Dodgers' star-studded offense fails to capitalize on chances in loss to Reds

Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Baseball

CINCINNATI — They had the bases loaded with no outs in the second inning. A leadoff double in the fourth. A one-out triple in the sixth.

All night Saturday, the Dodgers threatened to break the game open at Great American Ball Park. All night, they had chances to bury the Cincinnati Reds with their star-studded offense.

But at each crucial point, the team’s offense failed to deliver, continuing its recent trend of poor situational hitting to drop a fourth-straight game, 3-1, in front of a sellout crowd of 41,880.

So far this season, one stat has defined the Dodgers’ success — or failures — more than anything else.

During their 12-11 start to the season, they batted just .244 with runners in scoring position, the 19th-best mark in the majors during that span.

During a 14-2 tear from April 21 to May 9, they batted an MLB-best .328 with runners in scoring position, seemingly addressing their situational hitting woes by cutting down on strikeouts and coming through in opportune moments.


In the two weeks since, however, the team’s batting average with runners in scoring position has cratered again. Since May 10, they are batting just .194 in such spots, better than two teams (the Angels and Texas Rangers) during that span.

Unsurprisingly, the team’s record has tapered off, with the Dodgers now 7-8 in their last 15 games — a stretch that has seen their high-powered lineup manage just 3.7 runs per game.

Situational hitting wasn’t the issue for the Dodgers (33-21) on Saturday.

Starting pitcher Walker Buehler couldn’t replicate the dominance he flashed in six scoreless innings against the Reds (22-30) in Los Angeles last week, instead getting tagged for three runs in 5 ⅔ innings in a rematch series the Reds have clinched and can sweep Sunday.


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