On Wednesday, the Dodgers played what they hope will be their last game with Clayton Kershaw on the disabled list.
The standings (seen at right) for those 73 days without their incomparable star, at least on the surface, tell as unexpected a story as one has seen from the Dodgers since 1988 — a story equal to if not beyond their 2006 playoff push after going 1-13 to start the second half of the season, the Manny Ramirez-led charge to a division title in 2008 or the 42-8, last-to-first comeback in 2013.
That the Dodgers have gone from eight games behind the Giants in the National League West to five games ahead, without their best pitcher (or double handfuls of other injured players at given moments), speaks to something beyond magic, let alone the Giants collapse. Playing .613 ball, a winning percentage second in MLB only to the Cubs, has been a result of a level of talent and depth that few seemed to appreciate when Kershaw went down.
In the latest Dodger Insider cover story, we trace the evolution of the 2016 Dodgers from what was perceived to be a one-man team into an all-hands-on-deck, grinding contender.
“I would hope that it was going to come out all along,” Dave Roberts said. “But I do know that when your best player goes down, there was a concerted effort for us to do a little bit more each individually. So it’s hard to say, but the way we have responded with Clayton being down is a testament to our guys.”
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Beginning this year, the Dodgers merged their previously separate Playbill and Dodger Insider magazines into one publication (at least 80 pages per issue) with a new edition available each homestand plus one in October, 13 issues total. It is distributed at auto gates (one per vehicle) and via Fan Services for those who use alternate transportation. Dodger Insider magazine includes news, features, analysis, photos, games, stadium information and more. Fans who still wish to subscribe can do so at dodgers.com/magazine.