Don't look now, but the Dodgers are actually playing better these days. After a 7-4 win over the Braves, the Dodgers wound up taking two of three from the NL East leaders, and have won five of their last seven. The Azul are now just four games behind the Padres in the weak NL West.
What's impressive is the way the Dodgers have won some of their games. In the past week it's been a walk-off home run from Dioner Navarro (who has been winning praise behind the plate), Antonio Perez and Jayson Werth breaking up Pedro Martinez's no-hitter and then shutout while Brad Penny pitched a complete game for the win over the Mets, and Olmedo Saenz with a go-ahead RBI hit in Atlanta for yet another come-from-behind win.
This was a team that hasn't gotten a break since it started the season 12-2, and now it appears to be finding ways to win. At this point, the whole team is healthy with the exception of JD Drew and Eric Gagne. Jayson Werth has found his power stick. Duaner Sanchez is turning into a quality closer. And the starting pitching has been above-average. We'd still prefer to see Hee Seop Choi and Antonio Perez in the lineup more, and we want to see a lot less of Jason Phillips and Jose Valentin, but we're encouraged by the past week.
With the exception of one four-game home set with the Pittsburgh Pirates, every Dodger game in September is against an NL West team. In fact, after a series with Houston next week, the Dodgers will only play teams with losing records for the rest of the season. This may not be a Dodgers season we're proud of, but the playoffs are still remarkably possible.