By Jon Weisman
In 2013, the Dodgers were 9 1/2 games out of first place in June, and came back and won the National League West.
In 2014, the Dodgers were 10 games out of first place in June, and came back and won the National League West.
In 2015, the Dodgers were … well, they were in first place already in June, so that’s good.
But in 2016, the Dodgers were eight games out of first place in June. Late June, in fact. With Clayton Kershaw going on the disabled list.
There are still 49 games remaining in the regular season, but if nothing else, the Dodgers have made their latest grand comeback.Pounding Phillies pitching phor the second night in a row, Los Angeles romped to a 9-3 victory that moved them into a first-place tie with San Francisco at 64-49.
While this is no 42-8 run to resemble 2013, the Dodgers are 23-13 (.639) since Kershaw last pitched, the best record in the NL. Their .515 winning percentage in games Kershaw hasn’t started this season (50-47) would put the Dodgers .007 behind St. Louis for a wild-card spot.
“I think that obviously when you look at the standings, that’s something to hang your hat on a little bit,” Dave Roberts said after the game. “But the bigger picture is the way we’re going about preparing every day. Like I always say, the wins are a byproduct of our preparation, so that’s what we’re trying to focus on.”
If the Dodger bullpen has gone from unsung hero of the 2016 team to focal point of praise, the Dodger offense is making its own in-your-face bid for recognition.