Dodgers swept: 'We're way better than this'

May 6th, 2021

During their recent skid, the offensive struggles have been the root of most of the Dodgers’ problems. They aren’t, however, the only reason Los Angeles hasn’t been able to reach its full potential so far this season.

The Dodgers haven’t been able to put together a complete game in weeks, one where the offense, defense, starter and bullpen all do enough to come away with a win. For about eight innings, it looked as if the Dodgers were finally going to be able to do just that.

But as has been the case over the last three weeks, the Dodgers found a way to lose another close game in extra innings, 6-5 in 11, to the Cubs at Wrigley Field. It was the first time since April 2019 against the Cardinals that the Dodgers were swept in a series of three or more games.

It also continues a brutal stretch for the Dodgers. With the loss, they have now dropped 13 of their last 17 games, which is the second-worst record in the Majors during that span, behind only the last place Detroit Tigers. Los Angeles is now 1-6 in extra-inning games this season and has lost nine games by one run, the most in the Majors.

“We’re absolutely frustrated,” said Dodgers first baseman , who was a bright spot offensively on Wednesday. “We’re way better than this. Period.”

Muncy is right. The Dodgers are much better than this, but right now, it’s just not coming easy for the defending champions. It’s a long season, but they need to start finding the answers -- and quickly.

was one of the few silver linings on Wednesday, delivering with yet another solid outing. Buehler, like the rest of the starting staff, did enough to help the Dodgers come out with a win. But a series of mistakes over the last three innings ultimately allowed the Cubs to tie the game up late.

The Dodgers were only able to score one run after loading the bases with one out in the sixth. They went 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position, continuing their recent struggles in those situations. In the eighth, ’s defensive issues surfaced again as he made an errant throw after making a nice stop in the hole. The error allowed the Cubs to tie the game off , instead of turning a 6-4-3 double play.

Seager’s Outs Above Average rating is -4 so far this season, which ranks among the worst in the Majors.

“The bottom line is that the little things, across the board, we’re just not finishing executing the way we’re capable of,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. “Like I said last night, it sounds like I’m on repeat, but we need to do a better job of [it].”

Roberts might sound like he’s on repeat. That’s because most of the Dodgers’ losses have looked the same over this stretch. This was the third time in the last week that the Dodgers lost a game in which they needed one out to come away with a win.

The Dodgers took the lead in the top of the 10th, only to watch blow a save. Muncy then helped them retake the lead in the 11th, but was unable to shut the door, allowing Matt Duffy to tie the game with a single and Anthony Rizzo to win it just a few pitches later.

“We’re a talented team and we’re just coming up short in those situations,” Buehler said. “I think it’s easy to make a big thing of what’s going on, but we’re playing fine. ... I think we have the people in this clubhouse to get the big hit and make the big pitch. It is what it is at this point.”

Roberts added that he certainly feels the frustration that is surrounding his team right now. After all, this is a roster that won a World Series just seven months ago, and a collection of talent that many people picked to run away with its ninth consecutive division title. That could all still end up happening. The Dodgers are that good. Now, they just need to start playing like it again.

“Urgency is certainly different than panic,” Roberts said. “We just expect more of ourselves. Like Max said, we’re much better than this. There’s absolutely a sense of urgency.”