The August boys kept rolling Wednesday night.
They won all nine series they played in the month. Wednesday clinched the fifth series sweep in this stretch. And with another August contest in Thursday night’s series opener against the Atlanta Braves, the best team in Major League Baseball, the Dodgers (83-49) have a shot at franchise history, poised to win 25 games in just one month for the third time. in the history of the franchise.
With 24 wins this month, they have already toppled Los Angeles’ top team.
“It’s just good all-around baseball,” manager Dave Roberts said. “I think a lot of times teams talk about when you bat, don’t bowl, and vice versa. But now I think we’re dealing with both every night.
Wednesday was one of the Dodgers’ most emphatic wins of August.
They held off Arizona (69-65) early, after Freddie Freeman and Jason Hayward hit the home side in the bottom of the third inning.
They just kept piling on from there, getting a double in the fourth inning and an RBI in the sixth off Max Muncey.
They also dominated with an array of clinical throws from two, with Ryan Pibiot throwing five scoreless innings in his debut, and Ryan Yarbrough following it up with four innings relief to save the ball.
“Only a combination of a team wins,” said Muncie, who finished with two hits and a walk to extend his hitting streak to nine games. “The shot was amazing. Pep and the Yarps tonight were unbelievable. It was just a good series.”
The Dodgers now have a plus-80 run differential in August. They extended their division lead from two games to an insurmountable 14 ½ games.
Suddenly, a club that spent most of the first half trying to stay in the playoffs has a chance to close in on the National League leaders this weekend, going into their four-game tie for the Braves after just four league games. loss column.
“These guys have been the best team, in baseball, right from the start,” Roberts said of Atlanta. “They can run. Their bullpen is solid. Their position players are as good as anyone in baseball. So it’s going to be an interesting series.”
It could also serve as a de facto playoff preview, giving the Dodgers an early idea of what might come in October — the month they’ve been most likely in a decade of regular season success.
“You still have to play the game, whether you’re the top seed or the last seed,” Muncie said. “The only important thing is to achieve that, and that’s all we’re focused on. If we focus on the game that night, when the season comes to an end we’ll see where we are.
But for now, they will have one last day to bask in the glory of their historic performance in August.
“No, it doesn’t,” Roberts said with a smile when asked if all of the team’s recent wins had become obsolete. “It’s a byproduct of preparation and playing good baseball. I think for us, we have to keep the blinders open and not get caught up in who we play and where we play and certain circumstances we can’t control. We just play good baseball.”
JD Martinez (groin) has a target date for his return from the injured list, as Roberts announced Wednesday that the designated hitter could return during next week’s road trip to Washington against the Nationals.
Martinez, who has missed a total of 24 games since late July (and nine since going on the injured list last week), swung his bat on Wednesday and will take hitting practice on Thursday. Afterwards, Roberts said Martinez would spend two days with the club’s Oklahoma City squad on a rehab assignment.
Relief player Shelby Miller (neck) also returned to Dodger Stadium Wednesday night and is expected to be activated in the coming days.