Dodgers’ power streak in rare company entering Miami series finale

(PC: Manny Fernandez/MLB.com)
08/15 Lineups at Marlins, 12:05 p.m. PT

by Rowan Kavner

Only five ballparks have a lower home run rate than Marlins Park this year. Don’t tell that to the Dodgers, who could make Major League history Thursday afternoon if they continue to launch homers the way they have to start the series in Miami.

The Dodgers have smashed at least four home runs in three straight games for the first time in Los Angeles history, including four in their series finale against Arizona, six in their series opener in Miami and another four against the Marlins on Wednesday. If they follow suit Thursday, the Dodgers would become the first Major League team since at least 1908 to homer four or more times in a game in four straight games.

They’re doing this at a ballpark that’s not particularly friendly to home run hitters. But the Dodgers are more than the typical power team. Their 207 home runs entering Thursday rank third in the Majors and first in the National League — 16 ahead of the next-best NL team, the Braves.

“In general, home runs by our club come in the middle of an at-bat,” said manager Dave Roberts. “I think it’s a byproduct of outlasting or making a particular pitcher keep making pitches and ultimately they make a mistake and we hit the ball out of the ballpark.”

The 2019 Dodgers already have more four-homer games (15) than any team in franchise history, breaking Brooklyn’s 1955 mark of 14. The Dodgers haven’t sacrificed power for getting on base, as they also lead the NL with a .341 on-base percentage.

“Our offensive identity is relentless,” Roberts said. “The score doesn’t dictate how we take an at-bat, how we compete every at-bat. It’s a grind. Whether we go six innings of not scoring a run, I still think that pitcher is having to grind through six innings. We don’t have any free outs.”

After Clayton Kershaw’s gem in a 9–1 win Wednesday, the Dodgers have outscored the Marlins 24–1 this series to move to 5–0 against Miami this year. They’re looking for their first ever season sweep of the Marlins.

Walker Buehler, who starts the series finale, is 1–0 with a 2.12 ERA in three previous career starts against the Marlins. He struck out 11 in seven scoreless innings the last time he faced them July 21 at Dodger Stadium.

Quick Hits:

  • Roberts said the Dodgers haven’t made a decision on whether or not Dustin May will stick in the rotation for the foreseeable future, but Roberts did add that he sees May getting some time in the bullpen at some point.
  • The Dodgers are still deciding if May will be the starter Sunday in Atlanta. Before that, Kenta Maeda will start Friday and Hyun-Jin Ryu will start Saturday.
  • Roberts said infielder Jedd Gyorko, who was acquired before the deadline and is currently with Triple-A Oklahoma City, will be called up soon.

Dodgers’ power streak in rare company entering Miami series finale was originally published in Dodger Insider on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Dodgers’ power streak in rare company entering Miami series finale