PHILADELPHIA — The opponents differ and the cities change.
But the results remain mind-numbingly consistent for the
By now the numbers are as familiar as they are freakish:
— 41 wins in 49 games, the best stretch by a major league club in seven decades.
— A 24-3 record since the All-Star break and a 14-1 mark in August
—18 wins in their last 19 road games. In fact the last time the Dodgers lost twice in the same city was June, when they were still last in the National League West.
They're in first place now, of course, by 8 1/2 games, which is the only number Manager
"I played on a team in high school that won 59 straight games. So I want to win every day," he said. "And I think it's possible. Sometimes you can get caught up by saying, 'Oh, we're not supposed to be doing this. We play .500 on the road, that's good enough. That's a good trip.'
Especially not if your pitchers are as good as the Dodgers' have been. When
Yet in Greinke's mind, the relievers, three of whom combined to get the final five outs without yielding a hit Friday, have been even better.
"The bullpen has done the best job. It's been pretty incredible," he said. "It feels like they've got 200 straight scoreless innings."
Close. Dodgers relievers have given up only one run in their last eight games.
"We expect to win and we have been," said Greinke (11-3). "That's kind of how it's been. It hasn't crossed anyone's mind that we're going to lose."
Greinke's latest gem ruined the managerial debut of Hall of Fame second baseman Ryne Sandberg, who took over on an interim basis Friday after the Phillies fired
But Sandberg didn't get a chance to do much managing in his first game because the Phillies, who have lost 20 of 24, didn't get a runner to third until the eighth inning. By then the Dodgers had the game in hand, scoring the only runs they would need on
They added a pair of runs anyway, getting one in the seventh when catcher
After which Mattingly set his sights on winning again Saturday. Because when he looks back on his time at Reitz Memorial High in Evansville, Ind., Mattingly doesn't remember the 59-game winning streak as much as he remembers the loss that ended it.
"I was on the hill," he said. "It sucked."