The Dodgers were blanked in 25 of the first 27 innings. The Angels did that by commanding their breaking stuff, pitching backward on occasion, and avoiding mistakes. That strategy only works temporarily.“This is a deep lineup,” Clayton Kershaw said after going seven innings to become the first major league pitcher to win his 12th game this season.“There’s really no place to relax, and when you make a mistake it’s likely to be a home run and not a single. I’ve faced lineups like that before, It’s no fun.”Five of the six Dodger runs came from the long ball Thursday. The other was unearned. Both runs Wednesday came from home runs by Trayce Thompson and Yasmani Grandal.The Dodgers got three of their four runs Tuesday on Pederson’s three-run shot. On Sunday they put up 12 on Colorado with just four from homers, but five others came from wild pitches.It might be nit-picking to wonder if the Dodgers can assemble runs through less ambitious means, like singles and hit-and-runs. They will be asked to do that against the headline pitchers they would meet in the postseason.But they have walked 31 more times than anyone else in the league, and their on-base percentage is second while their slugging percentage is sixth.“We talk about winning pitches,” Manager Dave Roberts said. “It’s incredible to look at that month and see what we did, and it tells you potentially what we can do.”But how do you control the home runs without letting them control you?“We’ve been doing a good job of that,” Roberts said. “It was nice to see Cody (Bellinger) hit one down the line for a double tonight.“Over the last few days, he was the guy that they (Angels) weren’t going to let beat them. His swing was getting a little bit long. It was nice to see him get back within himself and square the baseball up. I think the hitting coaches do a great job of talking about that.”Still, home runs have given the Dodgers 51.8 percent of their runs so far. The two NL clubs that score more than the Dodgers are Washington (46.8 percent) and Arizona (43.9).As Kershaw said, pitchers face a long tunnel without much light. Although Bellinger (24) is the only Dodger who has more than 14 home runs, six of them have at least eight. Four of them have slugging percentages over .500. And that’s with Adrian Gonzalez hitting just one, thanks to injuries, and Justin Turner hitting five.The great home run epidemic of 2017 has focused the analysts on the baseballs themselves, which are harder than usual and have lower seams.“Well, I’ve heard people say that,” Turner said last week. “And I can tell you I’ve hit about 20 balls that have gone to the warning track or have gone off the wall. So I’m going to call BS on the hard balls being the reason.”With the Dodgers it just seems to be a matter of talented, prepared hitters who seem to like high velocity. Since pitchers seem to like it, too, it might be a while before anyone settles them down.“We’ve just got good hitters,” Pederson said. “But that’s one of the hardest things about baseball, staying within yourself and not getting too big on pitches, learning to capitalize on certain ones.”Lots of capitalizing, lots of punishment. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error ANAHEIM >> When a club needs four or five plate appearances to score, the process is known as “manufacturing runs.”That’s probably a misnomer.You should call that “assembling runs,” like a class taking on a group science project.The Dodgers manufacture runs in big molten bursts. It’s quick and it’s easy, at least for now. On Thursday Joc Pederson slammed the 50th Dodger home run of the month, which breaks the franchise record, set twice by the 1953 Brooklyn club.Those Dodgers had a blast furnace of an offense. Three of them had 120 or more RBI. Duke Snider hit 42 home runs and Roy Campanella 41. A backup first baseman named Wayne Belardi had 11 in 180 plate appearances.That team went 105-49, scored 6.2 runs per game and won the National League pennant by 13 games. It also hit eight home runs and carded a .300 average in the World Series, but lost 4-3 in the clinching sixth game, when Billy Martin got a base hit off Clem Labine.The Dodgers fired Chuck Dressen afterward, and Walter Alston finally won a championship two years later.These Dodgers have one more night in June to extend that record, when they play in San Diego. They got bombs from Chase Utley and Yasiel Puig before Pederson’s three-run homer off J.C. Ramirez, and they won, 6-2, to grab their second win in a quite entertaining four-game Freeway Series.
Whicker: Dodgers keep finding happiness over the wall