We joke about there being a new hero every night, but this is just getting ridiculous. Tonight’s gold star just might have to go to Matt Treanor, probably the most forgotten man on the 25-man roster thanks to A.J. Ellis‘ breakout and his own general irrelevance. Treanor is the proud owner of just 16 homers and a .308 slugging percentage in nearly 1400 plate appearances over parts of nine seasons, yet after a Jerry Sands single to start the second, it was none other than Treanor who took a Patrick Corbin pitch deep to left field for a 2-0 lead that the Dodgers would never relinquish.
To merely focus on Treanor is to neglect Chris Capuano, of course, who was once again excellent in allowing just one run and five baserunners over six scoreless innings. There was some well-founded worry that he’d come back to earth once he was forced out of Dodger Stadium & Petco Park, and that may yet be the case since he’s outpitching his FIP by more than a run, but he was outstanding tonight and really has been all season. At 6-1, 2.25, it’s not entirely impossible to see him becoming an under-the-radar All-Star candidate, since that’s the sort of superficial stat line that makes a guy like Tony LaRussa quiver. Ronald Belisario – looking particularly nasty – Javy Guerra, & Jamey Wright finished with three scoreless innings as the Dodgers were never threatened.
Treanor’s blast may have been all Capuano needed, but it wasn’t all the Dodgers received. Andre Ethier added the third run by crushing his ninth homer of the year – off a lefty, no less! – and James Loney, clearly glowing from the rare praise which was heaped upon him earlier today, put an exclamation point on it with his second home run of 2012, coming off of Bryan Shaw in the 8th. (As Eric Stephen noted, Loney now has 10 homers in just 44 career games in Arizona, against just 25 homers in 420 games in Dodger Stadium. If he ever leaves the Dodgers, he’s going to be a star. Mark it down right now.) Though the additional offense may have seemed like merely icing on the cake, it unbelievably marks the fifth consecutive game in which the Dodgers have scored at least six runs. They managed to do that just once last year and not since 2004 before that, but the fact that they’re doing it without Matt Kemp and all the rest continues to be absolutely mind-blowing.
The true hero of the night, however, was clearly the poor soul at Fox Sports headquarters in Dallas who managed to break commercial capabilities across the entire Fox Sports network. Rather than being bombarded by the usual corporate shilling, we were treated to interviews & vignettes. It was, as I’m sure I don’t need to point out, a more than welcome change.
With the win, the Dodgers move to 29-13, the best record in baseball by two games over Baltimore’s 27-16. Lest anyone think that’s a total fluke, they’re earning it; their +50 run differential is the third best in baseball, behind only Texas & St. Louis. Aaron Harang tries to keep it going against Trevor Cahill tomorrow.
(hat tip to valued commenter ThtsaPaddlin for the excellently punny post title)