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Grade Of The Week: Pitching Remains Strong As Offense Disappears

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The Los Angeles Dodgers had a mediocre week in their final games before the All-Star break. In what many saw as a potential World Series preview, the Detroit Tigers had the Dodgers’ number and swept the two-game series.

Luckily for the Dodgers, the struggling San Diego Padres were next on the schedule. Despite a lack of offense, the Dodgers were able to come away with three wins in the four-game series close out the first half of the season.

Grade of the Week: B

Pros: Pitching remains the strongest component for the Dodgers and the team depended on their starting rotation’s strong outings in their three wins over the Padres.

Clayton Kershaw continued his pitching dominance and historic run. Despite having his scoreless innings streak end by giving up a home run to Chase Headley Thursday, Kershaw kept the rest of the Padres at bay.

With Josh Beckett on the 15-day disabled list, Paul Maholm found his way back into the starting rotation and didn’t disappoint Saturday night. Maholm threw a solid six innings while only giving up two hits.

The Dodgers needed the strong performance as Ian Kennedy kept them off the scoreboard as well. An A.J. Ellis sacrifice fly finally broke the tie in the ninth and left the Dodgers victorious, 1-0.

Sunday’s game saw the Dodgers and Padres in another pitching duel. Tyson Ross pitched well for the Padres but couldn’t come up with a win. After a rough outing against the Tigers on Tuesday, Hyun-Jin Ryu only allowed two hits and struck out 10 in his six innings of work as the Dodgers held on for another 1-0 win.

Cons: The offense as a whole disappeared last week. The Dodgers got to Justin Verlander to the tune of five runs in the first inning on Tuesday, but he quickly settled down. The Dodgers struggled to find any more production and only managed one more hit off Verlander on their way to a 14-5 loss.

Things didn’t get any easier the next day as Max Scherzer was next to shutdown the Dodgers. Although Miguel Rojas was able to hit a home run, Scherzer only allowed three other hits as he outdueled Zack Greinke.

While it should be expected for the Dodgers to struggle against the Tigers’ pair of aces, the bats still couldn’t wake up in a four game series against the Padres. If it weren’t for the solid pitching, they could have easily found themselves losing more games.

Matt Kemp continued with his problems at the plate on his way to striking out 10 times during the week. Yasiel Puig added seven strike outs of his own, but also delivered the go-ahead run with his RBI single Sunday.

Overall: The Dodgers still find themselves atop the NL West with a one-game lead over the San Francisco Giants. The All-Star break should provide needed rest and hopefully re-energize the Dodgers offense as they enter the second half of the season looking to pull away from the Giants.
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Written by Russell Valenzuela

Russell Valenzuela graduated from UC Irvine and previously wrote for Dodgers Nation. As a Dodger fan since childhood, he follows and tracks statistics for a variety of sports.

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