SAN FRANCISCO -- The Dodgers felt they had a golden opportunity in hand this weekend. Instead they leave AT&T Park having lost two of three and trailing the Giants by five in the National League West.All three games of the series were decided by one run. Los Angeles initially grabbed
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Dodgers felt they had a golden opportunity in hand this weekend. Instead they leave AT&T Park having lost two of three and trailing the Giants by five in the National League West.
All three games of the series were decided by one run. Los Angeles initially grabbed momentum, winning on Friday behind Justin Turner's go-ahead homer in the ninth inning. But Kenley Jansen blew a save in extra innings on Saturday, and the bats went silent in Sunday's 2-1 loss.
"It felt like it was a good opportunity for us to sweep a series, and instead we're walking out having lost it," catcher A.J. Ellis said.
"This was a big series," manager Dave Roberts said. "I think you can look at the way [San Francisco manager Bruce] Bochy managed their 'pen this series; it was important to them, too. Yeah, it stings, for sure."
The Dodgers managed only six hits on Sunday. Their leadoff hitter, Chase Utley, reached first base three times in the first six innings but never advanced. Los Angeles had a brief surge of momentum on Joc Pederson's solo homer in the seventh but fell silent directly after. Slugger Adrian Gonzalez even resorted to attempting to beat San Francisco's shift by bunting for a hit leading off the ninth inning against Javier Lopez, a pitcher he said he never fares well against.
The Dodgers took exception to the strike zone of home-plate umpire Mike Muchlinski, and Turner was ejected in the eighth inning for arguing balls and strikes.
But on a larger scale, Los Angeles' offensive woes go beyond any one game, or even one player. For the series, the Dodgers went 2-for-17 with runners in scoring position and haven't scored more than four runs in any of their last six games. No Dodgers starter is hitting above .280.
"It's just one of those things," said Roberts, who said prior to the game that the team has struggled with situational hitting. "We're having a hard time putting runs on the board."
But he admitted he doesn't know what's ailing the offense.
"That's a hard one," he said. "I know it's not from lack of preparation [or] as far as talent within the group. I don't have an answer."
Gonzalez took an optimistic approach when asked about the hitting woes, which have followed Los Angeles for much of the season -- saying, "We've had a lot of games where we've scored zero or one runs" -- but pointed out it's still June.
"We always talk about [how] individually, for the most part, you can have two bad months, two average months and two really good months and end up having a really good year," Gonzalez said. "So we're going into the third month. I think we definitely have plenty of season to turn it around."
But a common sentiment rung out in the locker room following Sunday's loss. At 33-31 and trailing San Francisco in the standings, the Dodgers have ample room for improvement, and they will need to be sparked by the emergence of a slumping offense that could not capitalize on chances this weekend.
"At some point," Roberts said, "you have to score runs."
Mark Chiarelli is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area.