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Where Did the Dodgers Hide the Offense?

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At the beginning of the season I made the proclamation that the Dodger offense would be a juggernaut this season. Of all the concerns with the team it would be the pitching. While the pitching has been a concern, this stretch of games over the last month has seen the offense go stale.

Over the stretch since they went to St. Louis on July 27, the Dodgers are giving up only 4 runs per game in that stretch with a 3.57 ERA which is below their season average of 3.60. So despite the injuries to the starters and lack of a fifth starter, the pitching has been adequate.

However during that same stretch the Dodgers have scored 4.3 runs per game despite batting .277 over the period. However keep in mind that the Dodgers did have one game where they scored 17 runs against the Milwaukee Brewers inflating the run average.

“It’s frustrating,” manager Joe Torre said of the stretch. “When you lose it chips away at your confidence, I don’t care how good you are. It’s something we have to fight our way through.”

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“I think everybody’s putting a lot of pressure on themselves,” Torre added. “We have to start winning some of these close games again.”

While the team is frustrated Torre doesn’t see any sign of resignation amongst the team.

“I think they’re in a good place right now,” Torre said. “They keep going out and wanting that good result, and we keep running into that wall.

“It’s just a little thing we’re going through and I’m confident we’ll be fine,” Torre said. “It’s just a matter of something happening to win a game, win another game, win another game, and all of the sudden you wonder, ‘how the hell did this happen?’”

And that kids is baseball summed up.

It’s not a matter of the Dodgers not hitting. Despite their slump they can still hit the ball as evidenced by their batting average during the slump. It’s about stringing the hits together to bring the runs in.

“We want them to go to the plate with a plan,” Torre explained. “For the most part they’ve been earning their walks and doing stuff.

“But again it’s a human thing. When you get to a game and you’re coming away empty, you think you have to do something different. The toughest part about hitting is just staying with the plan even though it doesn’t work for two or three at-bats. That’s where you run into a little bit of an issue.”

Tonight’s lineups:

Chicago Cubs

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  1. Ryan Theriot, SS
  2. Milton Bradley, RF
  3. Derrek Lee, 1B
  4. Aramis Ramirez, 3B
  5. Kosuke Fukudome, CF
  6. Alfonso Soriano, LF
  7. Jeff Baker, 2B
  8. Koyie Hill, C
  9. Tom Gorzelanny, P

LA Dodgers

  1. Rafael Furcal, SS
  2. Matt Kemp, CF
  3. Andre Ethier, RF
  4. Manny Ramirez, LF
  5. Casey Blake, 3B
  6. Orlando Hudson, 2B
  7. James Loney, 1B
  8. Russell Martin, C
  9. Jeff Weaver, P