Part of it may be attributed to small sample size. Part of it may be a credit to the opposing pitchers.
But there’s no doubt the Dodgers’ approach in this series — and for most of the postseason so far — hasn’t been good enough with runners in scoring position, either.
After going just 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position in Game 1, the Dodgers stumbled to a 1-for-10 performance in such situations (not including four walks and a hit by pitch) during their loss in Game 2.
And at this point, there doesn’t seem to be one simple fix.
Before Sunday’s game, manager Dave Roberts said it felt like his team was too often caught in-between being too aggressive or too patient, looking for fastballs or secondary pitches, shortening up or trying to go for the big hit.
“It’s more about just the mindset of being aggressive in your zone and what you’re good at,” he said. “Everything outside of that, try not to offer at it.”
After the Dodgers offense left more opportunities on the table again in Game 2 — Taylor was responsible for the only hit with runners in scoring position, a bases-loaded double in the seventh on a soft line drive to center — Roberts again tried to come up with an answer.
“It’s an approach thing,” he said. “And I think that certain times [with] in scoring position we, we’re expanding too much.”
It’s becoming a concerning trend. In their eight playoff games, the Dodgers are now batting just .191 with runners in scoring position, as opposed to .247 in all other situations. It explains how they’ve out-hit their opponents in all but two postseason games this month, but won only four of them.
And, for all the questionable pitching decisions they made over the weekend in Atlanta, it’s perhaps the biggest reason they find themselves in a two-game hole, needing to win four of the next five in order to keep their World Series title defense alive.
“Anytime guys are in scoring position, you want to try to not do too much and use the whole field, grind them out, take your knocks,” Taylor said. “We got to do a better job of that.”