Thursday, July 11, 2013
After nearly three months, back above .500
By Mark Saxon
LOS ANGELES -- If you had tried your luck a few weeks ago and put down some money on the Los Angeles Dodgers to reach the World Series, you would have gotten some pretty enticing odds.
Save the gas money on that trip to Las Vegas, though, because those odds are getting slimmer by the day.
The Dodgers won for the 16th time in their past 19 games Thursday, beating the Colorado Rockies 6-1 at Dodger Stadium. It was their fifth straight win, and they poked their head above .500 for the first time since April 15, when they were 7-6. They kept themselves an arm's length from first place, still 1½ games behind the Arizona Diamondbacks.
They're getting contributions from unlikely sources, a surefire sign of a hot team and the furthest thing from those first few months.
A few days ago, after the Dodgers landed Ricky Nolasco from Miami for three young pitchers, Chris Capuano figured he was getting bumped to the bullpen for the second time this season. Manager Don Mattingly, in fact, announced it.
Then, Stephen Fife stepped on a bullpen mound in San Francisco and couldn't get his shoulder to loosen up. Fife went on the disabled list and Capuano got a reprieve, and Thursday he resumed making a convincing case that he's worthy of one.
Capuano hadn't gotten into the fifth inning in two starts this month. He was 2-6 and had a 5.19 ERA going into Thursday's start. Then he pitched his best game of the season. He needed just 90 pitches to get through 6 1/3 innings, and he struck out a season-high eight batters.
The Dodgers looked a little sluggish the day after Wednesday's 14-inning game in Arizona. Their plane didn't touch down in Los Angeles until about 2 a.m., they had to be bused to the stadium to pick up their cars and many of them weren't in their beds until 4 a.m. or so.
What energy there was didn't come from the heart of an awakening lineup, it came from the fringes. Jerry Hairston Jr. had an RBI double -- Juan Uribe chugging all the way around from first and scoring after catcher Wilin Rosario dropped the ball on the throw home -- and Mark Ellis lined a couple of two-RBI singles to left.