LLDon Mattingly's team would finish the first half with an 7-3 stretch taking 2 of 3 from the Giants, sweeping the Arizona Diamondbacks and splitting a 4 game set with the Rockies. The Dodgers owned a 47-47 record by the All-Star Break.
Los Angeles picked up right where they left off to start the second half of the season, with back to back 3 game sweeps on the road against the Washington Nationals and Toronto Blue Jays. They would take 3 of 4 from the Cincinnati Reds and split a 2 game series with the New York Yankees. That was another 10-2 stretch of games to finish July.
Continuing to do the unthinkable, LA won 7 of their 8 road games to start the month of August, sweeping the Chicago Cubs and taking 3 of 4 from the St. Louis Cardinals. Next were series sweeps of the Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Mets before taking the first 2 of 3 from the Phillies. Since their loss on August 6th to the Cardinals, the Dodgers have won 10 straight and are 15-1 in August!
We have yet to mention that the Dodgers are doing all of this without Matt Kemp right? The Dodgers have been led offensively by Carl Crawford, Yasiel Puig and Adrian Gonzalez. Hanley Ramirez has played well but has played in just 19 of LA's 28 games since the All-Star Break. Gonzalez leads the team in Runs Scored (20), as well as Runs Batted In (17) since the break. Puig has hit a team high 8 doubles while drawing 16 walks and scoring 19 runs! Crawford is hitting a cool .321 with 7 doubles since the break and scored 13 runs. Hanley is hitting .325 when he plays and has 14 RBI and 14 runs scored thanks to 7 doubles and 4 home runs.
As a team, only the Detroit Tigers have scored more runs since the All-Star Break.
Clayton Kershaw led the Los Angeles Dodgers to their 10th straight win last night, and improved to 12-7 on the season. Kershaw tossed 8 shutout innings while striking out 8 Phillies in the process. Kershaw is 4-1 since the All-Star Break with 1.20 ERA and opponents are hitting just .160 off the southpaw. Over these 45 innings of work, Kershaw has allowed just 25 hits and 6 earned runs while striking out 43 batters and walking just 5. According to WAR, Hiroki Kuroda has been a more valuable pitcher in the second half, but I disagree.
Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu have been doing their part as well combining to go 8-1 over 11 starts. Greinke owns a 2.03 ERA since the break and is 3-1 while Ryu is 5-0 with a 2.27 ERA. Oh, and Ricky Nolasco is 3-0 with an ERA under 3 as well over 5 starts.
Kenley Jansen is 10 for 10 in save opportunities with 23 strikeouts over 15.1 innings. He has allowed just 4 hits and 2 walks over that span. The rest of the Dodgers bullpen has pitched 72 innings, striking out 60 batters, allowing just 52 hits and 14 runs to score.
Two important guys in the 'Pen that you have probably never heard of are Paco Rodriguez and Chris Withrow. Paco was born in 1991 but you wouldn't know it looking at his 6'3 215lbs frame! Withrow is even bigger at 6'4 220lbs! On the season, these two have combined to pitched 65 innings and have 74 strikeouts!
Los Angeles will look to improve on this 42-8 RIDICULOUS stretch of baseball, and will most likely succeed, in sweeping the Philadelphia Phillies this afternoon who have lost 21 of their last 25 games. Their fall from greatness is a blog post for another day!