Dodgers sweep Rays: Up next, the ’71-’72 Lakers

At 37-8 (.822) in their past 45 games following tonight’s 8-2 romp over Tampa Bay, the Dodgers need to go 32-5 (.865) to match the 1971-72 Lakers as the hottest L.A. team of all time.

I’m giddy, but you’ve gotta have goals, right? Oh, there’s that little matter of continuing the run in the playoffs, but first things first.

Tonight’s was another game that found the Dodgers so dominant that their mistakes didn’t matter. You can’t do that forever, but it’s nice while it lasts.

Dee Gordon’s hat trick of errors threatened to make him less popular in Los Angeles than Brandon League or Carlos Marmol, but the worst they did was cost Clayton Kershaw a complete game. In fact, the Dodger ace would probably have had a shutout if not for Carl Crawford’s fifth-inning bobble in left field of the first hit off Kershaw, a play that allowed Yunel Escobar to go to second base, stay out what would have been a double-play grounder by Ryan Roberts and score the Rays’ first run on a triple by Sam Fuld past a diving Yasiel Puig.

There was also a missed squeeze sign by Puig on third base, on bunt that was attempted by A.J. Ellis, a play that was of little consequence in the game but enormous significance to ESPN.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles pounded Tampa Bay pitching, running their streak of unanswered runs in the series dating back to the middle of Friday’s game to 18 in taking a 6-0 lead after four.  Kershaw had the first two RBI on a single in the second inning, after which Mark Ellis just missed a three-run homer in settling for an RBI double. A.J. Ellis had a sacrifice fly in the fourth (following the missed squeeze), and Adrian Gonzalez a two-run double in the fifth. All six runs crossed the plate with two out.

Mark Ellis later got his home run in the sixth, giving the second baseman three hits on the night.

Even with the four errors by his defense, Kershaw ended up pitching eight innings and allowing one earned run, three hits and two walks while striking out eight on 103 pitches. He lowered his major-league leading ERA by 0.03 to 1.88. He had no-hit stuff and looked in complete control until he issued a walk to start the eighth inning. But even after that was followed by a single and Gordon’s third error, Kershaw stepped out of the jam with little damage on a strikeout, sacrifice fly and groundout.

In the ninth, Marmol had his first perfect inning as a Dodger and, for what it’s worth, has made five consecutive scoreless appearances, allowing three hits and four walks while striking out three in 4 1/3 innings. It’s clearly the control that’s been his downfall, but he had good location tonight, retiring the side on nine pitches, eight for strikes.

Arizona lost again, allowing the Dodgers to boost their lead in the National League West to a season-high 7 1/2 games. Los Angeles is within 4 1/2 games of Atlanta for the best record in the majors.

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    STILL STREAKING!!!!

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    never saw the correlation between the two teams…we can do it ^_^

    Best year I can remember in my 50+ years of following the Dodgers

    • Bob_Hendley

      Not sure I understand. The last 45 games have been great, but we have certainly had better records that this point in (117 games). Like a whole bunch of times. Heck in 1962 (ouch) we were 79-38.

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

        I’m saying I never seen a run like this…and I don’t remember 62…I can remember 63 though

        • Bob_Hendley

          Youngin.

  • btimmer

    ESPN did not give the Dodgers credit for grinding out runs like the Giants do.

    BETTER THAN ANYONE ELSE IN THE MAJORS.

    • ASW1

      Yeah, Dodgers lack the Giants grit.

      • Alan Moore

        and lack the Giants chemistry!

        • WBBsAs

          Only the Gnats retain access to BALCO, which is just down the Bayshore in Burlingame.

  • ASW1

    Just got home from a BBQ party down the street – now THAT’S the kind of national telecast that I love to see – well, I half-saw it here and there – Kershaw dominant, hopefully will open up some eyes of the East coast voters for the Cy – Dee Gordon not making a case to be included on the playoff roster with that performance in the field – but all in all, another great win – here we come best record in MLB !!!

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    New York papers pretending that Kershaw doesn’t exist: http://i.imgur.com/zM7LVjS.jpg [ @Dodgers

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

      That’s weird.

      • btimmer

        Anything below 2.00 is rejected by their software apparently.

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

        Greinke is missing also

      • SaMoDodger

        The New York media doesn’t recognize West coast baseball, since games in California take place after deadline. They’re still bitter about 1958.

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Eric Stephen ‏@truebluela9s
    The Dodgers are 11-6 in interleague play this year, clinching their first winning season against the AL since 2004

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

    With Hanley injured past seven games, Dodgers go 6-1, outscoring St. Louis and Tampa Bay, 42-20.

  • btimmer

    If the Dodgers had gone 37-7, they would have matched the finish of the 1951 Giants. Up to the playoff.

    • Casey Barker

      Hopefully without that centerfield camera.

      • btimmer

        It was a telescope.

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

    All this moaning about Kershaw and wins, but he’s only two off the league lead and has two more than Matt Harvey. Wainwright has 13, but his ERA is nearly a run higher. http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/pitching/_/sort/wins/league/nl/year/2013/seasontype/2

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

    The Dodgers are 17 games over .500. Last time they were 18 games over was 2009.

  • mike_tink

    I see Shawn Tolleson pitched an inning for the AZL Dodgers Sunday night on a rehab assignment. First game appearance at any level since April.

  • Bob_in_Vegas

    Gotta admit — in the middle of Friday’s game, especially because of the sloppy fielding, I had visions of a different kind of sweep, AZ taking advantage, and LA being up only 2 1/2 at this point. But this Team would have none of that!

  • Bob_Hendley

    Speaking of goals, my waffle way back when was 86 wins. At this point I get my waffle if the Dodgers go 19-26 (.422). So, yes, time to adjust my goals and expectations.

