It’s been weird. Just how weird? Check it out …
With two hits Saturday, James Loney has a positive OPS+ for the first time this year: 12. Just for fun: If you add together the OPS+ for the Dodger infield, you get 174, which is less than the OPS+ of Andre Ethier (201). And if you tally the infield plus Juan Rivera, the sum of those five OPS+ is less than that of Matt Kemp (300).
Kemp has 15 RBI in the Dodgers’ first nine games. “The only other Dodger with 15 or more RBI in his team’s first nine games is Hall-of-Famer Roy Campanella, who had 16 in 1953,” notes the Elias Sports Bureau (via ESPN Stats and Information).
Mark Ellis is the only Dodger starting infielder with an OPS over .500. Dee Gordon has gone 2 for 20 with two walks and two steals in his past six games. His OPS has fallen to .498.
Off the bench, Jerry Hairston Jr. is 4 for 12 with a double and two walks this year.
Overall, the Dodger infield has a .577 OPS with one home run in 161 at-bats – and that’s if you include catcher A.J. Ellis. Ellis is the only Dodger besides Ethier and Kemp to homer in the team’s first nine games.
The Dodgers are 8-1 despite their leadoff batters for their 79 offensive innings having a .241 on-base percentage and .243 slugging (.484 OPS). In contrast, the Dodgers’ OPS with two out is .817. With runners in scoring position, the Dodgers have a .429 OBP and .507 slugging (.936 OPS).
And quickly turning to the pitchers: The Dodgers’ team WHIP (walks plus hits/divided by innings pitched) in 82 innings is 1.037, and they have 9.7 strikeouts per nine innings. Only seven individuals had better figures in 2011: Justin Verlander, Clayton Kershaw, Cole Hamels, Jered Weaver, Dan Haren, Josh Beckett and Cliff Lee. And only Zack Greinke and Brandon Morrow had better K/9s last year.
Opponents are batting .189 against the Dodgers this year.
The Dodgers have used 13 pitchers this year. Two of the 13, Mike MacDougal and Jamey Wright, have ERAs between 1.00 and 5.00.
Who, by the way, would have thought the Dodgers would have eight wins before Kershaw got his first?
Each of the past two years, as well as 2006, it took the Dodgers 17 games to win eight. In 2008, a postseason year, it took the Dodgers 19 games to win eight. Of course, the 2005 Dodgers started 12-2 before finishing 71-91.