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Not sure about heart, but for Dodgers, home is where the wins are

May 13, 2012|By Steve Dilbeck
  • Fans cheer Andre Ethier, who takes a curtain call after hitting a home run in the eighth inning to help the Dodgers beat the Pirates, 2-1, at Dodger Stadium last month.
Fans cheer Andre Ethier, who takes a curtain call after hitting a home run… (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles…)

Ah, yes, home. It’s just so comfy. The Dodgers play in the biggest ballpark in the majors, but if it felt any cozier these days, they’d be serving milk and cookies in the dugout.

The Dodgers have the best record in the majors, in no small part due to the way they play in Chavez Ravine. Which is to say, they are currently kicking serious butt at Dodger Stadium.

They are a major-league best 14-3 at home. On the road, they’re just another team (8-8). At home, bullets bounce off their chests and they’re more powerful than a locomotive. Or at least the rest of the National League.

“I don’t know how to explain it,” said manager Don Mattingly. “We just play well at home.”

They win a few big, but mostly win the close ones. They are tied with the Washington Nationals with the most one-run games in baseball (16); both are 10-6, and the Dodgers are 7-2 in one-run games at home.

At home, they find ways to win.

“Sometimes it’s hard to explain those things,” said outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr. “Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.

“We’ve tied with the Nationals for the most one-run games, and we’ve come out on the bright side of most of those. Whereas last year, we played in one-run games and came out on the other side. Sometimes it’s not really explainable. Sometimes it’s just luck. But I also think that comfort for us playing at home is a lot better than it was last year.”

Gwynn thinks last year there was a fairly significant turnover on the team leading into the season, coupled with frequent injury.

“We pretty much have the same roster and nucleus that we had last year, and I think there’s something to be said about chemistry,” he said. “Everybody is comfortable in their surroundings now, and as a result we’re playing well.”

Dodger Stadium is a traditional pitchers park. And although the bullpen has been inconsistent, their rotation has the second-best ERA (2.82) in the majors.

For now, it means victories. Cue the milk and cookies.

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Not sure about heart, but for Dodgers, home is where the wins are

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