The Offensively Challenged Los Angeles Dodgers
They have been playing without All-star center fielder, Matt Kemp for an extended period of time, and for a decent stretch, the Dodgers fill-in players were able to get to the job done, however, recently, they have struggled to even put up a run. Combine the loss of Kemp with the recent left-oblique injury to Andre Ethier, the Dodgers are S.O.L.
The Giants are streaking and the Arizona Diamondbacks have been charging back from a weak start to the season, and are only five games behind the Giants and Dodgers. Clayton Kershaw pitched very well in the second game of the series, giving up two runs and striking out eight in seven innings, but the Dodgers failed to score a run. Yesterday, the Dodgers received a quality start from Chad Billingsley as well, as he surrendered three runs in six innings, striking out seven. However, unable to cash in runs facing Tim Lincecum, crippled the Dodgers once again.
Will the Dodgers have enough to remain in the race until Kemp and Ethier return? Can the pitching staff continue to throw well without receiving any run support? If the team is to rely on Jerry Hairston Jr., Juan Rivera and Bobby Abreu to provide the heavy lifting, they'll be in trouble. James Loney has been a major disappointment as the Dodgers were hoping he would develop into a power threat from first base.
The Dodgers were overachieving to begin the season with a soft schedule and with crucial injuries moving forward, they may dip in the standings heading into the All-star break. They are 22nd in the MLB in runs scored and RBI, 29th in homeruns and 15th in batting average.