Thursday, July 25, 2013

Confidence in Canada (Dodgers Keep Rolling)

Just when I think I keep running out of things to say about the Dodgers' incredible play, this team keeps on finding ways to stretch my creativity. Consider what they did last night.

Down to their last strike against Toronto, Andre Ethier - who's been resembling his Captain Clutch days lately - ties the game in the 9th inning. Then in the 10th, Mark Ellis and Yasiel Puig hit home runs to spark a five-run explosion and finish off the Blue Jays in a sweep.

To recap, three straight wins in Toronto, the last two via comeback. 41 runs scored the last four games. Six straight road wins coming off the All-Star break (10 in a row overall). First place in the National League West. At this point, the question isn't how hot this team can stay but who's going to catch fire next.

Even maligned reliever Brandon League has rediscovered his mojo, earning a win the last two games. His two scoreless innings of work Wednesday were crucial in putting the Dodgers in position to tie and take the lead. For a guy who's earned groans this year after losing his job as the closer, he's starting to redeem himself quite nicely.

I've given Ethier his fair share of criticism and suggested that he should be traded as perhaps the Dodgers' best asset. But since the All-Star break, he's starting to come alive and at least for a few games, his timely hitting reminds me of what I saw him do in 2009-2010.

Confidence is contagious and the Dodgers come back home today with a ton of it. They've gelled together over the past month and now they're trusting each other. No deficit is too much. No worries about their roles. Even Puig, who's slumped for most of July, came alive the last two games with five hits and four runs scored.

All I can say is enjoy this ride. I sure am. From last to first in a month and it appears more goodness is coming in August. I still wish Matt Kemp could stay healthy but the blessing in that is guys like Ethier are finding their swing in his absence.

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