The best team does not always win… well, maybe I should rephrase that: The team with the best players does not always win, but the best team usually does win. By far and away, the Dodgers have the best players in the NL, but currently they do not have the best team. Certainly, the players have execute, but the players also have play as a team. Too many times I feel that the players are trying to win it by hitting a home run. When the Dodger were doing poorly early in the season, Farhan Zaidi, the Dodgers GM, talked to Dylan Hernandez of The LA Times about that very fact. Here’s a portion of that article:
If the Dodgers’ early-season malaise becomes a season-long problem, the responsible party will be the front office that constructed the team.
I’m not the only one who thinks that. The general manager does, too.
“I mean, who else is it on?” Farhan Zaidi said.
So what’s wrong with the offense?
“We just haven’t hit homers,” Zaidi said. “When you look at our overarching team performance, I think we still have a positive run differential. There are some positive indicators. But we have been outhomered. We’re a team that’s played a lot of close games. When you’re playing close games and you’re getting outhomered, it’s really tough to win those games.”
The Dodgers ranked fourth in the National League in home runs last season. They are third from the bottom now.
The first signs of trouble appeared in the final months of the regular season last year, when pitchers started attacking the Dodgers differently. Even though the offense didn’t react well to the changes — the team dropped 16 of 17 games over one late-season stretch — Zaidi didn’t think that it called for significant offseason changes in the lineup.
So, the Dodgers went out and took what Zaidi said to heart: They became a “homer happy team.” Did it help? Well, obviously, they turned the season around and are now in the playoff hunt. They now lead the NL in Home Runs and are second only to the Yankees in all of baseball with 202 big flies. Quick: Guess who’s #3? The A’s. Who knew? The Dodgers are 4 runs scored behind the Cubs for the NL lead in runs scored, so the offense woke up. The only problem is that some days it doesn’t show up. The Dodgers either win big or loose close.
In Cincinnati, a 10-6 game is close and the Dodgers offense did produce 6 runs last night – that should be enough to win, especially when you have the best pitching staff in the NL, second only to the Astros in all of MLB. Alex Wood, who has be very reliable for a couple of months inexplicably gave up 7 runs. You are not going to win very often when that happens. They had opportunities – two bases loaded situations that yielded zip, but that is common with this bunch. It’s not likely that they are going to change this late in the season. It is what it is, and some of the blame goes to the front office.
The rest of the blame goes to the coaching staff. If you look at just the obvious stats, you will see that Kike Hernandez hits RH pitching the same as LH pitching THIS season. You can also see that he hits over .300 in the 1st and 8th spot, but his BA is .140 hitting 4th. How many times have they rolled out Kike in the cleanup position? Felony stupid! Doc should be playing that hottest players and I don’t mean hot for a week, but like over the past 28 days:
- Hernandez – .333 BA/.429 OB%
- Dozier – .141 BA/.244 OB%
- Kemp – .288 BA/.373 OB%
- Barnes – .174 BA/.296 OB%
- Grandal – .130 BA/.262 OB%
- Turner – .380 BA/.409 OB%
- Machado – .286 BA/.359 OB%
- Puig – .200 BA/.259 OB%
- Taylor – .241 BA/.339 OB%
- Pederson – .156 BA/.264 OB%
- Bellinger – .299 BA/.360 OB%
- Muncy – .239 BA/.364 OB%
- Freese – .267 BA/.340 OB%
Andrew Toles can’t even get a sniff and Alex Verdugo has looked solid when he had the opportunity. It’s time to forget the splits and quit wishing. The reality is this: Right about now, Barnes, Grandal, Pederson, Puig and Dozier have no business in the lineup. Play the guys that have shown they can hit… and for God’s sakes, don’t bat Kike cleanup. Some of this is on DOC. I would roll out this lineup:
- Muncy 2B
- Turner 3B
- Machado SS
- Bellinger 1B
- Kemp LF
- Verduro RF
- Taylor CF
- Farmer C (Yes, I do it and bring in Barnes later)
Freese, Kike and Toles would play too. This ain’t rocket science. Just play the players who give you the best chance to win TODAY! It’s time to quit believing whatever wierd science you are smoking and deal with reality.