The Dodgers entered the most recent home stand after getting swept courtesy of their bitter rivals, the San Francisco Giants. In the midst of a four-game losing streak fans were hoping the return to Los Angeles would help turn things around.
The Dodgers were then swept by Arizona, and lost the first game of their series against the Miami Marlins. As the team appeared downtrodden and lifeless, fans and the media were heaping heavy criticism on the Dodgers squad and their eight-game losing streak.
It was getting ugly, but pitcher Hyun-jin Ryu snapped the streak with a great performance on Sunday and the Dodgers bats finally woke up, providing him seven runs on the way to victory.
The Dodgers have now won four out of five, taken the last two series, and appear to be slowly turning things around.
The bats have not taken off yet, but if they keep getting strong, efficient starts out of Hyun-jin Ryu, and Chris Capuano while Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke helm the top of the rotation, the Dodgers will stay competitive.
The pitching was not much of a concern coming into the season, but with an influx of injuries the rotation was wearing thin. The return of Zack Greinke at the top of the rotation, alongside Kershaw, makes for a huge difference. The dominant duo will provide the team with some added confidence.
Worries over Adrian Gonzalez's neck strain seem to have subsided. He played in most of the home stand, getting 11 hits and 5 RBIs, and maintaining his role as the Dodgers most consistent hitter on the team.
Meanwhile, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier are finally starting to wake up from their slow starts. Ethier had 10 hits and four RBI on the home stand, while Kemp extended his hitting streak to 14 games.
Kemp is still not hitting for power, and struck out eight times on the home stand, but it is encouraging to see him consistently make contact.
The NL West is well within reach for a ballclub of this caliber, and the Dodgers could find themselves out of last place this week if they can keep up the pace.
Matchups versus NL West teams have been a weakness for the Dodgers. They are a paltry 5-16 against their divisional opponents, while 12-6 against the rest of the league.
This divisional split was displayed during the home stand. Los Angeles was swept by Western their rival, Arizona, but took 4 of 6 from Eastern opponents, Miami and Washington.
The Dodgers continue play against the NL East on Friday with a three-game series against the Atlanta Braves.