Nothing seems to go wrong for the
But, for one scary moment Sunday, they had visions of disaster.
Not only had
"You hold your breath, basically," infielder
Greinke was safe. The Dodgers exhaled, then proceeded to another victory, this one 2-1 over the
"Everybody is very excited we're going to the playoffs," Puig said through an interpreter.
That might be rookie enthusiasm, a bit offensive to the baseball gods, but it's the truth. The Dodgers' magic number is 16. They swept the Padres. They have won 51 or their last 64 games and are 34-8 since the All-Star break.
Put it this way: For every 10 games they have played, they have won eight — and they have maintained that pace for more than two months. They have gained 21 games in the standings in 72 days.
"It's unheard of," Dodgers Manager
For all the glamour of the offensive cast, the Dodgers win with pitching, and that pitching starts with Kershaw and Greinke.
On Sunday, Greinke held the Padres to one run and two hits over seven innings, with
Kershaw, the best pitcher in baseball, leads the major leagues with a 1.72 earned-run average. Greinke is at 2.78, the next-best mark among projected NL playoff starters. In his last seven starts, his ERA is 1.42.
Greinke is 14-3, having won six consecutive decisions, and the Dodgers are 19-4 when he starts.
"Just don't want to waste all our good starts now," he said.
So it was with October in mind, and with more than a little bit of concern, that the Dodgers saw Greinke take off from first base on the fifth inning.
"They didn't say not to," he said.
The score was tied, 1-1. He said he wanted to get into scoring position, or get thrown out and let the Dodgers start the next inning with leadoff batter Carl Crawford.
And then Greinke slid headfirst, beating shortstop
"Last-minute decision," he said. "I felt it was safer than going feet-first. Maybe I was wrong."
Said Mattingly: "As long as he didn't get hurt, he's fine. This guy is an athlete. When you start putting them in a box and wrapping them up, that's when they get hurt."
Greinke was safe, and he was fine.
"My No. 1 goal is not to get hurt, obviously," he said. "I didn't feel it was very risky at all. [Cedeno] didn't put his feet in front of the bag. He didn't put his knee in front of the bag."
But he could have.
"Then I hit him in the next at-bat," Greinke said.
And then Greinke paused, with only a hint of a smile.
"Probably," he said.