Jansen takes night off, but Paco keeps Dodgers rolling


Hanley Ramirez is on the sidelines – for days or weeks, we’re still not sure.

Kenley Jansen was on the sidelines – for a breather after an intense run of success.

But no one could sideline the Dodgers’ winning ways.

It was another close one, but thanks to just enough hitting and starting pitching and the right stuff from a young lefty in the bullpen, Los Angeles won its 15th consecutive road game, defeating St. Louis, 3-2.

The Dodgers are now 32-7 in their past 39 games, 15-2 since the All-Star break and are two away from the National League record for consecutive victories on the road, set 97 years ago by the New York Giants. They are a full six games ahead of idle Arizona in the NL West, and within three games of St. Louis, a team that on June 21 held a 16-game margin over them.

During their 32-7 run, the Dodgers are 10-0 in one-run games. They have won 10 of past 11 and were tied in the ninth inning of game they lost in that stretch, at home against the Yankees.

Though they led most of the way, it was a comeback victory for the Dodgers. Los Angeles fell behind in the first inning thanks in part to some spotty glovework by Yasiel Puig (who made a throwing error) and Nick Punto (whose throw home later that inning wasn’t good enough to prevent a run), but came back to take a 2-1 lead in the fourth on a walk to Adrian Gonzalez, a double by Puig, an RBI single by Andre Ethier and a run-scoring groundout by A.J. Ellis.

Then in the fifth, Puig, returning after a day off, and Punto, starting in place of Ramirez, reversed their fielding fortunes and teamed up to take a Cardinal run off the scoreboard. Puig barehanded David Freese’s double off the wall and rifled the ball to Punto, the shortstop who was in short right field to take the throw. Punto whipped the ball home to A.J. Ellis, who shorthopped it and tagged out Allen Craig trying to score from first.

Greinke, who earlier had a sacrifice bunt, hit an RBI single to right-center to push the Dodger lead to 3-1. That hit raised Greinke’s 2013 on-base percentage to .476, currently the highest of any pitcher in baseball history with at least 40 plate appearances.

The hit also provided an important insurance run. To start the bottom of the seventh, Greinke walked pinch-hitter Abron Chambers, who was batting .200 with no career homers. Matt Carpenter followed with a hit, putting runners at first and second as Greinke neared 100 pitches. Surprisingly, Carlos Beltran bunted, putting runners at second and third but giving up an out.

Chambers scored on an RBI groundout by Craig against Ronald Belisario, but the Dodgers escaped with their one-run lead heading into the eighth.

Greinke’s bottom-of-the-seventh struggle essentially eliminated any hope that the Dodgers wouldn’t agonize about getting through tonight’s game without Kenley Jansen, who entered the action with 25 consecutive batters retired (13 by strikeout) but with appearances in nine of his past 13 games, including 13 pitches Saturday and 15 Sunday. After Paco Rodriguez threw only six to get his three outs in the eighth, he remained in the game to start the ninth against the 8-9-1 spots in the St. Louis lineup, while Jansen sat in the bullpen with his coverup on. Brandon League warmed up in support of Rodriguez.

• Left-handed hitting Daniel Descalso struck out on three pitches.

• Left-handed pinch-hitter Matt Adams, with an .836 OPS and eight home runs in 174 at-bats, grounded out to Gonzalez on the second pitch from Rodriguez.

• Left-handed hitting Carpenter went ahead in the count 2-0, swung and missed, then hit a fly ball to center field that Ethier flagged down.

Rodriguez had his second career save (the first by a Dodger of at least two innings since Ramon Troncoso in 2009), Jansen had his night off, Greinke had his 100th career victory and the Dodgers had yet another win. Incredible, ain’t it? Simply incredible.

Previously on Dodger Thoughts: Phenomenal bullpen key to Dodgers’ revival

  • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

    Rollin’ rollin’ rollin’! Keep them Dodgers rollin’, Rawhide!

    Pretty remarkable run continues. And yeah many blessings to Paco for finishing that off. I really expected us to lose that game and I’m optimist, but just based on averages, Wainwright, playing in St Louis, etc. But obviously betting against these guys is a fool’s errand right now.

  • Paul

    as effective as Belisario has been recently, i still find myself holding my breath with each of his pitches

  • Anonymous

    Good start for these next seven against some better competition. Get well Hanley!

