Kemp, Ethier Returning To Dodger Lineup

PHOENIX, AZ - JULY 15: Matt Kemp #27 of the Los Angeles Dodgers high fives Andre Ethier #16 after Kemp hit a two run home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the sixth inning of the Major League Baseball game at Chase Field on July 15, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Here's something that might surprise the baseball fan who doesn't look past the standings: the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers rank 14th in the National League in scoring.

Fourteenth.

It's hard to win that way. And since pushing their record to 42-25 in the middle of June, the Dodgers have won only five of their last 20 games. In those same 20 games, the Dodgers scored only 43 runs. With eight of those coming in one game. They were shut out completely in a three-game series against the Giants, for the first time in recorded history.

It's been ugly.

There's really really really good news, though:

Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier can't fix what ails the Dodgers all by themselves. But it's one hell of a first step. Considering the club's still in first place despite the absence of their two best hitters for an extended stretch, you have to like the Dodgers' second-half chances.

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