Streaking Dodgers Conjuring Images of Tinker Bell
Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers
By now, you know the numbers. Perhaps you are even keeping a running total, simply adding to the win column after each game, like I am.
The Dodgers have won eight straight. They are a stunning 40-8 in their last 48 contests. The last team to accomplish such a thing? The Mort-Cooper-Stan-Musial-Enos-Slaughter 1942 St. Louis Cardinals, who finished 106-48 before beating the Yankees in a five-game World Series.
Los Angeles has won 23 of 26 since the All-Star break, and as evidenced in a tally I keep on a scratch pad by the bed, are 46-19 since the debut of Yasiel Puig on June 3. They won in walkoff style for the sixth time this season on Wednesday night, 5-4, in sweeping the New York Mets out of town.
After a travel day yesterday, the team is in Philadelphia for a three-game series with the Phillies beginning tonight, then takes on the Marlins for four in Miami next week.
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Fans are jumping on the bandwagon at Puig-neck speed, and every last one of them is welcome. Reporters have been left, while perhaps not completely speechless (perish the thought) at the very least scurrying to their thesauruses for superlatives.
And I am thinking of Tinker Bell, or more importantly, Vin Scully's conjuring of her spirit in the moments after Kirk Gibson's home run in the 1988 World Series. Watch the entire game via YouTube here, or skip ahead to the 2:38 mark for the now-famous passage:
"You know, I said it once before, a few days ago, that Kirk Gibson was not the Most Valuable Player; that the Most Valuable Player for the Dodgers was Tinker Bell. But tonight, I think Tinker Bell backed off for Kirk Gibson. And look at Eckersley, shocked to his toes!"
The national media, jaws dropped to the floor, has joined in the Dodgers discussion recently, increasingly so with each passing day. ESPN.com's Jayson Stark leads a column with "Do the Dodgers ever lose? Seriously." Ken Rosenthal asks almost identically, "Series-ly, who's gonna stop Dodgers?" at FoxSports.com.
Over at Sports Illustrated, Joe Lemire beings his piece this way:
The post office's motto of "neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail shall keep the postmen from their appointed rounds" can be easily adapted for baseball.
"Neither home, nor road, nor interleague, nor teams with winning records shall keep the Dodgers from their scheduled wins."
Now that's fun. Speaking of which, expect some disposition of the Brian Wilson matter. The bearded relief pitcher is with the club in Philly and is expected to be activated soon, more than likely in time for tonight's game. No word on the corresponding roster move yet, but look for L.A. to go with the extra arm for a time, while demoting Dee Gordon to Triple-A Albuquerque.
Matchups for the weekend are as follows: Zack Greinke versus Cliff Lee Friday at 4:05 p.m., Clayton Kershaw opposite Kyle Kendrick Saturday at 4:05 p.m., and Ricky Nolasco vs. Cole Hamels Sunday at 10:35 a.m.
This just in: The Phils have fired manager Charlie Manuel, replacing him with coach and Hall of Fame second baseman, Ryne Sandberg.