Late in the afternoon on July 29, the Los Angeles Dodgers were feeling pretty good. Clayton Kershaw had just pitched a gem, and the Dodgers finished a sweep of the rival Giants on the road. The two teams were tied for first, and the Blue Crew was headed home for a long home stand. Three days later the Dodgers have been swept by the Diamondbacks, and Los Angeles is now looking up at the Giants again. What happened?
The offense disappears
The Dodgers just didn't hit in the series with Arizona. Over the three games, Los Angeles racked up a grand total of four runs. That isn't going to get it done against a divisional rival. The final game of the series was particularly poor, as the offense only got two hits and no runs. You would understand if the Dodgers faced an ace, but a young pitcher named Patrick Corbin mowed down Matt Kemp and the Los Angeles lineup. This was Corbin's third career win. The Dodgers just didn't hit.
Los Angeles was active at the trade deadline. The acquisition of Shane Victorino was a good move, as was the trade to get Brandon League. I think that those two players will help the team over the next couple of months, but the new acquisitions cannot necessarily create immediate team momentum. The team wasn't desperate for these new players, but they certainly strengthen a team that is already solid in a lot of areas.
Just win, baby
Don't look now Dodgers, but Arizona is nipping at your heals. At this point, I'm not sure what to say about this Dodger team. On paper, Los Angeles has all the pieces needed to make a deep playoff run and potentially win a championship this year. They just need to win. You can certainly struggle in a particular series, but getting swept at home should raise a few eyebrows. Perhaps this is just a minor setback before the Dodgers get hot, but this team can't get swept at home again.
The author lives in Los Angeles, but grew up in Seattle and still roots faithfully for the Mariners even though they are sometimes frustrating to watch. He gets to Seattle whenever he can to see his M's. You can follow him on Twitter @tpheifer.
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