Extra Innings Have Been Extra Good for Dodgers

Extra Innings Have Been Extra Good for Dodgers

Extra-inning games have been very good to the Dodgers this season. Following two consecutive 10th-inning wins over the Diamondbacks, L.A. has a 5-1 record in games going past the ninth inning.

Despite that success, however, Clayton Kershaw isn't very keen on the extra-innings tiebreaker. It just doesn't feel like real baseball.

Don't be a buzzkill, man. To be fair, Kershaw may have been irritated at allowing four runs (three earned) in five innings Wednesday night.

The new tiebreaker rule -- beginning the 10th inning with a runner on second base -- is a temporary measure to avoid marathon games during the shortened 2020 season. But having a runner already in scoring position when coming to bat in the 10th is clearly a favorable situation for the Dodgers.

In five of their six extra-inning contests, the Dodgers' lineup has driven in that runner from second base in the 10th. They're not turning away the free gift provided by Major League Baseball. The new rule was intended to end extra-inning games quickly and the best team in baseball is complying.

The Dodgers' proficiency in driving in that run shouldn't be a surprise. As a team, L.A. is batting .284 with runners in scoring position. Only the Padres and Twins are better.

Mookie Betts has the second-best individual average with RISP, batting .441. Twice, he's driven in that runner from second base in the 10th. Chris Taylor is batting .310 with RISP and also has two RBI in extra innings.

Another interesting tidbit: Five of the Dodgers' extra-inning games have been on the road, giving them the opportunity to score first and put pressure on the home team.

Yet the Dodgers' bullpen typically hasn't allowed the opponent to score in the home half of the inning. One notable exception, of course, is Kenley Jansen allowing three runs (two earned) in his worst outing of the season Tuesday night. Fortunately, he had a four-run cushion to protect him.

Sure, the Dodgers are good in just about every situation. That's why they're winning 73 percent of their games. Even new rules can't stop them.

Ian Casselberry watchdogs sports media for Awful Announcing. He's covered baseball for SB Nation, Yahoo Sports and MLive, and was one of Bleacher Report's first lead MLB writers. Please follow Ian on Twitter @iancass and give him a listen at The Podcass.