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MLB Playoff Race: 5 Reasons Los Angeles Dodgers Will Overcome Pitching Woes

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MLB Playoff Race: 5 Reasons Los Angeles Dodgers Will Overcome Pitching Woes
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Josh Beckett showed why he's been a key member of two World Series-winning teams by shutting down the Arizona Diamondbacks last Saturday.

The Los Angeles Dodgers’ pitching staff has fallen on tough times recently. But there are reasons to believe that a turnaround is on the horizon, in spite of all that’s occurred over the past two weeks. In that time, the Dodgers have lost two of their most important pitchers to injury, possibly for the rest of the season.

RHP Chad Billingsley has been out indefinitely since leaving in the fourth inning of his August 24 start with discomfort in his pitching elbow. Although he received an injection of platelet-rich plasma last week in an attempt to salvage his season, his return is in serious doubt. Billingsley’s had won all six of his starts since the All-Star break and was easily the Dodgers’ best pitcher during that time. His loss is devastating to a starting rotation that has been without LHP Ted Lilly since early May.

Lilly’s return is also in question as he’s been slow to recover from soreness in his pitching shoulder.  

The injury news got worse for Los Angeles last week when closer Kenley Jansen was also shelved indefinitely with a recurring heart condition. He is scheduled to find out today if he can return to the Dodgers bullpen as soon as September 7 or if he’ll miss the rest of the 2012 season. 

The injuries alone are a big enough cause for concern, but the Dodgers also endured a 1-3 stretch last week during which they gave up a total of 34 runs. 

The combination of mounting injuries and poor pitching performances are enough to make a Dodgers fan cry. However, the darkest days are behind them, and the sun has already begun to shine on Los Angeles once again.

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