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Dodgers' slump raises questions

MLB.com @kengurnick

SAN FRANCISCO -- Is the Dodgers' offense just in a temporary slump? Or, in the idiom of the stat-minded management team, is it experiencing a reversion to the mean?

The Dodgers were so uncharacteristically homer happy over the first six weeks that some theorized it was global warming. They scored so many runs they didn't seem to miss the bats of Matt Kemp and Hanley Ramirez.

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Is the Dodgers' offense just in a temporary slump? Or, in the idiom of the stat-minded management team, is it experiencing a reversion to the mean?

The Dodgers were so uncharacteristically homer happy over the first six weeks that some theorized it was global warming. They scored so many runs they didn't seem to miss the bats of Matt Kemp and Hanley Ramirez.

View Full Game Coverage

But after a 4-0 loss to the Giants Wednesday, they've been shut out in back-to-back nights and have scored just two runs over their last four games. They haven't homered since Friday. They are 0-5 at AT&T Park this year, their longest losing streak in San Francisco since 2003. Hector Olivera is maybe a month away from helping and manager Don Mattingly said before the game that outfielders Yasiel Puig and Carl Crawford are still a while from coming off the disabled list.

"We're OK," Mattingly said. "Over the last three games, we haven't scored runs. On the homestand, we weren't really great. But it's what you go through."

Mattingly rejected the suggestion that Dodgers hitters have changed approach after the home run barrage.

"I don't think so. The guys know who they are," he said. "They are pretty solid, staying even. They've been through this before. When it happens as a group, it's tougher. Go through stretches where you're not swinging and you get pressure on everyone. We need a couple of big hits."

Video: LAD@SF: Anderson fans seven in quality start

"El Niño" Brett Anderson, the true Bringer of Rain, dealt with precipitation for the third consecutive start and pitched well enough to win again, but he can't win if his team doesn't score.

He was charged with three runs in 6 1/3 innings. One of those scored on a two-run blast by Buster Posey off Yimi Garcia, who has served up three homers in his last five appearances, pretty much since he was moved to the late innings.

Meanwhile, Giants two-time Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum can't throw harder than 90 mph and didn't need to. In seven innings against him, the Dodgers had only three hits and two walks, four of the runners reaching base with two outs. They have one hit in their last 20 at-bats with runners in scoring position, including 0-for-4 in this game with eight runners stranded.

"He's the same with less velocity," Mattingly said of Lincecum.

Video: LAD@SF: Pagan robs Grandal with leaping catch

Until the eighth inning, the Dodgers' only real chance to score was completely wasted. Yasmani Grandal -- who later was robbed of extra bases by center fielder Angel Pagan -- led off the fifth inning with a double, but Andre Ethier, Juan Uribe and Joc Pederson couldn't bring Grandal home. The only other positive contribution in the inning was the fourth walk of the season by Anderson.

Anderson (2-2 with a 3.61 ERA) pitched into the seventh inning for the first time this year, but he was critical of three walks he allowed and the two pitches he wanted back -- Posey's leadoff double in the sixth and the Brandon Crawford RBI single that scored Posey.

"I didn't pitch as good as Lincecum did," he said. "I want to throw zeros every inning. I can't dwell on what our side is doing. I just have to match the other guy."

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com.

Los Angeles Dodgers, Brett Anderson