  • http://www.linkmeister.com/wordpress/ Linkmeister

    Amazin’!

  • http://www.linkmeister.com/wordpress/ Linkmeister

    According to ESPN, Cards – Dodgers 1,009 – 1,009 over the entire 100+ years they’ve played each other.

    • Anonymous

      They probably just count the NL years only. I think the AA years would give the Cardinals a bigger edge.

      • http://www.linkmeister.com/wordpress/ Linkmeister

        Vinnie cites the same kind of stat with the Cards once in a while. I wonder which one he uses.

        • Anonymous

          According to Baseball Reference, since 1892, when both teams were in the NL, the Dodgers lead the Cardinals 1010-1008. (The Dodgers joined in 1890 and the Cardinals in 1892). The discrepancy is likely due to counting of protested and/or forfeited games. If you count the AA years (going back to 1884, but no games in 1890-91), the Cardinals lead 1077-1045.

          • Anonymous

            Cardinals, I would guess, were way ahead until late forties. Can you tell me if this is correct?

          • Anonymous

            After 1942, for NL games, the Cardinals only led by 12 wins.

          • Anonymous

            TY; I meant until say 1947.

          • Anonymous

            I picked 1942 because both teams had 100+ win seasons. During from 43-45, the Cardinals should have gone ahead. Then the teams tied in 46 and the Dodgers won in 1947.

          • Anonymous

            The first year the Cardinals had an over 500 record against Brooklyn was 1901. Up until then Brooklyn was 33 wins ahead. Through 1920 Brooklyn added another 25 wins ahead. The bad Brooklyn teams of the ’20′s and 30′s, named the Dodgers starting in ’32, piled up a tremendous deficit to the Cardinals which exceeded the large Brooklyn lead so, as I say above Dodgers were 2 ahead leaving Brooklyn. LA dodgers were +32 over St. Louis at one point but now only +2 if I am correct which it seems I may not be as that puts Dodgers at +4 since 1892 including last nights game.

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    Leadoff hitter Carl Crawford saw eight pitches in his four at-bats. Yasiel Puig saw 21 in his four AB.

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    Just added: During their 32-7 run, the Dodgers are 10-0 in one-run games.

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Jon what’s the blank spot on the write up

    • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

      Supposed to be video of Puig-Punto-Ellis – I don’t know why it’s not showing up.

      • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

        I just re-inserted it.

        • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

          there it goes

      • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

        That’s ok we’ve all seen it…have the link for the tag portion at the plate

        http://i.imgur.com/og7SsKA.gif

  • Anonymous

    In my memory, Puig had trouble picking up the ball hit by Carpenter in the bottom of the first. Box score says E: Puig (4, fielding).

  • Anonymous

    If they Dodgers win tomorrow, they will have gone 33-7. Quite famously, the Tigers of Detroit in 1984, started the year 35-5 (which is still absolutely unbelievable to me). I believe that is the record for most wins over 40 games. I wonder if any other teams have gone 34-6 over 40 games at any point in the season.

    I recall 20-0 for Oakland, Colorado’s 21-1 run in 2007 (14-1 to end the regular season) and several years when Houston went on a tear to end the season.

    • Anonymous

      Okay, nevermind. The 1906 Cubs ended their regular season on a nice little 55-8 run, including a stretch when they went 44-4.

      • Anonymous

        how did you find this?
        one of their wins was a forfeit by the NY Giants, I see

        • Anonymous

          I just looked at Baseball Reference page for the 1906 Cubs. I am trying, but having no success in working the play index on the site to get a list of the best 40 game won-loss records.

          • Anonymous

            Good work; it’s tough if you’re not a subscriber which I am not.
            Can you ask it for fewest losses in a month or better 2 months?
            KT is a subscriber, I think, and timmermann is generous about helping.

          • Anonymous

            Oh right – that subscription thing. I don’t have it either. Perhaps the need to figure out the best 40 game run will come up tomorrow or later this week, and Jon or KT or btim or one of the other friends here will check it up.

  • VND

    its been a long time since ive posted on here

    • VND

      lol my avatar

    • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

      sup VND

      • VND

        sup!

