The Los Angeles Dodgers, much like last year, have made an improbable charge to take a lead in the NL West standings. Last year the Dodgers used a magical 42-8 run to catapult themselves past the Arizona Diamondbacks. This year the team, on the backs of the starting rotation, went 18-10 in June to take over the NL West lead.
It was just 22 days ago that the Dodgers were 9.5 games behind the hated San Francisco Giants in the NL West standings. However, after a red hot June, which concluded tonight, the Dodgers find themselves with a half game lead after a three pitcher, one hit performance, agains the Cleveland Indians on Monday night. The Dodgers won 1-0. You know things are going right for the Dodgers when their lone run came on the first major league hit by Clint Robinson.
The Dodgers have won 16 of their last 22 games, while the Giants have gone 4-15, and they haven’t been winning because of Yasiel Puig or their vaunted lineup. Nope, it’s been because of their starting pitching and surprisingly steady defense. About a month ago the Dodgers fixed their defense, something that rarely happens in the middle of the season, and the starting pitching started looking like the 1995 Atlanta Braves.
Of course we can’t talk about the Dodgers month of June without mentioning Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw turned in the best month of his career in June by going 6-0 with a 0.82 ERA in 44 innings while striking out 61. Oh, and did we mention he threw one of the best no-hitters in the history of professional baseball? Did we also mention that Kershaw is currently riding a 28 inning scoreless streak? Yeah, he’s pretty good.
Meanwhile, the other Dodger starters haven’t been too bad either. Josh Beckett, Zack Greinke, Hyun Jin Ryu, and Dan Haren have all been fantastic in June, as has the shaky bullpen. In all, the Dodgers put up a ridiculous 2.63 ERA in the month of June. Just imagine how this team is going to perform when the offense inevitably gets going. Oh, the Dodgers also haven’t given up a run in 24 innings. That’s one way to guarantee a winning streak.
Ah, it’s a thing of beauty.
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