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A true team effort

Dodgers pitchers aren't struggling as much as the hitters, but even they have not performed as well during the team's recent slump. Opponents were batting .254 against the Dodgers through July 27 and have batted .267 since.

August 14, 2007

Struggling pitchers

The two pitchers who have fared the worst recently are both left-handers -- and each is struggling with his off-speed pitches:


Comment: Hendrickson's two off-speed pitches (curve and changeup) have suddenly become ineffective. The changeup, in particular, has been a problem because it is the off-speed offering he uses most:

vs. changeup (April 1-July 27): AVG: .263; SLG: .326; Hits: 25; AB: 95.

vs. changeup (July 28-Aug. 12): AVG: .409; SLG: .591; Hits: 9; AB: 22.


Comment: Beimel throws a lot of fastballs (83% of his pitches), but his curve and slider were extremely reliable before the slump. Hitters were two for 24 against the two breaking pitches. During the slump, however, Beimel had thrown only seven breaking balls before Monday, only one in the strike zone.

Don't blame these guys

A few Dodgers are actually pitching better during the slump than they were when the team was winning. And then there's Brett Tomko, whose numbers have improved from bad to . . . well, not so bad. A look at these Dodgers pitchers' batting average against before and during the slump:


April 1-July 27: .286; July 28-Aug. 12: .227

Comment: He has thrown 65% of his pitches down in the strike zone or lower, where opponents are only two for 14 (.143 average).


April 1-July 27: .256; July 28-Aug. 12: .239

Comment: Other than giving up two two-run homers, Lowe has been his usual reliable self.


April 1-July 27: .272; July 28-Aug. 12: .229

Comment: Opposing hitters are one for 12 against his off-speed pitches, and he has thrown them for strikes a whopping 81% of the time during the slump.


April 1-July 27: .297; July 28-Aug. 12: .259

Comment: He used the fastball for 64% of his pitches before the Dodgers' slump, but only 56% during it. Laying off the hard stuff appears to be working as opponents hit .349 against his heat but were two for 22 (.091) against his curve, slider and changeup.

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