The Los Angeles Dodgers plight is well known at this point. They’re a good team in the middle of another tight divisional race with the San Francisco Giants, but they’re running out of players at an alarming rate.
Actually, that might be understating it. They’re running out of players at historic rate, as right-handed starter Bud Norris became the 26th different player to be placed on the disabled list on Saturday. That’s already a National League record, and they’re one injured player away from tying the major league record set by the 2012 Red Sox.
Those are absurd, almost unfair numbers, but the Dodgers keeping chugging right along with a 61-49 record. They’ll look to continue showing their resilience on Sunday when they wrap up a weekend series against another playoff contender, the Boston Red Sox. The series finale will be featured as the MLB Free Game of the Day on Yahoo Sports. You can stream the game at Yahoo’s Sports Home, MLB index and video home beginning at the unusual Sunday starting time of 7:10 p.m. ET.
The short-handed Dodgers sit two games behind the Giants entering play on Sunday. That effectively puts them within striking distance of a team that has shown significant cracks since the All-Star break. With Saturday’s win in Washington, San Francisco improved to 6-14 during the second half. Yeah, it’s an even year, but they’re inability to create some distance might cost them in the division race.
The Dodgers are also 2 1/2 games ahead in the NL wild-card standings. That’s a good spot to be in too, though they’d obviously prefer to avoid the one-game wild-card play-in.
What will be interesting to see is just who the Dodgers can ultimately rely on down the stretch. Will Clayton Kershaw be able to return? If so, will he be effective? What about Alex Wood? Then there’s newly-acquired starter Rich Hill, who will not make Sunday’s start due to on-going blister issues.
It seems like the uncertainty, which now extends to Yasiel Puig’s future with the team, will ultimately be too much to overcome. But at what point does it become overwhelming? Beyond that, could the Giants make them pay can and take control of the division? It’s a fascinating set of circumstances that will add a layer of unpredictability to the National League playoff picture.
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