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Los Angeles Dodgers ‏@Dodgers2h
    RECAP: Greinke solid, drives in run in 3-2 win over Cardinals: http://atmlb.com/152jKSg #Dodgers pic.twitter.com/fD9sIGFRR1

  • Spence

    I hope the Dodgers are this hot/lucky by the end of the season. Greinke hitting 400 as a pitcher is nuts. I just hope the team isnt peaking too soon. Tip of the cap to Matheny tonight for all the bunting.

    • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

      we still don’t have all the pieces back yet

      • Spence

        The team plays better with Kemp out of the lineup though.

        • VND

          “this team plays better with Kemp out of the lineup”
          “this team plays better with Puig and a healthy Ramirez”
          “this team plays better with a solidified rotation and a true bullpen”

        • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

          The Dodgers are 11-3 in Kemp’s last 14 games, dating back to May 27. Not surprising since a) they’ve been better no matter who is in the lineup over the past seven weeks and b) Kemp himself was playing better in that stretch. He has an .878 OPS since May 27. Since the Dodgers’ hot streak began, they are 9-2 when he has played – he has a 1.012 OPS in those games.

          Drawing conclusions on Kemp’s value based on the first seven weeks of the season is about as useful as drawing conclusions on the Dodgers’ value based on the first seven weeks of the season.

          We’ll see how Kemp is when he comes back, whenever that is, but let’s not get too far down the path of assuming that in a group that includes Crawford and Ethier, both with OPSes below .750 this season (and Crawford with no throwing arm), that a healthy Matt Kemp is the guy that doesn’t belong. And I say that as a fan of all of them.

          • Anonymous

            Thanks, I was in the process of defending Kemp but without the stats, so I just erased it – yours was better.

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Chad Moriyama ‏@ChadMoriyama36m
    [GIF] Yasiel Puig kisses Adrian Gonzalez on head, gives peace sign, tells ESPN to keep talking http://www.chadmoriyama.com/2013/08/yasiel-puig-kisses-adrian-gonzalez-on-head-gives-peace-sign-tells-espn-to-keep-talking/

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Adrian Gonzalez ‏@AdrianTitan235m
    I guess me and Puig could have won and award and fooled some people that we were mad at each other. Just having fun guys! #teamchemistry

  • Anonymous

    The Cards came into this series having averaged 11 runs a game over their last 4 games.
    Then the Dodgers came to town.
    Greinke goes 6 1/3 while giving up 2, and knocking in the winning run.
    Bullpen lights out, again.
    Hell of a team, hell of a roll.

  • Alex7

    Were it not for the weird AL/NL annual wobble that determined which league/team picked first in the MLB draft, the Dodgers would have drafted A-Rod instead of Darren Dreifort. Dodgers lost 99 games in 1992, Mariners 98.

    • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

      Chapter 46 of my book.

  • Anonymous

    The other day some local talking head on sports radio (can’t remember which one) was poo-pooing the Dodgers run to the top of the West by repeating the East-coast bias myth of the NL West being the weakest division in baseball. This has been going on for so long it’s maddening – even an Angel fan friend of mine has swallowed the myth and the other day he brought it up to me. I had to tell him to check the numbers for himself and stop repeating false information that he picks up from others who don’t know what they speak of.

    As of today, the only two divisions with a cumulative winning percentage above .500 are the NL Central at roughly .520 (289-268) and the AL East at roughly .540 (304-256). Then comes the AL Central @ .500 (273-277), followed by, IN 4th PLACE, better than 2 other divisions in baseball, the NL West at @ .490 (272-286). Bringing up the rear – the two divisions who are WEAKER that the NL West, are the NL East (264-291) and the AL West (267-291) at roughly .480.

    My Angel fan friend wouldn’t believe me when I told him the Angels division was weaker than the Dodgers division – I told him it’s easy to check for himself, just do the math.

    I really wish these buffoon’s on TV and the radio would stop misleading people on this.

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    NPUT

  • Anonymous

    “Joe Kelly will start for the Cardinals and look to repeat his last outing, when he snapped a seven-game skid for St. Louis. Kelly has a 1.49 ERA since June 1, the lowest in the Majors among pitchers with a minimum of 40 innings pitched. Kelly takes a string of 14 2/3 scoreless innings into Tuesday…”

    From this preview of tonight’s game : http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2013_08_06_lanmlb_slnmlb_1&mode=preview