August 16, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) reacts after giving up a two run home run in the fourth inning to Milwaukee Brewers right fielder Ryan Braun (8) at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

AK's Corner: Dodgers Hanging on by a Thread

Back on August 14th, after taking three of four games from the Braves in Atlanta, the Los Angeles Dodgers were at their season-high mark of 17 games over .500. Unfortunately, the bad news that had already started rolling in a few days earlier when Hanley Ramirez was sent to the disabled list, got worse. Hyun-jin Ryu was also sent to the disabled list, just before the Dodgers’ series at home against the Milwaukee Brewers. Then, Juan Uribe injured his hamstring during the first game against the Brewers, also landing him on the disabled list.

Aug 4, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Zack Greinke (21) reacts on the mound in the first inning of the game against the Los Angeles Angels at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

A few more days later, Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly revealed that Zack Greinke was dealing with a sore pitching elbow. While Greinke is expected to start against the New York Mets on Saturday evening, the Dodgers have to be pretty concerned about having so many injury issues as they approach September.

Fortunately, the team did rally together after getting swept by the Brewers, and the team has now won three out of four games, with two home games remaining against the Mets this weekend. The Dodgers’ last four wins–credited to Dan Haren, Clayton Kershaw, Kevin Correia, and Roberto Hernandez. Yeah, I know–not the way they drew things up…

Aug 22, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Dan Haren (14) pitches against the New York Mets during the second inning at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

In all fairness, though, the Dodgers have thus far gotten just about as much as they could have hoped for from Hernandez and Correia, and they’ll almost certainly have to rely on them until the playoffs. On offense, the Dodgers have gotten contributions from unlikely sources as well, with Justin Turner‘s two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning in Thursday night’s game against the San Diego Padres leading the Dodgers to a 2-1 victory. In Tuesday night’s 8-6 win against the Padres, Carl Crawford was 3-for-3 with three runs scored, a run batted in, a home run, and a stolen base.

So for now, the Dodgers are going to have to continue to grind out victories with their tattered starting rotation, and with different hitters coming up with big hits every game. With only a slim 3.5 game lead over the second-place San Francisco Giants, the Dodgers have no choice but to hold on by a thread until their injured players return.

Tags: Clayton Kershaw Dan Haren Hanley Ramirez Los Angeles Dodgers MLB

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