The Los Angeles Dodgers were playing the lowly Padres, but they did get the win in the first game after the All-Star Game. Making the win all the better was the fact that Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and Mark Ellis were back in the lineup. Ethier didn't have a particularly productive game, but Kemp went 2-4 and Mark Ellis hit a two-run home run to lead the Dodgers to a 2-1 win at Dodger Stadium.
Back in business
It sure was good to see the lineup back together again. It seems like forever since the Dodger sluggers were on the field together. Couple that with an All-Star break that accompanies a particularly dead period in professional sports, and it seems like we haven't seen the complete Dodger team in quite some time. The Dodgers only have a slim lead in the National League West, but with the talent on this squad, there are certainly a lot of reasons to be optimistic about the second half. Now the Dodgers just need to rebuild some momentum.
Just like April?
The Dodgers started the season extremely hot, but over the course of the season the injury bug has bitten Los Angeles a few too many times. Without Kemp and Ethier, the Dodgers have been forced to just hang on for dear life and ride their solid pitching. Dodger fans would certainly love to see the Blue Crew regain that early-season momentum and rebuild a lead over the Giants.
If the Dodgers are going to win the National League West, they need their big bats to stay healthy. As much as Clayton Kershaw and the rest of the staff have performed extremely well, the Dodgers need to keep their sluggers in the lineup. Unfortunately, the injuries sustained by Kemp are the type of aches and pains that can linger throughout the season. Kemp especially needs to nurse that hamstring and avoid another trip to the DL. The reality is that this may be easier said than done.
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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