DXMachina (dxmachina) wrote,

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More Baseball

The Dodgers seem to have righted themselves, winning three out of four, although they lost to Milwaukee last night. The Padres also lost, so they're still tied in first. Meanwhile the Giants won 10 straight, and had climbed back into the race, but they lost yesterday as well.

I took a look at the team stats, and was appalled at the hitting numbers. The Dodgers are next to last in the league in runs scored. Since the whole point of the game is to score runs, that ain't good. (Only the Expos are lower, and by a huge margin (212-143). There's a whole rant waiting about how the Expos franchise really belongs back in the minor leagues, but that can wait.) The only offensive stats that LA does well in are batting average (4th, thanks to LoDuca and Beltre) and stolen bases (5th). To balance off the good batting average, they are 14th in walks, so their on-base percentage is only 11th in the league. On top of everything else, they are next to last (again to the Expos) in doubles, and 11th in home runs, so there isn't any power. They *are* efficient in that they don't leave a lot of guys on base, but that could also be because the OBP is low, and also because they're 4th in the league in grounding into double plays. Sheesh. How the frell are they winning games?

It's the pitching. The Dodgers have allowed the fewest runs in the league, so despite being down in Expo country offensively, they've actually outscored their opponents 212-202. They've given up the fewest hits and doubles, and the 4th fewest home runs. They're also 4th in strikeouts. Strikeouts are good, because they keep the ball out of play, so there's fewer chances for any runners to advance. In addition to this last, the defense has been very good, such that they're the second best team in the league in allowing unearned runs. The only weakness is the number of walks the Dodgers have allowed, third highest in the league. Still, as long as they scatter the walks, they should be okay.

This is all very reminiscent of the great Dodger teams of the sixties, which offensively were teams that hit singles and stole bases. However, the pitching, although good, is nowhere near what those old teams had to work with. Still, it's a weak division, so who knows? They've won with worse teams (c.f. 1988).

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