If Manny Machado’s frustration with his performance as a Dodger wasn’t apparent before his at-bat in the seventh inning of a 4-3 loss to Colorado on Sunday, it was unmistakable afterward.
The Dodgers had just scored their first runs of the game, with fellow new addition Brian Dozier cracking a one-run single. Machado had a chance to keep the rally alive. Instead, he swung over a slider at his shoes from Rockies reliever Scott Oberg. Machado grabbed his bat and snapped the lumber over his thigh.
The act of disgust was his final one on Sunday. Manager Dave Roberts double-switched Machado out of the game afterward.
In 23 games as a Dodger, Machado has a .750 on-base-plus-slugging percentage, a useful number that still pales next to the .963 OPS he posted in Baltimore this season. Machado has hit .238 in August with 14 strikeouts in 42 at-bats.
“He’s swinging and missing a lot more than he has in his career,” Roberts said. “I think that there’s some good pitches that they’re making on him, but I think there’s a little bit of overanxiousness in the batter’s box.”
Machado insisted he was not affected by any pressure related to joining a playoff contender midway through the year.
“It’s just a long season,” Machado said. “Just things aren’t going the right way. I’ve just got to be better. That’s all there is.”
Pederson gets day off, more to follow
Facing Colorado pitcher Chad Bettis, who has been more effective against left-handed hitters such as Joc Pederson than right-handed hitters, Pederson rode the bench. He is likely to meet a similar fate this week against San Francisco. The Giants will start three left-handed pitchers: Madison Bumgarner, Andrew Suarez and Derek Holland.
The matchups do not benefit the Dodgers. The team entered Sunday ranked 23rd in baseball with a .690 OPS against left-handed pitchers. The acquisition of second baseman Dozier was aimed at correcting that mark, but one hitter cannot carry an entire lineup.
Part of the problem is Matt Kemp, whose production has sagged significantly since making the All-Star team.
Kemp posted a .547 OPS in his first 19 games after the break. He drove in a run with a sacrifice fly on Sunday but finished the day in a three-for-50 skid.
Urias headed to Tulsa for outing
After logging 12/3 innings for Class-A Rancho Cucamonga on Friday, Julio Urias is slated to throw a three-inning outing for double-A Tulsa this week, Roberts said.
The organization will decide how to handle Urias based on his performance there.
Roberts suggested one possible path: Urias could make another appearance for triple-A Oklahoma City before the Dodgers decide whether he’s ready to help the big league bullpen.