mlb

Dodgers embark on six-game road trip after short slide

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
The Dodgers look to get back on track during a week-long road trip after a disappointing series against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

LOS ANGELES — Coming off of a great series win against the Cincinnati Reds, the Dodgers looked to finish their homestand on a hot streak. Then they hit a brick wall.

They lost two out of three games to the Arizona Diamondbacks and looked like a team that suddenly lost their way. 

Gavin Stone came into Tuesday’s matchup with a 1.38 ERA in the four starts prior, but got roughed up, allowing four runs and eight hits over six innings. 

Tyler Glasnow, who had been up and down all season, has a 3.09 ERA after five innings and three earned runs Wednesday. Everything was going well for Glasnow in the pitcher’s duel, but he crumbled in the fifth inning, allowing three runs and ending his night. 

While the pitching staff has faltered over the last few starts, the main concern has been the offense. According to Blake Harris on X, since May 8th, the Dodgers are 28th in batting average at .215, 29th in OBP at .281, and 23rd in K% at 23.7.

However, they are 8-5 over their last 13 games. There is still over half of a season left to either make moves or improve the mindset at the plate.  

What to watch for:

Starters lose their way

James Paxton will be the starter for the first game of the six-game road trip in Cincinnati and he surprisingly has started the season well. Paxton has a 2.84 ERA and a 5-0 record, looking like the most consistent starter on the team. 

Walker Buehler will pitch in Saturday’s game, coming off of his best outing since his injury in 2022. Buehler threw six innings, giving up three hits, walking none and striking out seven hitters in his last outing. 

Who did that start come against? You guessed it: the Cincinnati Reds.  Buehler continues to look more comfortable in and around the zone the more playing time he gets, so this is a crucial start. 

Bottom of order missing

The Dodgers are not asking for much from the six through nine hitters in the lineup. However, at times, the offense feels top-heavy and when the stars have bad games (which is bound to happen here and there), the bottom of the lineup needs to pick up the slack. 

In the month of May, Shohei Ohtani is hitting .373 with a .455 OBP, far and away the best offensive player on the team. But, going down the batting order, it is not a great look. Mookie Betts is hitting .267 in the month, Freddie Freeman is hitting .260, Will Smith is at .190 and Teoscar Hernandez is sitting at .233. 

It has been an excellent month for the pitching, but the reason for the Dodgers’ losses has been the offense by far. 

Dodgers bullpen still dominant

The Dodgers boast the fourth best bullpen ERA in the MLB at 3.21. It has been a big reason as to why the team is so far ahead in first place in the NL West and it is happening much differently than last season. 

The Dodgers bullpen was one of the worst in team history in the first half of last year and with some returning arms and young additions, the relievers have become reliable. 

Anthony Banda has allowed one earned run since being acquired from the Cleveland Guardians, Blake Treinen has looked sensational in his return from injury, Evan Phillips had a 0.66 ERA before going on the injured list and Alex Vesia has had a comeback season with a 1.23 ERA. 

Phillips will be coming back soon, but Daniel Hudson (two saves) and Treinen (three holds) have been fantastic in his place since then, so this bullpen could be the key to a few wins during this upcoming trip.