The Dodgers Slump And The Reasoning Behind It

The purpose of this article is to dissect the 2017 Los Angeles Dodgers current losing streak. It is not to place blame. The Dodgers are a great team and all great teams go through slumps.

Starting Pitching Giving Up Runs Early in Games, the Bullpen Giving Up Runs Late, While the Dodgers Offense Has Struggled to Score Runs Late

Since Saturday, August 26, Dodgers pitchers (including the bullpen) have given up five runs one time, six runs four times, seven runs two times, nine runs once, and thirteen runs once.

On the other hand, the Dodgers offense has scored one run or less six times and two runs or less two times. Conversely, the Dodgers still lead the league in comeback wins and have the best run differential showing how good they can be, but how much they have struggled during this current streak.

What hurts the Dodgers most is that their 1-14 record since August 26 has seen the team play six games against the second place Diamondbacks, four games against the third place and second Wild Card team Rockies, plus four games against the fourth place San Diego Padres. The inter-division games hurt more because they are direct hits to the cushion between first and second place.

Moreover, the Dodgers starting pitching staff has given up bunches of runs all early in games. Specifically, twenty-seven runs in the first three innings of games since August 26. The bullpen has given up twenty-seven runs in the last three innings of games since August 26 as well.  In that same thought, the Dodgers offense has been searching for its come from behind determination that fans saw until the end of August.

The early runs place the team in a hole, while the late runs stave of motivation, and the offense being in slump prevents come from behind wins. The mixture together has seen the Dodgers win one game and lose fourteen since the end of August. Things will change.

The Dodgers Are Not This Bad and the Opposition is Not That Good

During the Dodgers winning streak playing historically good and record-breaking baseball, the line was “The Dodgers are not this good, and the opposition is not that bad.” As with anything in life, things take a turn. Ballplayers and teams go through slumps, streaks, and weeks of uncharacteristic play.

This time, as of Sunday morning, September 10, 2017, during the Dodgers current nine game losing streak, it is one of those times. The fans have to wait it out and the team has to work it out.

Better that this working out happens now and not just prior or during the postseason and the great thing for the Dodgers is that they played so well previously that they still have a ten game lead over the Arizona Diamondbacks for the National League West Division lead. The Dodgers also still have best record in baseball. Not that the Dodgers should rest on their laurels, but sometimes your previous successes help carry you when life puts in you in a slump.

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Jeremy Evans

Jeremy M. Evans is the Founder & Managing Attorney at California Sports Lawyer®, representing entertainment, media, and sports clientele. Evans is an award-winning attorney and industry leader based in Los Angeles.


  1. The Cleveland Indians currently have the highest run differential at +206. The Dodgers are second-best at +175.

  2. When you stink, you stink. Keep trying to come up with rational reasons for not winning. They simply stink.

  3. What the author fails to mention are the reasons for these extremities. Simply stating that slumps are a part of life is a broad generalization. We are all aware of these numbers. However, this is not willy-nilly. Among the different causes are those that have already been stated: The chronic shifts in personnel from night to night, turning September into a de facto postseason spring training and holding October auditions. Unfortunately, the truth is darker and far more serious. This is a team that looks as though it’s on the take. It is not my responsibility to support that assertion. I am simply stating what I see, and the almost improbable reality of the results of these games. One cannot simply wish it away as the product of a man with a tinfoil hat. We know too much and have seen too much at this day and age to pretend such things are not happening.

    1. Thank you for your insight. The team management decided to prepare for the playoffs before they had earned a spot. Nothing is more dangerous in competition than to stop competing and competing is 100% all the time. The Front Office geniuses with their advancement metrics have done it to us again!

    2. On the take??? What the hell? Just dismiss all of the baseball reasons for a prolonged slump and jump right in on the looney-toons conspiracy theory.
      Every team works their September call-ups into the lineup in September, and the Dodgers have both excellent prospects and players with varying degrees of injuries.
      The game of baseball is incredibly hard, and at this level it is extremely difficult.
      That the Dodgers have been able to win so consistently for so long this season is incredible. They have done things that haven’t been accomplished in most of our lifetimes. So many things have to go right for this to happen, and right now not enough things are going right, at the same time as a lot of things are going right for Az. and Col., etc.
      These guys haven’t forgotten how to play great, they will play great again. They are not, however, “on the take”, whatever that would mean.

