In the heat of a playoff race, the Los Angeles Dodgers lost two key members of the team as Yasiel Puig and Adrian Gonzalez left a game against the Cincinnati Reds injured.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are desperately trying to hold onto their lead in the National League West Divison over the defending World Series Champions, the San Francisco Giants. The Dodgers currently hold just a three-game lead over the Giants as September approaches.
While the good news is that the Dodgers just completed a three-game sweep of the struggling Cincinnati Reds on the road, the bad news is that the sweep might have come at a price as two key players of the Dodgers left the final game of the series injured.
During Thursday afternoon’s 1-0 victory over the Reds, Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez left the game with a bruised right knee after he fouled a pitch off his leg during an at-bat. Gonzalez currently leads the Dodgers with 24 home runs and 75 RBI.
To make matters worse for the Dodgers, outfielder Yasiel Puig pulled up lame after running out an infield single at first base. The nagging right hamstring injury is nothing new for Puig as he left a game last week against the Oakland Athletics because of injury. He also missed several games earlier this season dealing with his left hamstring.
The good news, is that it sounds like Gonzalez will be back on Friday, when the team begins a critical series against the Chicago Cubs. After the game, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said in an interview that removing Gonzalez from the game was just a precautionary measure.
"Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said removing Gonzalez was a precautionary measure. Gonzalez said “absolutely, 100 percent” when was asked if he will return to the lineup Friday night against the Chicago Cubs."
For Puig though, it could be a while before he takes the field again as his hamstring continues to be a burden to his 2015 season. If Puig continues to play on it, then he strongly risks the chance of aggravating it even further and bringing an end to his season early.
The best bet for the Dodgers would probably be to sit Puig for a while and get him healed up for the postseason run. Can they afford to do that? With the San Francisco Giants not going away and right on their heels, each game the Dodgers play is bigger than the rest.
Add in the fact, the Dodgers are playing a red-hot Cubs team this weekend, and the standings could look even tighter on Monday. The Dodgers have been scuffling as of late, and are looking for a lineup that will provide some consistency. Having Gonzalez in the lineup will keep them in good shape, but without Puig, they are losing power in the lineup and a bat they haven’t had for a good portion of this season.
The Dodgers have a chance to win another National League West title this season. They just can’t afford for players to start getting injured right now.
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