Max Muncy has had a season to forget for the Dodgers, batting .174 with an OPS of .649 which is 15 percent below league average. On the other hand, his average and OPS were at .158 and .609, respectively, just eight games ago. Muncy has hit safely in seven of those eight games, batting .321 with a .394 on-base percentage and a .643 slugging percentage in that time. Twenty-five percent of Muncy’s doubles and 18 percent of his homers have come in the past week.
To put it bluntly, Muncy is heating up.
After a huge home run on Saturday night turned a 3-2 deficit into a 5-3 lead, Muncy had some interesting comments about the Dodgers offense (via Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic):
“It kinda seems like our lineup has been forgotten about with a lot of this stuff that has been happening. It’s been kinda nice to go out there and prove again that we’re one of the best lineups in baseball, and there’s no question about that.”
“A lot of this stuff that has been happening,” of course, refers to the Padres’ blockbuster acquisitions of Juan Soto, Josh Bell, Brandon Drury, and Josh Hader at the trade deadline. The Padres grabbed the national spotlight with those moves, and it set the drama up perfectly as the Padres headed into a three-game series with the Dodgers shortly after the deadline.
In the end, though, the drama wasn’t there. The Dodgers took an 8-0 lead through three innings in the first game on Friday and hardly looked back. Other than a brief Padres lead in game two — which was promptly erased by Muncy’s three-run blast — the Dodgers dominated the series from beginning to end.
The fact is, Muncy is correct in referring to the Dodgers as “one of the best lineups in baseball,” and if he and Cody Bellinger are really catching fire like it seems, he might actually be underselling it a bit. But this past weekend, the Boys in Blue provided a stark, painful reminder to the Padres and the rest of the league that they’re real, and they’re spectacular.
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