Poor Nathan Eovaldi. The second year Dodgers pitcher, who has taken the rotation slot vacated by the injured Ted Lilly, can’t buy a win.
In five 2012 starts, Eovaldi has an ERA of 2.35 in 30.2 innings yet finds himself stuck with an 0-3 record. The problem is that the Dodgers have scored a mere three runs when Eovaldi has been on the mound and scored only five runs total in those five games. Unfortunately, he is not the only pitcher not getting the proper support. No one else is either.
The Dodgers have scored just four runs in four games since last Sunday. They averaged only 3.5 hits per game. Andre Ethier, who was expected to carry the offensive load until Matt Kemp came off the DL, went a paltry 1 for 11 in the just wrapped up three game series versus Oakland and is hitting just .177 in his last eleven games. And he is the team’s best hitter. So what can the Dodgers do now?
“I think this is a time to not panic, that’s what we can do,” said manager Don Mattingly when asked what could be done to help offense. “We’re going through a stretch where we’re having trouble scratching for runs. Places like this, Seattle; it’s hard for us to score a lot of runs. Their pitchers attacked us. Their pitch counts were down, that means they’re throwing strikes.”
Even the Dodger players know their line-up isn’t reminding anyone of the ’27 Yankees, especially with outfielder Matt Kemp most likely out until July. “We’re without that one guy in the lineup they’re completely terrified of,” catcher A.J. Ellis lamented after a loss to Oakland.
GM Ned Colletti is eager to add a bat to the line-up. The question is just how eager other teams will be to deal given the extra wild-card team this year may create a trade-deadline market of more buyers than sellers. Even sub-.500 teams like Arizona and Miami are only three games out of a postseason spot right now.
About the only name being bantered about is Houston’s Carlos Lee. The Astros are starting to fall off after a promising start and might be willing to take a couple of minor league prospects from the Dodgers. Lee, 36, has battled some injuries and is currently batting .301 with 4 home runs and 25 RBI. Most likely, if the Astros can’t get any players that can make an immediate impact, they might take players mired a bit lower in the farm system if the Dodgers don’t mind taking on some of the $19 million Lee is owed this year. With Lee becoming a free agent after this season, Colletti probably knows this will be three month rental.
The Dodgers are fortunate the Giants and Diamondbacks can’t quite seem to get into a winning mode. The D-backs are 5-5 in their last ten games and the Giants are just 4-6. Their inconsistent play has allowed the Dodgers to maintain a four game division lead, the same lead they had back on June 1st. That could very easily change this weekend though. The Dodgers have to take on the Angeles while the D-backs get the awful Cubs and the Giants get the A’s.
Andre Ethier – Vampire?
The sun was still shining Tuesday evening when Andre Ethier came to the plate for the first time in the interleague series against the A’s in Oakland. Team announcer Vin Scully commented how Ethier was batting only .169 when the team played during the daylight but hitting .339 in night games. Sure enough, Ethier popped out in his first at bat. When Ethier stepped up to the plate for the second time in the fourth inning, the sun was down and Scully commented maybe that would help him hit. Ethier promptly singled. Another reason Scully is, quite simply, the best.