Is there a Coors Field hangover? Numbers say Dodgers have suffered from it

first_img Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies “No, I would put it more on the way your body feels more than what you see,” said Hernandez, a .205 hitter with three home runs in 37 career games at Coors Field. “Your body feels like (expletive) for a few days afterward.“You just leave here fatigued. It’s hard to sleep here. You don’t get good rest. The beds are way too soft. That’s part of it. I sleep on the floor here.”Right-hander Ross Stripling had the same complaint last August when he went on the DL with lower back inflammation he blamed on the bed in the team’s Denver hotel.The Dodgers have at least fared better when they were able to sleep in their own beds after a trip to Denver. Since 2013, they are 10-13 when the following series was at Dodger Stadium – like this week’s two-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks beginning Tuesday – a slight improvement over their 14-22 record when continuing on the road.“I get it – numbers don’t lie,” Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen said of the ‘Coors Field hangover.’ “But you can’t let it get in your head. We’re playing good baseball.” “Sometimes you realize you don’t have as much power as you thought,” joked catcher Russell Martin, who has four home runs in 45 games at Coors Field. “I don’t know if there’s anything to that (theory about breaking pitches being tamer at altitude). I saw some breaking balls (in Clayton Kershaw’s start) and they were breaking just fine.”Kenta Maeda’s slider also defied the effects of high altitude on Sunday. But most breaking balls don’t break as sharply in Denver and Dodgers manager Dave Roberts thinks the adjustment hitters have to make when sliders and curves return to normal is at the heart of any Coors Field hangover.“That’s a debate that’s ongoing,” he said, acknowledging the Dodgers’ poor record after leaving Denver. “The psyche effect is actually counter. It works against you in the sense that when you’re coming into Coors, however you’re swinging the bat – whether you’re swinging the bat not well or well – you have a chance of getting better coming in here. You have a better chance of getting even better. So the psyche coming out – you think you feel good and you do feel good mentally. But in reality, the characteristics of the baseball coming out of Denver do a lot of different things. So teams that come out of Denver typically go the other way, statistically.“Coming into here, the psyche and the production matches. It doesn’t always work that way when you leave Denver.”The adjustment to be made is in “the brains and the eyes” of hitters more so than the lingering effects of the greater physical demands playing at Coors Field, he said.“That’s what it is,” Roberts said. “There’s the physical in the sense that your body’s sore, you’re fatigued, you’re tired. There’s that physical. But I think it’s more cognitive – just seeing and how you react and what’s the ball not doing, what it’s supposed to be doing. It’s that kind of deal.”Kiké Hernandez doesn’t agree.Related Articles How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire A team that has played at a .587 winning-percentage rate since the start of 2013 has played at a .407 rate following a visit to Coors Field.“I had no idea about that stat,” Dodgers outfielder/first baseman Joc Pederson said when read the numbers. “Not good.“You definitely notice the pitches. There are a lot more back-up sliders and cutters here where it’s not like that at other places. But I didn’t know it was that bad. … Maybe everyone’s just a little tired. Numbers don’t lie so it’s something.”The Dodgers aren’t alone. The four NL West teams that each make three visits to Colorado every season have a .466 winning percentage in the series following their series there since 2013. Only the San Francisco Giants (33-28) have managed a winning record in the days immediately after leaving Denver.Pederson hits on the two theories to explain a “Coors Field hangover.” There are the greater physical demands of performing at altitude – compounded by the longer games and more running (especially for outfielders who have to run down a greater number of extra-base hits in the expansive outfield). And then there is the adjustment of returning closer to sea level where breaking balls become sharper again and fly balls return to earth sooner. Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season center_img Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start DENVER — Now comes the hard part.The Dodgers just split a four-game series in baseball’s most difficult environment – the thin air and high-scoring atmosphere of Coors Field. The Dodgers and Rockies combined for 65 runs and 15 home runs in four games that averaged 3 hours and 36 minutes (30 minutes longer than this season’s major-league average). And they did all that on this visit with temperatures in the 90s at game time each day.Challenging as all that was, the numbers say it is even more difficult to come down from the mile-high altitude of Denver.Since 2013 – the start of the Dodgers’ current run of domination in the National League West – the Dodgers have a winning record at Coors Field (34-29). But in the series that followed those visits to Denver, they have struggled, going 24-35 – including a six-game losing streak that followed a series sweep of the Rockies in April (the Dodgers’ longest slump this season and the only time they have lost consecutive series). Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img

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