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Dodgers Go Station To Station, Can't Come Home

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In the second inning of the Dodgers 9-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday, the Dodgers scored five runs. Five runs in one inning! That certainly is a miracle of sorts.

Looking closer makes these five runs even more miraculous.

1. Nick Punto singles.
2. Juan Uribe singles. Nick Punto to 2nd.
3. Ramon Hernandez singles. Nick Punto to 3rd, Juan Uribe to 2nd.
4. Ryu Hyun-Jin strikes out swinging.
5. Carl Crawford singles. Nick Punto scores. Juan Uribe scores. Ramon Hernandez to 2nd.
6. Mark Ellis singles. Ramon Hernandez to 3rd, Carl Crawford to 2nd.
7. Adrian Gonzalez reaches on force attempt, error on shortstop Jean Segura. Ramon Hernandez scores. Carl Crawford to 3rd, Mark Ellis to 2nd.
8. Matt Kemp strikes out swinging.
9. Scott Van Slyke walks. Carl Crawford scores. Mark Ellis to 3rd, Adrian Gonzalez to 2nd.
10. Nick Punto walks. Mark Ellis scores. Adrian Gonzalez to 3rd, Scott Van Slyke to 2nd.
11. Juan Uribe flies out to right field.

Five singles, two walks and an error plated five runs. If you expect your team to score, you can't rely on single and station-to-station play to get runs to score.

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The numbers bear this out for the Dodgers. Coming into Saturday's game the Dodgers ranks in the Major Leagues:

  • Second worst in runs scored with 156.
  • Second worst in slugging percentage with .360.
  • Last in doubles with 61.
  • Third worst in triples with 4.
  • Third worst in homers with 31.
  • Batting average is around league-average at .253.

The Dodgers haven't improved since the last time I brought this up earlier in the month. Ben Maller on his Fox Sports Radio show Friday night/Saturday morning told that stat that the Dodgers have scored two or fewer runs in 18 games this season.

Mattingly acknowledged the lack of extra-base hits are a problem. "A true RBI guy, in my opinion, is a guy that drives in runs when a guy's on first. That's with a homer, a double. The guy's hitting the ball to the deep parts of the park. That's how you score those guys."

Say what you want about the validity of the RBI as a measure of a player's efficacy. The fact that the Dodgers are not getting extra bases is a big part of why they are not scoring runs. The lack of slugging has surprised Mattingly.

While we can focus on mechanics and injuries, Mattingly thinks it goes back to something a lot more basic.

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"You want to get a good pitch and try to hit a ball hard and know what you're doing at the plate," Mattingly explained. "I don't think you can walk up there and think, 'I want to hit a double right here.' Sometimes they're going to pitch you in a way they're not going to allow you to do certain things.

"We've got to take what they give. It really goes back to getting good pitches to hit. A guy that's got power will hit his share of doubles. So it goes back to get a good pitch and hit the ball hard."