Once again, I have no idea what to make of this team. Remember back in June, when we were talking about how they went weeks without an offensive outburst, or even last week, when they were largely shut down by the underwhelming Rockies? Now they’ve scored 20 runs in two days, 30 over the last four, and have scored at least five runs in six of the last seven – not so coincidentally, the same six in which they’ve won in that stretch.
Seriously, look at the box score to the night. Bask in all of those crooked numbers, and exalt in the fact that A.J. Ellis could take an oh-fer and have it not crater half the offense. Four of those hits were doubles, and of course one of those came from Luis Cruz; it’s what he does. For Shane Victorino, it marks his eighth straight game with a hit, and the 15 combined hits for the team ties a season high, set back in April against Atlanta.
Two of those hits belonged to Clayton Kershaw, and like Chad Billingsley last night, the offensive breakout should not overshadow an excellent pitching performance. For the first few years of his career, we watched the undeniably talented but still raw Kershaw mix high walk totals and pitch counts with strikeout stuff, and dreamed of the day where he’d walk fewer than three guys each time out. This is now the 13th start in his career in which he’s not walked a single man, and it’s amazing to think that greatness is basically expected of him. We don’t praise it as much as we should, I think, but the man has just been fantastic, especially lately. This brings his FIP down to 2.90, which is good for fifth in all of baseball – and just an eyelash behind Justin Verlander & R.A. Dickey, tied for third. Almost makes you laugh to think people were accusing him of not living up to his Cy Young Award, right? He might yet win another.
With the San Francisco loss, the Dodgers are now a full game up in the NL West, and they go for the series sweep behind Joe Blanton in a matinee tomorrow.