The Dodgers were shut out by the Giants in an entire series this week, becoming the first team since 2010 to go scoreless in three straight games. Worse, in the finale against San Francisco, they lost Andre Ethier to a strained oblique that will probably put him on the DL. It’s going to lead to some lineups that look like this for the next couple of weeks:
SS Dee Gordon
2B Jerry Hairston Jr.
RF Bobby Abreu
LF Juan Rivera
1B James Loney
C A.J. Ellis
3B Juan Uribe
CF Tony Gwynn Jr.
With Elian Herrera, Adam Kennedy and maybe Josh Fields or Scott Van Slyke also in the mix.
Even with Ethier playing regularly, the Dodgers have the worst OPS in the majors this month. They’re hitting .219/.295/.295 in 25 games during June. They have just six homers, half as many as the team in 29th place in that category (the Padres).
Assuming that Ethier lands on the DL, here will be their leading home run hitters on the active roster:
Ellis – 6
Rivera – 3
Loney – 2
Abreu – 2
Hairston – 2
Matt Treanor – 2
So, yeah, things look bleak. But I’ll buck the odds anyway; it may not happen tonight or even this weekend, but the Dodgers will score again. Call it a gut feeling.
The Red Sox have clinched the AL East for a third consecutive season, beating the Yankees 11-6 in the Bronx on Thursday night. It’s the third consecutive season in which the Red Sox have won the division, the first time that’s ever been done in club history. In fact, the only other times the Red Sox won the division in back-to-back years were 1903-04 and 1915-16.
AL MVP candidate Mookie Betts went 4-for-5 with a two-run single in the second inning off of Masahiro Tanaka and a three-run homer in the eighth against Aroldis Chapman to put the game out of reach. Jackie Bradley and Brock Holt also hit homers. Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez was on the hook for five runs in 3 2/3 innings, but three of them scored when Heath Hembree inherited a bases-loaded situation, then served up a grand slam to Giancarlo Stanton in the fourth. The rest of the bullpen combined to fire five scoreless innings. Steven Wright had three of them followed by zeroes from Ryan Brasier and Craig Kimbrel.
With the loss, the Yankees’ lead over the Athletics for the first Wild Card slot shrinks to 1.5 games. Meanwhile, the Red Sox will try to clinch home field advantage throughout the playoffs. With a 104-49 record, their closest competitor is the 95-57 Astros. With nine games remaining in the regular season for the Red Sox, they would have to lose every game remaining in the regular season and the Astros would have to win their 10 remaining games in order to fail to claim home field advantage.