The Dodgers were much better off offensively when Zach McKinstry was hitting. Before hitting the injured list in May, McKinstry was leading the team in quite a few categories with the bat. He was a big reason why they were able to continue winning ballgames without some key players being healthy.
But his return from the IL did not bring immediate results. McKinstry went 9-for-47 with the Dodgers all the way through the San Diego series this week. He also struck out 16 times over that stretch, which he was not doing much before being injured.
But over his last 3 games, something appears to have clicked for McKinstry. He went 4-for-11(.364) with 2 homeruns and 4 runs driven in against the Cubs over the weekend. That includes a huge grand slam to put the Dodgers up quickly on Sunday afternoon.
After the game, McKinstry described one major change the Dodgers staff had him make since the series with the Padres. And it really is almost shocking to hear, given how basic of a change that it seems to be.
Actually, I was closing my eyes on contact, which is wild to think. …So I was closing my eyes on contact and we kind of saw that in San Diego. We started working on that making sure my eyes were open and it helped and I started seeing the ball a little bit longer out of the pitcher’s hand. It’s been good, I’ve been hitting the ball hard ever since.
Closing your eyes during a swing is probably a bad idea, but what do I know about hitting? But it looks like the Dodgers hitting coaches locked in on the issue and Z-Mac is feeling confident where his swing is at.
McKinstry is going to be a huge part of this team if they want to make another run at a World Series title. If he can get locked in again and lengthen the lineup even more, other teams are going to have a very tough time with LA.