After last night's impressive 4-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates, your Los Angeles Dodgers stood alone in first place in the N.L. West, a half game ahead of the defending champion Diamondbacks. I know it's only seven games in, but this is a big deal. Here's why:
Say all you want about the "easy schedule," but there's nothing easy about winning three of four against a team with good pitching on the road. The Dodgers handled everyone not named Clayton Richard from that San Diego staff and put up some pretty gaudy offensive numbers in a pitcher's ballpark.
And the Pirates aren't the same team that fans have been laughing at since the early 1990s. This is a Pittsburgh team who leads the Majors in team E.R.A. after the first week of the season. Still, the Dodger found ways to break through in two straight games.
A combined win total of 6-2 in two games against the Pirates isn't a sign of weakness - it's a sign of strength. Our two best starting pitchers both twirled gems, and the offense came through with timely hitting. The best teams are those that can win tight games like that. So far, the Dodgers aren't disappointing.
Dee Gordon is doing some terrific things at the top, getting on base and creating havoc on opposing pitchers. He's got five steals in six games, and there are plenty more to come. Mark Ellis must have the easiest job in the world; he's paid $4.5 million to hit grounders to the right side so Gordon moves over to third in front of Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier.
Speaking of the heart of the order, they are destroying people. Both are hitting well over .300 with 2 home runs and 19 combined RBI through six games. This is a 3-4 opposing pitchers do NOT want to face. Plus, RBI machine Juan Rivera is swinging the bat well, and James Loney will come around soon.
I'm big on superstition, so I will say that I knocked on wood after typing the title. The last thing I want to do is jinx the Dodgers' hot start. But with a chance tonight to sweep the Pirates in the first home series in the 50th anniversary season of Dodger Stadium...that would be huge.
And you know what the best part of all this early success is? The evil San Francisco Giants are sitting rock bottom, in fifth place in the N.L. West at 2-4.
I love it. Go Dodgers!
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