A 125-win pace? Dodgers be­lieve surge is sus­tain­able

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Steven Wine

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.

Jae C. Hong, The As­so­ci­ated Press

Los An­ge­les Dodgers’ Corey Sea­ger watches his third home run of the night against the New York Mets on June 20.

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