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Dodgers Continue to Amaze as They Exit the Cellar

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I really try to have some perspective on things and not get caught up in the moment. But what Yasiel Puig, Hanley Ramirez and the Dodgers are doing has my jaw lying prostrate on the floor.

Well Puig does it again. A single in the first, a double in the third and then this in the seventh inning.

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That home run was estimated at 451 feet.

Puig was only one part of the Dodger offense that got 14 hits off of Rockies pitching. A.J. Ellis added two doubles, Hanley Ramirez added one double and Adrian Gonzalez had a two-run homer in the third inning.

Then there was Clayton Kershaw. I don't know if he was celebrating the 50th anniversary of one of the best games ever pitched, a dual shutout between the Milwaukee Braves legend Warren Spahn and upstart San Francisco Giants legend Juan Marichal at Candlestick Park that ended when Willie Mays hit a solo shot in the bottom of the 16th inning against Spahn. There were no relief pitchers used and both pitchers made over 200 pitches each.

Thanks to the Dodger offense Kerhsaw didn't need 16 innings, not that it would happen in this day and age. Kershaw held the Rockies to only four hits, none to Michael Cuddyer whose hitting streak ended at 27 games. Kershaw's 1.93 ERA now leads the National League.

The final score was 8-0, the Dodgers had won nine of their last 10 games. With the San Francisco Giants getting no-hit by Homer Bailey and the Cincinnati Reds, the Arizona Diamondbacks bullpen absolutely coughing up the game post-rain delay with seven runs in the Mets half of the seventh, the Padres losing 4-1 in Fenway.

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The Giants have now reclaimed the cellar of the NL West. And perhaps most improbably, what was once a 9 1/2 game deficit on June 22 is now a 2 1/2 game deficit for the division lead. In nine days, the Dodgers made up seven games in the division.

Now not everything is roses. The trade was hinted at yesterday and was consummated today. The Dodgers acquired Cubs reliever and former closer Carlos Marmol. Here's my reaction:

Several things that make this deal not so bad.

1. Chicago pays for the salary in excess of the pro-rated minimum.
2. The Dodgers get over $200,000 in a international signing bonus slot.
3. The Dodgers dispatch reliever Matt Guerrier.

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Pitching coach Rick Honeycutt found a flaw in Marmol's delivery that the Dodgers say can easily be corrected. That's fine, but here is a quote that general manager Ned Colletti gave ESPN that should have Dodger fans quaking in their boots:

"Anytime you can add somebody who's had success pitching the ninth, you can always use them in roles that don't include the ninth," Colletti said. "If you need the ninth, you've got somebody that's at least experienced. We're looking to add to the pen. Whatever that role becomes, it will become."

This is basically a rehash of Brandon League. Wait for another $21 million contract to Marmol during the offseason.

Luis Cruz, who was designated for assignment on Friday, cleared waivers. Cruz has rejected the assignment and has opted for free agency. According to Dodger broadcaster Jaime Jarrin, Cruz has signed a deal with the Yankees.