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Dodgers Win Three Straight
For only the second time this season, the Dodgers have won three games in a row. With the wünderkind Yasiel Puig leading the way, the Dodgers struck late for the 3-1 win over the Giants.
The Dodgers faced Giants starter Madison Bumgarner who has always given the Dodgers fits. "Bumgarner is tough," Dodger manager Don Mattingly said. "He's been tough on us."
The Dodgers had the perfect antidote: Puig. In the first inning Puig hit a pitch on the outside half of the plate and sent it the opposite way landing in the right field box seats. The pitch?
"I don't know," Puig admitted. "I just go out to hit. I don't look at the pitches."
He just goes out to hit. He doesn't look at pitches. It's that easy.
"If you work on it, it should be easy," Puig said.
There he was in the bottom of the eighth inning. Nick Punto led off with a double, and Mark Ellis laid down a sacrifice bunt. Bumgarner made a high throw to first base pulling first baseman Brandon Belt off of the bag allowing Ellis to stand safely on first.
There Puig game up, the infield playing in. It almost looked like he was salivating. He scorched a pitch from reliever George Kontos right at the shortstop Brandon Crawford, hit too hard he couldn't handle it. Punto came in for the go-ahead run.
For Mattingly the time for surprises is over. "You feel like he's going to hit something hard," he said.
Hanley Ramirez's RBI grounder gave the Dodgers an insurance run.
Kenley Jansen notched his fifth save in the ninth inning.
All of this backed up another good outing from Ryu Hyun-Jin who went 6 2/3 innings giving up the lone run on eight hits and four walks. "I thought he did a real nice job of hanging in there," Mattingly said.
"He's really good at knowing the key situations of the game — when he needs a groundball, when he needs a strikeout," catcher A.J. Ellis said.
Sure the Dodgers have won three games in a row for the first time since sweeping the Pittsburgh Pirates at home in the second series of the season. A lot of people are going to get caught up and try to turn this into the Dodgers turning the corner.
We've been down this road before.
This is a team that is now 33-42. The 1992 team that lost 99 games was also 33-42 after 75 games.
Three wins is a good sign. Let's see if they can keep this up.
Then again this is also a team whose best starting pitching option on Sunday in a June game was Chris Capuano on three days rest.
"We've dealt with a tremendous amount of injuries," Punto said noting that it is surprising that with this team it's taken them this long to win three straight.
Sure they've used the disabled list an eye-popping 20 times. However, the New York Yankees have used the disabled list 16 times. They currently are 41-34 sitting 2 1/2 games out of first place in the AL East, a division in which every team has a winning record.
Some people are blaming the managing. Some people are blaming the front office. Some people are blaming the injuries. Some people are blaming the gods.
At a certain point the 25 players on the active roster on each given night have to be responsible for the wins and the losses. They're the ones who are paid to hit the ball, to pitch the ball, to catch the ball. Whether by grit, by finesse, by talent, they're the ones who have to do the winning.
It's up to the players to put the Ws on the board. We'll see if they can stretch the win streak to a season-high four games tomorrow.