A 125-win pace? Dodgers believe surge is sustainable
MIAMI» Clayton Kershaw’s notion that the past five extraordinary weeks are the new norm for the Los Angeles Dodgers seems to be taking hold.
Going into the all-star break, Kershaw suggested the Dodgers’ surge might not be a surge at all, but a sustainable pace. Then his team began the second half of the season with a three-game sweep at Miami.
The NL West leaders start a twogame series at the White Sox on Tuesday with a nine-game winning streak and a 64-29 record. They have won 29 of their past 33 games (.879).
If the Dodgers played .879 ball the rest of the year, they would finish with 125 wins.
“Clayton’s quote about, ‘Are we on a hot streak, or is this just who we are?’ — I never really thought about it that way, but I’m starting to think maybe this is just who we are,” unbeaten left-hander Alex Wood said with a laugh.
The Dodgers’ record merits comparisons to their teams in 1977 and 1955, both World Series clubs. They’re 35 games above .500 for the first time since 1977, and the record at the 93game mark is their best since 1955.
Among many reasons for the wins are Kershaw, Wood, Kenley Jansen, Yasiel Puig and Cody Bellinger.
The Dodgers are 55-18 since Bellinger was promoted from the minors. He has 26 homers and on Saturday became the first rookie in the 128-year history of the franchise to hit for the cycle.
They’re 31-6 when Puig bats eighth, and he hits that low because the rest of the lineup’s so potent. Puig is having his best year and ranks second on the team with 19 homers.
They’re 23-0 when Jansen has a save opportunity. Even more impressive than his 0.90 ERA are his 61 strikeouts and two walks.
They’re 11-0 when Wood gets a decision. He’s the first Dodgers pitcher since at least 1913 to win his first 11 decisions in a season.
And they’ve won Kershaw’s past 13 starts. He’s 14-2, leads the majors in victories and will take the ball again Tuesday in Chicago.
Los Angeles Dodgers’ Corey Seager watches his third home run of the night against the New York Mets on June 20.