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

      I just woke up from another disturbing buffet dream, but this one was a taco buffet. It’s getting weirder and weirder.

      • Bob_Hendley

        Please, lie back and tell us about it…

        • btimmer

          Sometimes a waffle is just a waffle.

          • Bob_Hendley

            Yeah, but a taco?

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

          The taco buffet was in a big newsroom, though it wasn’t our newsroom. A crowd of people went en masse to the buffet before I was able to get there. There was still food when I got there, though the choices to put in the tacos were odd – for example, a slice of fig (I was told it was a fig, though it really looked more like a nugget of artichoke). Then when I got back to my workspace, my desk was a mess.

          • Bob_Hendley

            Yep, this is starting to get weird.

          • thescrounger

            Job-stress dream. I still have them 20 years after retirement.

          • SaMoDodger

            I’m no Sigmund Freud, much less Norman Einstein (thank you Joe Theismann), but I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that the underlying theme here is buffets, not waffles or tacos. Could it be that your subconscious is balking at the notion of too many choices?

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

            I’m going with powerlessness, fear and an inability to just go get my own meal.

          • SaMoDodger

            Have you tried touching your cereal spoon to your chin ritualistically before each bite?

            http://www.tv.com/shows/everybody-loves-raymond/crazy-chin-316208/trivia/

          • Bumsrap

            Tell us about your Mother.

  • Ker Garin

    Actually, the hottest L.A. team was the 1967-68 UCLA men’s basketball team led by Lew Alcindor….30-0 and a national championship for coach John Wooden…

  • Spence

    Anyone know what the best 45 game runs in baseball have been and when the last time they have occurred?

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    perfect no longer as catcher gets thrown

  • Jack Dawkins

    Im still in disbelief about all this. Its like a dream, but without taco buffets. I remember posting here in June that I was adjusting my expectations, and just wanted them to win 1 series, andf that if they did that, I would go all in and see if they could win 3 in a row. Today I calculated the magic number, which I think is 38. Thats how much my Dodger world has been tossed upside down.

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

      good to see you’ve left the dark side…It’s always nicer over here

      • Jack Dawkins

        Wasnt really the dark side, was just recalibrating expectations to something reasonable for the state of the world.

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    so much for the no hitter and shut out

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

    Gents, here’s the solution to all Jon’s and Bob’s food problems: The Waffle Taco. No, no, you can thank me later.

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

      Don’t think I haven’t seen or pondered that.

    • Bob_Hendley

      Finally! A reason to get up in the morning.

  • WinnipegDave

    I realized that the Dodgers record since June 21 (saying “since” June 22nd doesn’t quite fit) has been sliced 6 ways to Sunday. Here is a 7th way:

    They are averaging 5 wins per week – which is impressive because they didn’t always play 7 games/week.

    June 22nd: 1 win
    June 23-29: 6 wins – 1 loss
    June 30 – July 6: 4 wins – 2 losses
    July 7-13: 6 wins – 1 loss
    July 14-20: 2 wins – 1 loss (although the NL did lose the All-Star game)
    July 21-27: 6 wins – 1 loss
    July 28-Aug3: 5 wins – 1 loss
    Aug 4-10: 6 wins – 1 loss
    Aug 11: 1 win

    So, the more games they play in a week, the better the winning percentage.

  • Spence

    Besides the players just playing better, I do think there were individual moves that has made the team fire on all cylinders.

    Replacing League with Jansen
    Calling up Puig
    Replacing Beckett with Fife
    Replacing Guerrier with Withrow
    Hanley being on fire

    So really just a couple of bullpen adjustments, Hanley/Puig playing like MVPS, and voila you get 37-8.

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

    You all saw that Andrew Lambo, traded with James McDonald to Pittsburgh for Octavio Dotel, has been called up by the Pirates after hitting 31 homers in the minors this year?

    • http://www.twitter.com/ElJefedor Jeffrey Thomas III

      I remember being pretty upset about that trade when it happened, though I was also pretty mad when Ned gave away Trayvon Robinson but that has worked out alright. Difference between the two deals is that a couple months of Dotel was certainly not worth the young talent given up.

      • Bob_Hendley

        I was nonplussed about losing Lambo, but looks like the kid (now 24) put it all back together, at least in the minors. (unperturbed about losing Robinson as well).

        • mike_tink

          Actually, he was 25 yesterday. I assume he was available to any team at one time based on the following from the Pirates web-site:
          The production marks a rush back into the Bucs’ plans by Lambo, who
          went on the team’s 40-man roster upon his 2010 acquisition from the
          Dodgers in the deal that also landed James McDonald, then played himself out of that status.
          In 2011 and ’12, Lambo hit a combined 16 homers in 164 games.
          .
          Pirates to bring him up Tuesday but have not announced 25 and 40-man roster moves yet
          I noticed IDJjr was Lambo’s teammate in AAA during part of this season. He had good stats but only 294 PA in 88 games. Others Dodger-connected players on the team were Jerry Sands and Lucas May

    • mike_tink

      not me and I read MLBTR every day after work.

    • Bumsrap

      A longer wait than expected or hoped for. Maybe he can salvage a 5 year MLB career. As bad as that sounds, it should make him financially sound for life.

  • mike_tink

    ’53 Dodgers were 48-11 for 59 games, their 37-8 was a portion of that slightly smaller winning % period.

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Dodgers lineup:
    Crawford LF
    M Ellis 2B
    Gonzalez 1B
    Puig RF
    Ethier CF
    AJ Ellis C
    Uribe 3B
    Punto SS
    Nolasco P

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

    This article “MLB Notebook: LA’s story becoming historic” has some interesting stats at http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130812&content_id=56739440&vkey=news_mlb&c_id=mlb

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

    NPUT