Many Dodgers Contribute To Remarkable Streak
As the Dodgers have burst from last place to a runaway lead in the National League West division, it has truly been a team effort.
Examining a sheet of accomplishments provided by the Dodgers’ public relations department in the press box before Saturday’s victory over the Tampa Bay Rays, I underlined passages that would be helpful for this piece.
Soon I realized I was underlining almost everything.
Here are some of the best ones and a few others that I observed.
The Dodgers had gone 35-8 since June 22, the best record of any major league team. They won three more games before I wrote this story on Tuesday.
Kenley Jansen, the Dodgers’ closer, retired 27 consecutive batters in different games since July 23. Had he done that as a starting pitcher he would have had a perfect game. He’s had 10 consecutive saves and leads all major league relievers with 84 strikeouts in 58 innings.
Although Yasiel Puig began the season in the minor leagues and wasn’t called up until June 3 he batted .379 since joining the Dodgers, the best average of any major league player. He also leads the majors in runs scored with 44 and total bases with 135.
Reserve Skip Schumaker had four hits in Saturday’s game. Reserve Nick Punto affects almost every game he plays in, giving one of the regulars a day off.
The Dodgers haven’t produced many runs when ace starter Clayton Kershaw pitches so Kershaw drove in two runs early in Sunday’s game, another win over Tampa Bay.
The Dodgers have won 11 straight one-run games, a franchise record.
The Dodgers have made their sensational run without two key players, Matt Kemp and Hanley Ramirez, who are injured.
They also don’t have former Giants’ closer Brian Wilson, who they signed recently. Wilson has pitched well in two rehabilitation appearances in the minor leagues, indicating he will fit into the Dodgers’ plans next season if not this one.
The Dodgers aren’t the only hot team at this time. Atlanta had a recent 14-game winning streak and Texas has vaulted past Oakland to lead the American League West.
But the Dodgers are locking up a playoff berth at this early date too.
And whatever happened to the early season rumors that manager Don Mattingly was in danger of being fired?