- Tony Jackson, ESPNLosAngeles.com
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LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said Saturday that it's far too early in the season to be concerned with his club's level of play and also dismissed a suggestion that the Dodgers seemed to sleepwalk through their lopsided losses to the St. Louis Cardinals on the previous two evenings.
"Our offense, I think, is going to get better," Colletti said. "Guys aren't going to hit .150 all year. If you look at every hitter in baseball who is hitting .200, you will see some pretty good names on that list. It takes some guys a little more time to get on track. ... I don't see [a lack of energy]. St. Louis came in here really hot. They have a really good lineup with three guys in the middle of it [Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman] who can really take it to you when they're swinging good."
The Cardinals have won five of their past six games and scored 62 runs in those six games, reaching double figures three times.
The Dodgers, by contrast, had three players in their starting lineup Saturday night against the Cardinals -- catcher Rod Barajas and infielders James Loney and Juan Uribe -- who all were hitting below .200. Leadoff man Rafael Furcal also was hitting below .200 (.192) before going onto the disabled list earlier this week with a broken thumb.
"We have faced good pitching," Colletti said. "The Giants' staff, obviously, is one of the best in the league. Colorado pitched well against us in two games, and then San Diego and [the Cardinals]. Those are four of the better pitching staffs in baseball, and that is also a part of [the struggles of] our offense."
The Dodgers went into Saturday batting a collective .251 for the season, including .192 with runners in scoring position. They also ranked 12th in the National League in on-base percentage (.312), 13th in runs (48) and last in RBIs (39). Meanwhile, their pitching staff also ranked in the lower half of the NL with a 4.76 ERA.
There have been bright spots, however, and Colletti was quick to point to the sizzling starts of what probably are the two most important players in the Dodgers' lineup, center fielder Matt Kemp and right fielder Andre Ethier. Kemp began the day as the major leagues' leading hitter at .449, and Ethier was batting .358.
"I am really pleased with Matt and Andre," Colletti said. "They are doing what they are capable of doing. That has been fine."
Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.
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