There it is. What, just taking a little nap? Slipped into one of those cyclical down modes?
The Dodgers offense has been something of a stop-and-start proposition this season, lately with too many stops. The Dodgers went into Wednesday having averaged fewer than two runs in seven of their last eight games (the eighth was an 8-6 win over the Diamondbacks).
Among the major leagues' 30 teams they were 15th in slugging percentage (.386), 16th in runs, 24th in batting average (.235) and 25th in on-base percentage (.300).
They were No. 1 in one category. Alas, it was in strikeouts.
There’s plenty of blame to go around. Adrian Gonzalez, Juan Uribe and Dee Gordon are really the only ones off to strong starts. Others have showed flashes, but only sporadically.
Wednesday night’s 5-2 victory over the Phillies at least showed the promise of better things to come.
Hanley Ramirez, 1 for 17 since being hit on the hand with a fastball, had a double and a home run. Matt Kemp, batting .196 with 18 strikeouts in 51 at-bats, had a pair of doubles. Yasiel Puig, inconsistent early this season, singled in the go-ahead run and tripled in another.
Just the way it was drawn up.
“Hopefully we’re going to keep rolling here,” said Manager Don Mattingly.
The Dodgers need Carl Crawford and Andre Ethier to join the party, or at least approach their normal production. You take what offense you can from the catcher’s spot, but hopefully you take more than what’s been offered so far.
The Dodgers may be built around pitching, but their offensive lineup should be one of the most productive in baseball as well, not mired in the middle of the pack.
If Ramirez finds his swing there figures to be something of a domino effect. Wednesday he acted like he had, looked like he couldn’t wait to get to the plate.
“Every time, every time,” Ramirez said. “I don’t give up. Play hard. I have to respect my teammates and the fans. That’s the only think I can control, is playing hard.”
Despite their offensive irregularities and playing their last 19 games without ace Clayton Kershaw, the Dodgers are 13-9 and first in the National League West. And with plenty of room for offensive improvement.