That focus on adding two additional starters to the rotation and the struggling bullpen might have distracted the Dodgers from another growing issue.
What's up with the offense?
The offense slowly has been shrinking, a fact made all the more obvious Wednesday afternoon in the dodgers' 5-2 loss to the Athletics in Oakland.
The A's had lost seven consecutive games before sweeping their two-game series from the Dodgers. With right-hander Jesse Chavez holding them to two hits in his eight innings, the Dodgers went rather quietly.
Chavez entered the game with a 6-12 record and a 3.84 earned-run average, but had a fat 5.81 ERA in his last 10 starts. No matter. The only time the Dodgers did anything against him came in the third inning when Jimmy Rollins followed a walk to Joc Pederson with a two-run homer.
It was the only hit Chavez allowed until Enrique Hernandez doubled with two outs in the eighth.
The Dodgers' offense has been moving in the wrong direction for weeks. At the All-Star break, they were ranked 13th in baseball in runs and fourth in slugging percentage. Since the break, they are 20th in runs and 14th in slugging.
Not getting much support this time out was left-hander Alex Wood, who started for the Dodgers and mostly pitched very well. He gave up a run in the first inning on a pair of singles and a groundout, but then held the A's in check until the sixth.
Eric Sogard led off the inning with a single and scored on a Billy Burns double to tie the score, 2-2. When Mark Canha was safe on an infield single that moved Burns to third, the Dodgers elected to play back for the double play and allow the go-ahead run to score. Which is exactly what happened, Danny Valencia hitting into the double play as Burns scored.
The Dodgers were gambling they could score again over the last three innings, a gamble made more daunting by the fact they had managed only one hit to that point.
After Chris Hatcher turned in a perfect 1 1/3 innings of relief, the A's added to their lead against Jim Johnson in the bottom of the eighth inning. Oakland loaded the bases with two singles and a walk. Johnson struck out Valencia before the Dodgers went to left-hander Luis Avilan. He gave up a sacrifice fly and then the call went to Pedro Baez, who promptly gave up a run-scoring double to Jake Smolinski.
Left-hander Drew Pomeranz came on in relief of Chavez in the ninth, and retired the Dodgers in order to complete the two-hitter and earn his second save.