MLB’s annual Players Weekend is supposed to breathe some fresh air into the season but that was not the case for Los Angeles Dodgers as they dropped two out of three in a much-anticipated Interleague series against the New York Yankees at Dodger Stadium.
The Yankees came to town having just been swept by the Oakland Athletics, but they were ready for the Dodgers, slugging five home runs in a 10-2 rout in the series opener. Los Angeles responded in the second game on Saturday afternoon though, hanging on for a 2-1 win.
That set the stage for Sunday night’s series finale, which resembled the first game more than the second. The Yankees hit three home runs off Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers offense again stayed quiet. Los Angeles suffered a 5-1 loss, managing just five runs in the three-game set against a Yankees pitching staff that is believed to be perhaps their only weakness.
To top it all off, the response to this season’s Players Weekend uniforms was overwhelmingly negative.
As for on-field matters, despite not getting the results he and his team hoped for, manager Dave Roberts is still confident in the Dodgers if they were to meet the Yankees down the road, via Jorge Castillo of the L.A. Times:
“I think we match up well,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “I don’t think that this series changed my thought that these are two very good ballclubs. But we both have a lot of work to do if there is, at all, a potential matchup again.”
As Roberts mentioned, it is much too early to be thinking about possible World Series matchups when both teams will have tough roads just to get there.
Roberts downplayed the importance of this series before it even started, so it is not surprising to see him doing so after some lackluster offensive performances.
Perhaps the most important aspect of the series was the impact it has on the standings. The Dodgers (86-46) and Yankees (85-47) have the best two records in baseball, along with the Houston Astros (85-47), and both of the American League teams were able to pick up a game on Sunday.
The Dodgers have the most home wins in all of baseball at 52 compared to just 18 losses, so it certainly would appear to be in their best interest to secure home-field advantage throughout the postseason.
In addition to the best record, the Dodgers also have the largest division lead as they are still 20 games ahead of the second-place San Francisco Giants. Their magic number to clinch the division is just 12.