The Dodger players and staff claim that all of the off-field garbage hasn’t affected them or their play on the field. Perhaps that’s true, and perhaps it’s not. Still, in light of all that’s happened today, it’s hard to not look at tonight’s 15-0 demolition of the Twins as more than your garden-variety beating.
Oh, sure, the numbers tonight were prolific, and you could go on for hours just reciting them. Trent Oeltjen, Matt Kemp, and Tony Gwynn – aka your starting outfield, with Andre Ethier at DH – all put up four-hit nights, with Oeltjen coming up a double short of the cycle. Other than Ethier, every starter had multiple hits. (Update: following the game, the official scored changed an error to a hit for Ethier, giving him two and the team 25.) Kemp’s 22nd homer puts him into the NL lead, one behind Mark Teixeria and Jose Bautista for tops in MLB. The 15 run margin of victory is the largest since beating Arizona 19-1 back in 2002, and Eric Stephen adds that this is just the third shutout with at least 15 runs scored since 1919. The 24 hits were the most since putting up 25 against the Angels in 2006, and are tied for the 6th most in club history. ESPNLA’s Tony Jackson points out that it’s just the second Dodger win in Minnesota ever, with the first being Sandy Koufax’ 2-0 Game 7 shutout to clinch the 1965 World Series. You can’t gloss over the pitching either, because after Chad Billingsley allowed just just four hits over six scoreless, Blake Hawksworth, Hong-Chih Kuo, and Scott Elbert combined to strike out seven of the nine they retired over three innings.
And then there’s this, courtesy of the official Dodger Twitter feed:
For the first time in LA Dodgers history, every player in the lineup has at least one hit, one run and one RBI.
All of that – all of it, plus any fun stat I neglected to mention – is great. It’s fun. It’s needed. It’s also a pretty nice way to take focus away from the issues of the criminal ownership, if even for just a night. We’ll have far more than we can handle tomorrow with the initial bankruptcy hearing, so for tonight, let’s enjoy the small victories where we can.