Wasted Opportunities

Friday, June 17, 2022
Copyrighted by Sarah Morris, 2022

On a beautiful Friday night at Dodger Stadium, in ten innings, the Cleveland Guardians inched out the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-to-1.

An hour before the game began, Mookie Betts was scratched. He had bruised ribs. After a torrid May, Betts has slumped horribly in June. On Wednesday, he had a rare collision with Cody Bellinger. However, his poor performance during June indicates something has been bothering Betts.

The Dodger situational hitting struggles continued Friday. In the second, Bellinger homered. To open the ninth, Bellinger singled and stole second. Friday, the Dodgers went 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position. The Dodgers are full of stars who had tremendous previous success, but they do not make things happen during the baseball game. A winning team has controlled aggression. Lately, most Dodgers have made base-running mistakes. A week ago, manager Dave Roberts said that the players were on different pages, focusing on their individual accomplishments instead of the team’s results.

I disagree with Roberts’ assessment of his team, a rarity. To me, modern-day analytics encourage selfish baseball players. Moneyball does not value sacrificing and moving a runner in scoring position. When the offense is down throughout the Major Leagues, the elite teams must figure out to score when they have scoring opportunities. The Dodgers must learn how to run the bases aggressively.

Clayton Kershaw struggled through five innings, but he allowed a run on five hits and a walk while striking out four. He did not possess a sharp curveball. It seemed Kershaw was always in trouble, but he survived.

Alex Vesia, Brusdar Graterol, and Daniel Hudson were brilliant. Although Evan Phillips was credited with the loss, he performed satisfactorily.

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