The Los Angeles Dodgers returned to Chavez Ravine for a seven game homestand looking to recover from a six game road trip to Colorado and Cincinnati that left them in a bit of a tailspin.
After managing to win their first two games on the road, the Dodgers dropped the remaining four games of trip, with the last three losses coming at the hands of the Cincinnati Reds via a sweep.
Getting swept by the Reds came as a bit of a surprise considering the Dodgers sent Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw to the mound in two of the three games.
Greinke and Kershaw again weren’t quite their dominant selves, though each only allowed two earned runs in their respective losses.
The series loss to the Reds was also disheartening for Dodger fans who had already seen their team struggle against another playoff caliber opponent.
In returning home for series against the Arizona Diamondbacks and San Francisco Giants, the Dodgers were expected to revert back to their winning ways and move closer to officially clinching the National League West, and continue to place pressure on the National League leaders, Atlanta Braves.
If Dodger fans had some concerns entering the homestand, the last seven games at Dodger Stadium didn’t do anything to ease those worries.
The Dodgers took two of the three games against the Diamondbacks, and the first game against the Giants before losing the final three, including an embarrassing 19-3 loss on Saturday, which was the most runs ever scored by one team in the history of Dodger Stadium.
Compounding the Dodgers’ recent home losses are injuries suffered to Carl Crawford, Andre Ethier, Yasiel Puig, and Hanley Ramirez; not to mention Matt Kemp has also yet to return from the disabled list.
However, Kemp is expected to join the team in Arizona, partake in workouts, and if everything goes well, will be activated off the DL. Ramirez may also return to the lineup at some point in Arizona.
The injuries also come with questions of fatigue with regards to the pitching staff. As of late, the normally reliant group of Greinke, Kershaw, Hyun-Jin Ryu, and Ricky Nolasco haven’t turned in performances that have come to be expected.
Some of that, particularly for Greinke and Kershaw, can be attributed to them being spectacular for much of the season that any drop off, however so minimal, may appear more drastic than it truly is.
After going 3-7 in their last 10 games, the Dodgers should no longer make an earnest effort in attempting to overtake the Braves for the best record in the NL, but should instead focus on getting healthy and recapturing the momentum they once had.
The Boys in Blue are headed to Arizona needing only two victories to secure the NL West title, though getting into the playoffs is no longer a matter of if, but when.
The question now is how healthy they will be.