LA excels at 1 or 0

Jun 17, 2008 7:00 PM

On The Mark by Mark Mayer | There’s plenty of room for complaints in New York, Detroit, Seattle, Kansas City and Colorado so we’ll leave them alone. Instead, let’s focus on the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Here is a team that twice a week will score one run or less. For the season, it’s 22 out of 69 games. If Joe Torre knew this, he’d never have headed for the Left Coast.

It’s perplexing to go down the roster because this team can hit. Rafael Furcal .366, Russell Martin .314, Matt Kemp .297, James Loney .295, Andre Ethier .281, Blake Dewitt .279 and Juan Pierre .278. Problem is they hit singles. Jeff Kent’s eight homers is the team high.

Outside of that eight-game win streak from April 25-May 3 when the Dodgers scored 70 runs, the Dodgers have had losing skids of four or more three times and have not won more than two in a row since May 21.

Two major problems have been the injury to Furcal, who may be out another month, and baseball’s worst off-season signing Andruw Jones. The ex-Braves slugger (.165 BA, 2 HR, 7 RBI) has been awful.

The Dodgers are 1-5 on their current road trip, which continues early this week at Cincinnati. The Reds are 21-14 at home. Luckily for LA, Edinson Volquez is not due to pitch until Friday night at Yankee Stadium. Still, Cincy should be a good play to at least win the best-of-3 series.

We mentioned Seattle earlier and by no means should you throw good money on the M’s – unless Felix Hernandez is pitching. We love King Felix. His last three starts were wins of 5-0, 8-0, 2-1. Felix is slated to pitch Tuesday at home against the Florida Marlins. Sounds like a good "2 For Tuesday."

Stats are often broken down into home and road records with good reason. You wouldn’t want to take Tampa Bay’s James Shields anywhere but Tropicana Field. In June, Shields dropped consecutive games of 7-1 at Boston and 6-1 at Anaheim. Tampa Bay is 2-5 in his road starts, 7-1 in his home outings.

Good news for Shields fans – he figures to pitch at home against the Cubs in a three-game series beginning Tuesday.

FYI: The Phillies had 10 straight under results prior to scoring 20 last Friday against the Cardinals in St. Louis. Since then the under is 1-2.