Stumbling into the All-Star Break, Dodgers Place Ethier on DL
First, they were swept by the Athletics, scoring only 2 runs in three-game series dominated by pitching – Oakland only tallied 11 runs altogether in the series but came out 3-0. Then the Dodgers dropped two out of three to their neighbors from Anaheim. But the one that hurt most was the trip to AT&T Park, where their longtime rivals just absolutely shut them down. The Giants outscored the Dodgers 13-0 in the series, behind strong pitching by Zito, Vogelsong, and Lincecum. And after a subsequent sweep by the Mets, the Dodgers completed one of the worst second halves of a month you’ll ever see in baseball.
From June 19th to June 30th, the Dodgers went 1-11 and were outscored 55-15.
Yeah, let that sink in for a second.
On the bright side, the Dodgers have opened up July by winning three of their first four games, and because of their strong start to the season, they still hold a half-game lead on the second-place Giants.
It’s been a rollercoaster start to the season for the Dodgers, due in large part to the hamstring of superstar outfielder Matt Kemp. After jacking 12 home runs while batting a ridiculous .417 in April, Kemp started to slow down. It was clear something was off, and after evaluation, he was placed on the 15-day DL in mid-May. Upon returning, there was still something off. Kemp was only able to reach the plate 5 times before heading back to the DL, now scheduled to make his return soon after the all-star break.
And that all-star break couldn’t come any sooner for the Dodgers, because now they’ll be without their second most productive hitter until the second half of the season as well. Ethier, currently 5th in the NL in RBIs, started showing signs of injury about a week ago and hasn’t played since June 27th. Yesterday, the Dodgers announced that Ethier had been diagnosed with a strained left oblique and is slated to return a bit after the midsummer classic.
The Dodgers team we should expect post-all star break – hoping both Ethier and Kemp can recover successfully – should be closer to the team we saw at the beginning of the season than the one that limped to the end of June. They’re still a few players away from really becoming something special, but we should see a pretty interesting race between them and their NL West rival Giants the rest of the way.