Deep and dangerous, that was the plan. An almost embarrassing wealth of weapons.
Recently, though, that mighty Dodgers offense had looked rather drowsy, looked oh-so average. After scoring 24 runs in three games in Arizona last weekend, the Dodgers had scored two, one, one and two runs in their next four.
“This game is so stupid sometimes,” Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly said.
That much ballyhooed, four-headed outfield? The four went into Saturday batting a combined .217. Not one of them was hitting better than .235 and it brought the question that maybe all this outfield platooning was affecting their offensive rhythm.
“I don’t feel like it is,” Mattingly said. “I just feel like we’re not swinging the bats as good as we can yet.”
Saturday, the Dodgers got a better look at what that lineup is supposed to look like, how it was designed to deliver in an 8-6 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
They put together two innings that featured the kind of deep attack they envisioned would be their offensive calling card. One powerful bat followed by the next.
Down, 4-0, in the fourth, Andre Ethier followed singles by Adrian Gonzalez and Matt Kemp against rookie Mike Bolsinger with a three-run home run to right. The Dodgers were suddenly ignited.
“That home run was huge,” Mattingly said. “It kind of changes the game right there.”
It preceded a five-run fifth and sparked the Dodgers’ first comeback victory of the year. Dan Haren had wobbled in the third, but then held Arizona at bay to allow the Dodgers to make their charge.
“We’re never out of a game, especially with the offense that we have,” Kemp said.
It hadn’t worked that way as often as the Dodgers had imagined early this season. Most of their season offensive numbers were of the middling variety.
But in the fifth, the hits just kept coming, started by the unlikely bat of Haren, who singled to get it going. Dee Gordon and Carl Crawford followed with hits and the Dodgers had the bases loaded with no outs and the middle of the order coming up.
The Dodgers scored the tying run when Gerardo Parra bobbled a Hanley Ramirez bouncer for an error. Then Gonzalez singled in two runs and Kemp doubled in two. The Dodgers were suddenly rolling.
They had five quick runs and had taken control. It was their highest scoring inning of the season.
“It’s nice to get the bases loaded with no one out when they have to walk through Hanley, Adrian, Matt and Andre,” Mattingly said.
“What happened is really what you hope would happen right there.”
An unidentified illness is sweeping through the Dodgers clubhouse and Mattingly said that, before the game, Ethier had taken fluids from an IV and had almost been scratched.
Instead, he rebounded and delivered a huge hit.
“We had a quick four-run deficit there and were kind of playing back on our heels, and not playing the way we’re capable,” Ethier said.
Despite batting .214 on the season, Ethier is second on the team with 13 runs batted in; Gonzalez leads with 17.
Saturday it all flowed, for Ethier and the rest of the offense.
“The offense just really stepped up, it was just one hit after another,” Haren said.