The Los Angeles Dodgers have not been playing their best ball of late. Los Angeles started the year hot, and they looked like a team that was on a mission. Then, Matt Kemp's hamstring started to act up and the Dodgers have not exactly been the same since. Their once sizable lead has dwindled, and the Dodgers now have to worry about being caught from behind. Still, they got a key hit off of Jonathan Papelbon on June 4 to win 4-3 in the ninth over the Phillies. Will this win turn into some positive momentum?
Heading in the wrong direction
Despite the win, the Dodgers have lost six of their last eight games. Getting swept by the Brewers at home at the end of May was a bad start to this stretch. They are now five games into a ten-game road trip, which will have them crisscrossing the country between Philadelphia and Seattle. Momentum is a big part of baseball, and right now the Dodgers don't have a lot of positive energy.
When Kemp was first injured, it looked like the Dodgers could maintain their winning ways. The pitching was still very good and the lineup was producing well. However, the Dodgers have been struggling to score runs, and they really seem to miss that big bat in the middle of the lineup. The Dodgers are still 4th in the league in batting average, but they are 15th in runs scored. They need to find a way to get more guys around the bases.
Looming in the rearview mirror are the San Francisco Giants, who have won four straight and are now only three games behind the Dodgers in the National League West. You sort of knew that the Giants were going to be a problem at some point, but I think the Dodgers hoped that their lead would last a little longer. Perhaps the Blue Crew will start playing better and rebuild their lead, but for now they are being chased.
The author grew up in Seattle and is ultimately loyal to the Mariners, but now lives in Los Angeles and also roots for Dodger Blue. You can follow him on Twitter @tpheifer.
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- Sports & Recreation
- Los Angeles Dodgers
- Matt Kemp