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Dodgers of 2012: Is something special going on?

May 22, 2012|By Steve Dilbeck
  • Scott Van Slyke celebrates with Elian Herrera and Bobby Abreu after all three scored on Van Slyke's pinch-hit home run Saturday against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Scott Van Slyke celebrates with Elian Herrera and Bobby Abreu after all… (Stephen Dunn / Getty Images )

The Dodgers are living in slop and there’s no end in sight. Nothing seems to faze them. Injuries, ownership change, a modest lineup, youngish bullpen, rebuilt rotation, solar eclipses. Doesn’t matter.

They just keep winning. Keep finding the bizarro way of the day to win. Ways that don’t always make sense.

Yet, as it continues to happen with regularity, you have to seriously consider that something special is going on.

Individually, they have maybe three outstanding players. Collectively, at the quarter mark of the season they are the best team in baseball.

That could all change tonight or next week or at the All-Star break. Or it could just keep rolling on, a team caught in its own force field of winning and continuing to plow over the bewildered.

The Dodgers are an almost stunning 29-13, best in baseball. They have a seven-game division lead.

Baseball followers scratch their heads and wonder what in the name of Jeff Hamilton is going on. Wait for the anticipated fall, for reality to come crashing down.

But just maybe it doesn’t. Maybe this team just keeps winning. Perhaps not at a nearly .700 pace, but mostly keeps winning. Converts are on the rise.

Some are already likening this Dodgers team to that one from you-know-when. Paul Oberjuerge thinks the comparison to the 1988 team is starting to become inevitable. Two teams built around pitching, with a couple of star players and a cast of revolving support players.

These Dodgers have an excellent chemistry, which is not surprising for a winning team. Yet it’s pretty much been there since spring training. They want to play for Don Mattingly. They are willing to be role players. They believe they will win.

And that's what they're doing, with guys named Elian Herrera, Matt Treanor and Justin Sellers. Matt Kemp starts off like the best player in baseball, goes on the disabled list and the Dodgers go 6-2. Winning not just behind Andre Ethier and Clayton Kershaw, but Scott Van Slyke, Adam Kennedy and Josh Lindblom. Journeymen, rookies and regulars all taking their turns.

The Dodgers expect to win now. Good teams find ways to win, and the Dodgers have won 12 games by a single run.

They seldom blow teams away. But for now, they keep beating them. Almost like something exceptional is going on.

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