Dodgers News: Beckett, Mattingly Weigh In On Struggles This Season
It’s safe to say that the Los Angeles Dodgers are not satisfied with their play this season. Preseason expectations had the team running away with the National League West en route to a World Series appearance.
Well, it’s two months into the season and the Dodgers find themselves just two games over .500 and 7.5 games back in the division. Their starting pitching has been the strength thus far, with their defense, bullpen and clutch hitting being their downfall.
According to Lyle Spencer of MLB.com, last night’s starting pitcher, Josh Beckett, discussed what the team needs to do:
I think we’re getting to that time. We have to start rolling a little bit better now. We need to pitch better, we need to hit better, we need to play better defense. We need to do everything better.”
While injuries have played a small role in the struggles, it has been a lack of consistent play from their core that has done them in. Hanley Ramirez has yet to find the same slugger that hit .345 last season, while Adrian Gonzalez has been through hot and cold streaks. Yasiel Puig and Dee Gordon have been the most consistent threats at the plate so far.
Manager Don Mattingly also weighed in on last night’s 2-1 loss, where the offense went 2-for-15 with runners in scoring position:
I think we’re all frustrated we can’t sustain anything,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “We know what’s left in this baseball season. We can’t fall in that trap. It’s baseball. We threw the ball well but didn’t get key hits. We know we’re capable, pretty confident of playing the kind of baseball we need to make a move.”
The move that Mattingly is talking about must come sooner rather than later because the San Francisco Giants have a bit more staying power at the top of the division than the Arizona Diamondbacks did last season. If they can just work on the things that Beckett laid out, the Dodgers will be able to make a run back to the top.
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The Dodgers have the material to go all the way. But they must do it on a consistent basis. The starting pitchers are very good, but you don’t win games on just starting pitching. (Note that the starters would rather pitch the entire game rather than relinquish their good pitching to the bullpen…which is why Beckett chose to go all the way for his hitless game.)