The Key to LA Dodgers Success...

Todd Boldizsar@@toddboldizsarAnalyst IApril 18, 2010

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 15:  Andre Ethier of the Los Angeles Dodgers drives in the game winning run in the eleventh inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium on April 15, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. The Dodgers defeated the Diamondbacks 6-5 in eleven innings.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

...is to score an average of a run per inning.

It sounds like a tall order, but until Tim Lincecum shut down the Dodgers offense on Saturday, the team was leading the league in runs scored. The Dodgers are still currently second in runs scored, tied with the Giants at 68 and trailing only Philadelphia.  The Phillies have scored 78 runs.

However, the Dodgers lead the majors in batting average at a blistering .312, and will need every bit of production they can get, as the pitching staff continues to struggle.

The story coming from Chavez Ravine on Friday was Andre Ethier homering in his first two at-bats, including a grand slam that put the Dodgers up 7-0 in the third inning. One might think that the Dodgers would coast to victory, but again, the bullpen struggled. Without pouring on more offense in the later innings, LA would have let the game get away. The bullpen went on to surrender five runs in the ninth inning, and the Dodgers won 10-8.

Now, obviously the offensive success the Dodgers have experienced thus far will begin to tarry as the season moves on, but the team owes its near .500 record to solid offensive production.

Look no further than hitting coach Don Mattingly to investigate the origin of success for Dodgers hitters. Mattingly is a career .307 hitter, and after 14 Major League seasons, all with the Yankees, the man just exhumes confidence and mental soundness.

The main difference between the successful Yankee teams Mattingly was a member of in the '80s and '90s, and the Dodgers team of today is pitching; plain and simple.

With the exception of Clayton Kershaw and Chad Billingsley, Dodgers starters aren't helping much either. Vicente Padilla still can't find the strike zone, and Charlie Haeger's knuckleball isn't knuckling.

The expectations for Dodgers hitters will remain high as the pitching staff struggles, but look for Mattingly's boys to continue their tear, and we'll worry about the rest later.

 

Related

    Matt Kemp Homers in Spring Return as Dodger

    Los Angeles Dodgers logo
    Los Angeles Dodgers

    Matt Kemp Homers in Spring Return as Dodger

    Bill Plunkett
    via Daily News

    White Sox Outslugged by Dodgers in Opener

    Los Angeles Dodgers logo
    Los Angeles Dodgers

    White Sox Outslugged by Dodgers in Opener

    Chicago Sun-Times
    via Chicago Sun-Times

    Dodgers Claim RHP J.T. Chargois

    Los Angeles Dodgers logo
    Los Angeles Dodgers

    Dodgers Claim RHP J.T. Chargois

    Dodger Insider
    via Dodger Insider

    Full Circle for Chris Taylor

    Los Angeles Dodgers logo
    Los Angeles Dodgers

    Full Circle for Chris Taylor

    Cary Osborne
    via Dodger Insider