Heading into their two-game series with the Detroit Tigers, the Los Angeles faced a tall order as they drew both Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer.
Although Verlander entered his start with a 7-7 record this season, he was 13-0 at home against National League opponents. Scherzer, reigning American League Cy Young winner and who is tied for the team lead with 11 wins, was likely to present his share of challenges for the Dodgers.
The Dodgers countered with Hyun-Jin Ryu, who has pitched well on the road this season and on five days’ rest, and Zack Greinke, an ace in his own right. While the pitching matchups may have suggested scoring would be hard to come by, the Tigers flourished.
After scoring five runs in the first inning of Tuesday’s loss, the Dodgers were outscored 18-1 en route to being swept. A.J. Ellis said the losses were an indication the Dodgers still have plenty to work on, via Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
An old coach told me there are two types of players — humbled and about to be,” he said. “We got humbled these two days. It shows we have a long way to go. I’d love to have another crack at those guys. It means we will have accomplished a lot. They showed us where the bar’s at. That’s a World Series-contending team over there — as good a team as we’ve faced.
Ellis also added the Dodgers have beaten the teams they should and said Tigers and San Francisco Giants give the Dodgers an idea of where they’re at:
We’ve done our part against teams we’re supposed to beat. It seems like this team and the Giants are the measuring stick to see where we’re really at and see if we match them.”
With the consecutive losses, the Dodgers enter Thursday percentage points behind the Giants for first place in the NL West. The Dodgers finish the first half of their schedule with a four-game series at Chavez Ravine against the San Diego Padres.
Following the All-Star break, the Boys in Blue will play three consecutive road series against the St. Louis Cardinals, Pittsburgh Pirates and Giants.
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