Dodgers have had better days at Coors Field

LA bats manage just 3 hits in series opener against Rockies, fall to 5-2 on road trip

June 28th, 2022

DENVER -- “Tonight wasn’t our best offensive performance.”

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts knew that what he had just said was quite an understatement after his club’s bats were silent in a 4-0 loss to the Rockies on Monday night at Coors Field. It’s probably why he put it that way.

What had just transpired was plainly and simply a poor performance at the plate from one of the Majors’ best lineups, and at the most hitter-friendly ballpark in baseball, at that. In fact, what Colorado starter Chad Kuhl did with his nine brilliant innings was something that had never been done against the Dodgers in this ballpark (247 games): A three-hit shutout.

Sure, Los Angeles arrived in Denver around 3 a.m. local time on Monday morning after an 11-inning victory in Atlanta on Sunday night that capped a draining series with the reigning World Series champs. But, as you’d expect, that wasn’t really used as an excuse.

“That was probably some of it, but we weren’t very good,” said Trea Turner, who went 0-for-4. “Offensively, we didn’t really deserve to win that game. I think our pitchers did a pretty good job of giving us a chance there late, but the offense was pretty bad. But that happens.”

It happens. But for the Dodgers, who had hoped that an offensive outburst in a sweep of the Reds to begin this nine-game road trip was a sign that consistency was finally coming at the plate, it’s happening too often for their liking. Despite the lackluster performance on Monday, though, Roberts said he didn’t think this was a major red flag.

“I don’t recall exactly how many runs we scored in the Atlanta series [12 in three games], but I thought we ran into some good arms. And I thought the at-bats all series long were good,” he said. “Tonight was one of those nights we’d probably like to have back, but the last six games prior to tonight, I thought the intent, the at-bat quality, was good up and down.”

Even after the shutout loss, the Dodgers have won five of seven games thus far on the road trip, which ends on Wednesday with the series finale against Colorado. Since a three-game sweep at the hands of the archrival Giants in San Francisco earlier this month, Los Angeles has won eight of 12.

Still, a shutout loss to the last-place Rockies at Coors Field isn’t a good look for the first-place Dodgers, whose lead in the National League West was cut to 1 1/2 games over the idle Padres with Monday’s defeat. But the Dodgers themselves didn’t seem overly concerned.

“Yeah, you could probably kind of see everybody was dragging a little bit,” said Gavin Lux, who had two of the club’s three hits -- a third-inning infield single and a leadoff double in the ninth. “But at the end of the day, we’ve got to find a way to compete a little better. It’s baseball. But we chalk it up to that and move on to tomorrow, and hopefully we get some better results.”

Will a good night’s sleep after a brisk two-hour, 19-minute series opener bring a refreshed and rejuvenated lineup to Coors Field on Tuesday? Only time will tell. But the Dodgers will need a good showing at the plate to materialize if they want to ward off fears that the offensive doldrums from earlier this month have returned as we near the All-Star break.

“You want to keep making good pitches and give our offense a chance,” said starter Tyler Anderson (8-1), who yielded four runs on 10 hits over six innings, which is typically a line that keeps your team in the game at Coors Field. “Our offense every night goes out there and does a great job. Tonight, we didn’t do it, but that’s not usually the case.”

If the Dodgers’ offense bounces back swiftly, Anderson’s words will prove prescient, and that’s exactly what they’ll hope they can say after the final two games of this series and this road trip.

Because next on the docket at Dodger Stadium? The Padres, against whom Los Angeles will need performances much closer to its best than what was exhibited in the opener at Coors.