There is hot, and then there’s scorching hot, Stanley-Ipkiss-in-“The Mask” smoking hot.
The Dodgers are so stupid hot right now, other teams are lucky they don’t get fourth-degree burns just looking at them.
They are currently scorching everything in their path, and in the deep recesses of their minds, actually believe they are only getting started. While the faithful should be cautioned to enjoy it while it lasts -- because no team can keep up this pace -- the Dodgers think they’re just coming off their training wheels.
The numbers are all there for them. Since June 22, they have gone 25-6 (.806), which naturally, is the best record in baseball. They have won eight of their last nine and climbed from 12 games under .500 to seven games over it.
They are on such a roll right now, it almost doesn’t matter what they do. Matt Kemp -- the guy who is supposed to be their best player -- goes on the disabled list for a third time this season? No problem.
Starters Chad Billingsley and Josh Beckett are lost for the season and Ted Lilly -- unable to stay healthy -- is designated for assignment, and they just march on. Brandon League implodes as the closer and Kenley Jansen becomes the man. Rookie Yasiel Puig is forced into service earlier than they wanted and hits .370.
Role players come up big, left-hander Paco Rodriguez -- drafted just over a year ago -- pitches like a lights-out veteran, shortstop Hanley Ramirez comes back from his second stint on the DL to look like an MVP, the gamble on Korean pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu pays off better than they had reason to hope.
And on it goes. They can almost do no wrong. Or at least, can’t stop doing plenty enough right.
It cannot continue for long, because no team plays .800 baseball forever. But right now, it is something to behold, because the Dodgers are smokin'.