    3. I agree. the current dodgers are more than a team in a slump. everyone talks about how good they were in the early season but my recollection was that they were in second place because they couldn’t score. record numbers of left on base. the second half turned up a couple of unexpected power hitters in the batting order leaving very few hitters to pitch around. those batters have come back down to earth and the dodgers are finding that they were winning because pitchers couldn’t pitch around many of the batters. now that the power has cooled, the dodgers are again the second place team.

  4. Any athlete playing in the zone and boosted by the adrenaline that comes with it will eventually run out of adrenaline and hit a slump. I think it’s the same w the Dodgers right now. The “adrenaline” peaked and waned and now it has to recycle to get them going again. Hopefully there’s enough time for that to happen and reach another peak, I think there is.

  5. The beginning of this streak began with the series loss at home against Milwaukee at which time we all that, that sucks but things happen, we are fine. Now as I try and analyze why, I can only come to one conclusion. We simply took our foot off the pedal beginning with Bellingers rolled ankle, Seagers elbow and the mind set of rest everyone, be extremely cautious. Then you add September call ups, try outs, spring training, whatever we want to call it, this has diminished our mindset and aggressive mentality. Lesson learned Doc, we do have things to lose and we cannot afford to play at this level of complacency which is what has been created. Sports are too difficult to flip the switch. Guys can’t miss 10 plus days and pick right back up where they left off. Hopefully in these next 3 weeks, we will field an A team line up night after night and ride the horses that got us here. We have lost the luxury of the extreme caution approach. I think Doc agrees and we have seen that line up the last couple days and Kershaw getting bumped is the right move. Let’s go Dodgers, if we just get 1, things will start to turn.

  6. Agreed that although I like Dave Roberts his foolish decisions to make nightly changes and over rest his best players has cost the team chemistry. Certainly hope the dodgers find that “magic and chemistry ” that made them great and fun to watch. Players are responsible to play but to dismiss the Dodgers management, on field manager and coaches as not taking some of the blame is ludicrous! Go Dodgers!

  7. I’ve been a Dodger fan since I was 8 years old (1957) when we learned that the Brooklyn Dodgers were coming to Los Angeles. I love this team with all of my heart. They’ve taken me to top floor many, many times; however, they’ve also taken me to the basement many times. I can remember 1962 when we were battling the San Francisco Giants into late September. I think we had a 3 game lead with 7 to go, and somehow, the Giants caught us. Then went into a 3 game playoff where we lost in the 3rd game. We had a 2 run lead going into the top of the 9th at Dodger Stadium. Things looked great, but then, thanks to Larry Burright, we gave up 3 runs and lost the game and the season! Then there was the worst (until now) in 1991 when somehow, we lost a 10 game lead in late August and lost to the Atlanta Braves. And now this! 3 weeks ago, we had a 20 game lead over Arizona and Colorado, now it’s down to 9. We’re probably going to win the Division, but I have little hope of going any further than the NLCS. Either our Dodgers have just burned out, or they were playing way, way over their heads. I hope I’m wrong; I pray I’m wrong, but my head and gut tell me I’m not!

  8. Go with the guys who brung you here. Taylor, Seager, Turner, Bellinger, Puig should be in there every night until you clinch the best record in the NL.

  9. The manager, the coaches and the players are at a loss for this tremendous losing streak. What I see is a lack of consistency. The lineups are all over the place. These are things that should have been done after clinching the division. Maybe the huge lead that they accumulated (equity) gave them the opportunity to use rookies, etc. It’s time to get back to the lineup that won. I like Puig in the 8th spot. That worked. I do not trust Baez or Ravin. Well, hoping that the winning starts tonight with Kershaw on the mound against the Giants.

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