Friday, September 6, 2013
Two more injuries and one more loss
By Mark Saxon
The way the Los Angeles Dodgers have been playing, it has seemed at times as if only injuries could keep them from a deep run in the playoffs.
Injuries it is?
The Dodgers got some bad news before the game when the team announced Matt Kemp's rehabilitation has been shut down because of another hamstring strain, and then more bad news two innings into a 3-2 loss to the Cincinnati Reds.
Left-hander Chris Capuano was filling in for Hyun-Jin Ryu, who was scratched from Friday's start because of a stiff back. In an echo of the Dodgers' early-season injury luck, Capuano, too, got hurt. He only lasted 1 2/3 innings before leaving the game because of a mildly strained left groin.
There were some raised eyebrows when the Dodgers signed Edinson Volquez after he had been released by the San Diego Padres last week, but now it is looking like stockpiling depth was a good idea. If Ryu can't pitch next week, Volquez figures to become part of the Dodgers' rotation.
Capuano beckoned Dodgers trainers after he had retired five of the first six batters he faced. He was replaced by reliever Peter Moylan. Capuano was on the disabled list twice this season because of a strain to his calf and a back muscle.
Moylan got through the third and Stephen Fife, who has been effective in limited opportunities for the Dodgers this season, took over and pitched well from there, but aside from Hanley Ramirez's two-run home run in the first inning, the Dodgers' offense made little headway.
The Reds, still fighting for playoff positioning, needed Friday's game more badly than the Dodgers did. Their closer, Aroldis Chapman, closed out the win by striking out Yasiel Puig, Adrian Gonzalez and Ramirez, throwing several pitches that topped 100 mph.
Before Friday's game began, the Dodgers announced Kemp has been shut down indefinitely in his rehabilitation from a sprained left ankle. Kemp has spent time on the disabled list in each of the past two seasons because of hamstring injuries.
It seems unlikely Kemp will return before the end of the season, but the Dodgers are well-protected with Puig and Andre Ethier playing well in Kemp's stead. Then again, as the injuries to starting pitchers have demonstrated, you can never have too much depth.