The Los Angeles Dodgers dropped their third consecutive game against the Atlanta Braves with their offense struggling for the second night in a row.
The Dodgers did have nine baserunners in six innings against Bryce Elder, but they were unable to find the big hit needed to break the game open. Elder finished his start with just one run allowed that was scored when Will Smith grounded into a double play with the bases loaded.
“Well, I mean, we just had opportunities right there,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said after the 4-2 loss in extra innings. “So I got to go back and look at the at-bats. It’s about getting your pitch and doing something with it and making it productive outs and be in a good situation. Tonight we weren’t.”
Overall, the Dodgers left 10 on base while going 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position.
“That’s baseball,” Smith said. “They’re trying to get outs, we’re trying to get hits, get outs, score runs. And they’ve done that better the last couple nights.”
Although the Dodgers weren’t able to put many runs up on the scoreboard, they did make quality contact throughout the night, which was perhaps the most frustrating part of the game.
Of the 15 hardest hit balls, nine of them (60%) came off Dodgers’ bats, and 16 of the 25 (64%) hardest-hit balls were also by L.A. players.
“It’s baseball,” Max Muncy said. “It’s going to happen. You know, we’ve had a couple of games where we’ve hit a bunch of soft balls and got a ton of runs, and it’s just how it is. You go through the ups and downs.”
Still, their inability to hit with runners in scoring position has been a trend through the first three games against the Braves. The Dodgers are 3-for-24 (.125) so far with runners on second or third while leaving 23 on base.
“In some of those at-bats, I think that we were getting out of the strike zone,” Roberts said. “I think some of those other at-bats, I thought we had some good pitches to hit but we were over-swinging. We really didn’t make many good outs. I think Mookie (Betts) lined out once. Outside of that, we didn’t really have too many quality at-bats tonight.”
Overall, the Dodgers have been productive with runners in scoring position throughout the season, batting .276/.373/.460 with a 121 OPS+ in 1,183 at-bats.
Dodgers not worried about struggles against Braves
While the Dodgers are 2-4 against the Braves this season, the team is not worried about a potential matchup in the National League Championship Series. As they have shown in the past, regular season results don’t always translate to postseason success.
“You can’t take too much out of it,” Muncy said. “If we face them in the postseason, it’s going to be completely different games. I think we’ve proven that in the past several times against teams that we played.
“It’s an exciting series right now and I know it’s a lot of fun for people who watch it. But at the end of the day, it’s not going to be the same if it’s in the playoffs.”
The Braves and Dodgers are still the two favorites in the NL to advance to the Championship Series, but L.A. isn’t looking ahead to that potential matchup and just want to finish out the regular season.
“They’re a good team,” Smith said. “We got to be on our A-game if we do play them (in the NLCS). We got a game tomorrow versus them. We’re going to come out and try to win tomorrow.
“We’re not thinking too much ahead to that series. We’re just trying to finish this season strong and win the division.”
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