inexplicably succeeded against this season is San Francisco Giants ace Madison Bumgarner. They’ve hit .311/.342/.514 off Bumgarner and handed him two losses in three starts; he owns a 5.63 ERA in the outings.
Bumgarner is slated to face the Dodgers twice more this season. So is Matt Moore, who nearly threw a no-hitter his last time facing Los Angeles.
Andrew Toles leads the Dodgers with a 1.125 on-base plus slugging percentage against southpaws this season. Though, he’s only logged eight at-bats. Yasiel Puig (.813 OPS), Yasmani Grandal (.789) and Corey Seager (.768) are among the regulars who have hit well off left-handers.