Dodgers 7, Rockies 4: The Nick Punto Show?

September 3, 2013 at 11:52 pm | Posted in Nick Punto | Leave a comment

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Sit Yasiel Puig, sit Hanley Ramirez, sit Juan Uribe, sit A.J. Ellis, hit Michael Young cleanup… still score seven runs. Just like you planned, right? Sometimes it just never stops working, and while it helps that the Rockies are a train wreck and that converted infielder Charlie Culberson‘s huge ninth-inning gaffe directly contributed to three of those runs, you just can’t help but shake the feeling every night that this Dodger team is always going to find some way to win, no matter how it happens.

Tonight, it’s because Nick Punto got four hits (!), Carl Crawford got three, and Andre Ethier reached four times. It’s because Ricky Nolasco pitched six effective innings, continuing his streak of not allowing more than three runs in any of the 11 starts in his Dodger career, and because Chris Withrow relieved a struggling Ronald Belisario for his first career save. It’s not because of Young, who made five outs in his first four plate appearances before singling in the ninth, or because of Paco Rodriguez, who allowed a Josh Rutledge homer in the eighth, but it didn’t need to be. The train just keeps on rolling, endlessly, and it’s wonderful.

Since it no longer matters what the lead is in the NL West — I’ll note that Arizona is losing 6-3 to Toronto in the seventh inning at the moment — the true chase is for the best record in the National League. The Dodgers entered the day two games behind Atlanta, and that’s where they’ll remain, since the Braves beat the Mets 3-1. It’s that kind of success, now including yet another six-game winning streak, that allows you to actually start Edinson Volquez in a “sure, why the hell not?” situation tomorrow.

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