How Dodgers are barreling baseballs, scoring bushels of runs

The Dodgers are averaging 6.9 runs per game during their nine-game winning streak and are hitting .307 with a .865 on-base plus slugging percentage, 11 home runs, 31 doubles and two triples since July 31.

Pan for a broader take on their steaming 31-5 streak since June 29, and the Dodgers are averaging a major league-best 5.91 runs and hitting .281 with .846 OPS, 51 home runs, 88 doubles and 10 triples in the 36 games.

But when Max Muncy was asked after Tuesday night’s 10-3 win over the Minnesota Twins if the offensive line was firing on all cylinders, Max Muncy gave a response that is unparalleled in opposing pitchers trying to attack a club with a major league subduing a best of 76- could raise even more concerns. 33 record.

“Frighteningly enough, I think there’s a lot more to come for the whole team,” said Muncy, who hit a home run and a double in the game. “It’s been looking really good lately. We’ve looked good all year.

“But at the same time, not all of us got going at once. Hopefully we’ll save that for the playoffs. But right now we’re just taking it one day at a time. We play the game today.”

The Dodgers have a 112-win pace and with a 16-game lead in the National League West, they’re on track to their ninth league title in 10 years.

Their only offensive concern right now is they could peak too soon, like they did in 2019 when they won 106 games and won the NL West by 21 games before falling in a first-round playoff loss to the eventual World Series Champion fizzled out at Washington Nationals.

Because of this, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts grinned upon learning of Muncy’s comments.

“I like being greedy, I like that mindset,” Roberts said. “It just guards against a certain complacency. You see it collectively and we do a lot of good things. I’m sure you can poke holes because a couple of guys aren’t hot right now, but one through nine, it seems like every guy up there is getting a hit.

“As a manager, that is a very good feeling. I think for the first time in a year we’ve had nine guys feeling pretty confident coming into the batter’s box.”

The top four hitters in order — Mookie Betts, Trea Turner, Freddie Freeman and Will Smith — have carried offense for most of the season, and they’ve hit a combined .336 with five homers, 12 doubles, 29 RBIs and 28 runs during the Winning streak of nine games. Gavin Lux has been solid all season, hitting .297 with .795 OPS, 27 extra base hits and 33 RBIs.

But Muncy and Cody Bellinger, the 2019 NL MVP, who has struggled so much this season that he has dropped to ninth in the standings, have been heating up, and Justin Turner has had two hits on his return from a stomach strain on Tuesday night, adding more depth to the lineup.

Muncy was slowed down in the first half by his recovery from the left elbow injury that knocked him out of the playoffs last October. The infielder batted .158 with .612 OPS, nine home runs and 31 RBIs in his first 79 games through the end of July.

But he’s hitting .316 with three homers, four doubles and eight RBIs in 10 games since July 28, and he hit a 412-foot homer in the third inning to right centerfield and smoked a 105.8-mph RBI double right in the seventh Tuesday evening.

“It feels really good,” Muncy said. “It’s a bit of a relief for me. All the work I’m putting into it is finally paying off a bit. But I have to keep at it. I can’t believe I haven’t made it yet. I still have much to do.”

Bellinger hits .212 with .674 OPS, 15 homers, 48 ​​RBIs and 110 strikeouts, but has made more consistent contact in his last 12 games and hits .267 with .936 OPS, three homers, six doubles and 13 RBIs. He scored twice in Sunday night’s win against San Diego.

Justin Turner was in tears before being put on the injured list, hitting .431 with 1,180 OPS, four homers and 16 RBIs in 17 games from June 30-July 27. He doubled left to center in the third inning and singled right in the fifth and drove a run to a groundout in the seventh Tuesday night.

“It’s remarkable,” said Roberts. “JT had some struggles on the IL but it’s amazing how he can come back and not miss a shot and take good shots, throw shots out there and use the whole field when he hasn’t played much in two or three weeks .

“It’s an honor for him to know his body and what it takes to perform an at-bat. Having him back in there, running runs, counting, seeing pitches, all of that makes our lineup so dangerous.

The Dodgers even got input from Joey Gallo, the former two-time All-Star who is trying to rekindle his career after a brutal 140-game stretch in New York, where he hit .159 with 25 homers and 194 strikeouts in 501 plate appearances in the second half of 2021 and the first half of 2022.

Gallo, acquired by the Yankees at the close of trade, looked overwhelmed in a simulated two-inning game against rehab Dodgers relives Blake Treinen and Brusdar Graterol Tuesday afternoon.

Then the game started and he smashed a 112.3 mph rocket into right field to hit a double in his first at-bat, the second hardest hit by a Dodgers player this season. He surfaced and knocked out twice in his last three at-bats.

“That can do him a lot,” Roberts said of Gallo’s goal. “He works really hard. You can always encourage a player, but until you get results, put in a run, then it kind of starts to get real.

“So I know a great burden is being lifted from his shoulders. He works his cock off and it was good to be rewarded. We are all looking forward to him.”

https://www.latimes.com/sports/dodgers/story/2022-08-10/dodgers-lineup-barreling-baseballs-producing-bushels-of-runs-win-streak How Dodgers are barreling baseballs, scoring bushels of runs

Emma Bowman

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