That man above, my friends, is A.J. Ellis. That’s the look of a man who just drove in his fifth run of the game, a new career high, along with four hits and a no-doubt homer to center field, and a guy who often gets overshadowed by the bigger, more expensive names around him. That’s a man who deserves a good deal of credit, along with Tim Federowicz (who finished off the game at first base, believe it or not), for providing the Dodgers with solid, top-third, above-replacement production at a position where it’s often difficult to find even mediocrity.
I focus on Ellis tonight because of his career night, but really, there’s not going to be a shortage of heroes on a night in which the Dodgers scored four runs in three separate innings. (For comparison’s sake, they’ve scored fewer than four runs in a game 52 times this year, and they hadn’t hit 14 runs since back in 2011, per Bob Timmermann.) Andre Ethier doubled twice; Hanley Ramirez reached three times, continuing his absurd run; Skip Schumaker drove in three while hitting his first homer of the season; Carl Crawford had three hits. Every starter had at least one hit,with Yasiel Puig adding a great catch at the center field wall in the eighth, and you can hardly get on Adrian Gonzalez for walking three times; even Juan Uribe at least drove in a run and scored one without adding a hit. And as though the 16 hits and four walks the Dodgers collected weren’t enough, Toronto helped out with five errors.
All of that offense overshadowed what was a decent-but-not-great outing from Hyun-jin Ryu, who allowed four runs and 11 baserunners in 5.1 innings, but it’s admittedly difficult to focus on that when the team has now won 21 of 26, once again tying them with Arizona for first as we await the outcome of the Diamondbacks against the non-Matt Garza Cubs tonight.
This run can’t keep up, we keep telling ourselves. At some point, they’re going to run into a streak where they lose five-of-seven and we’re all going to worry that the sky is falling. It won’t be. This team is real, and they’re spectacular.