Saturday, August 3, 2013

12 straight road wins ties a franchise record

The Dodgers won again on the road Friday, knocking All-Star Travis Wood out in the fourth en route to a 6-2 win.  It came on a day where Hanley Ramirez and Carl Crawford got the day off, Mark Ellis and Don Mattingly got ejected for arguing a called third strike, and Hyun-Jin Ryu gave up 11 hits in 5 1/3 innings.

It didn't matter.  The Dodgers once again made the big plays to win... and the Cubs are just really, really bad.  Doesn't hurt.

The Dodgers haven't won this many consecutive road games since they were the 1924 Brooklyn Robins.  As Mark Saxon of the Dodgers Report points out, the farthest they ever had to travel was from New York to St. Louis.  (Although, in a funny side note, Saxon also points out that they did have to travel by train!)

Let's breakdown just how impressive this streak has been, taking a look at how well they've played on both sides of the field.  First, a look at the scores during this streak.

July 7: 4-1 over Giants
July 8-10: 6-1, 6-1, 7-5 (14 inn.) over Diamondbacks
July 19-21: 3-2, 3-1 (10 inn.), 9-2 over Nationals
July 22-24: 14-5, 10-9, 8-3 (10 inn.) over Blue Jays
August 1-2: 6-4, 6-2 over Cubs

148-438 (.306 AVG), 29 2B, 1 3B, 12 HR
Per Game: 12.3 H, 2.4 2B, 1 HR

115 IP, 36 ER (2.82 ERA), 93 K, 31 BB
Per Game: 9.6 IP, 3 ER, 7.8 K, 2.6 BB

As you can see, the Dodgers have had to win in different ways, from blowouts to close game to extra-inning games.  But the bottom line is that they've gotten consistency on both sides of the field, with a .306 average and 2.82 ERA.  They've taken care of it all.

The thing that sticks out to me the most is on offense, where the average is certainly high, but it's not like they're pounding out the big hits.  We're not looking at the Red Sox or Tigers here, who seemingly hit for power in every inning.  The Dodgers average about 3.5 extra-base hits a game, which isn't bad, but nothing that blows you away.

What does that mean?  It means that in order to win and keep winning, they've done the little things right: string singles together, move runners over, hit sacrifice flies, take walks, and steal some bases.  And then they toss in some big hits for good measure.  While guys like Ramirez and Yasiel Puig get the publicity, and rightfully so, let's not ignore guys like Juan Uribe, Mark Ellis, and A.J. Ellis.  They're a huge part of this run as well.

Saturday afternoon in Wrigley Field could be a historic day for the Dodgers as they look to set the franchise record for consecutive road wins at 13.  Chris Capuano will take on Jeff Samardzija.

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