There was a klezmer band on the field before the game. There was Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly, hanging out in flip-flops. There was a red muppet clowning around with Justin Turner during the game — on video, not with a furry costumed thing taking ground balls at third base, although that would be cool.
Sunday fundays are particularly fun when the home team wins. The Dodgers win just about every day.
They won again Sunday, with two home runs from Turner and one from Yasmani Grandal accounting for all their scoring in a 6-4 victory over the San Diego Padres. Turner was happy to talk about the game afterward, but only after he did some fantasy football homework.
“Sorry,” he told waiting reporters. “I got peer-pressured into a mock draft.”
The game isn’t supposed to be this easy. The Dodgers have won 28 of their last 32 home games. They are on a 48-8 run overall, the best by any major league team in more than a century. They are on pace to win 115 games, one shy of the major league record.
Their 18-game lead in the National League West is their largest since the NL West was formed in 1969.
Dave Roberts, the manager, was asked if he could remember the last time the Dodgers had lost a series.
“It was against the Nationals, here at home,” Roberts said. “I don’t remember the date or the month.”
He couldn’t remember the month. It was June — the first week of June, 10 weeks ago. The game isn’t supposed to be this easy — and, Grandal said, it isn’t. If the Dodgers didn’t have the discipline to accompany the talent, he said, they wouldn’t win nearly so often.
“I think a lot of teams can talk about executing a plan and, at times, they get away from it,” Grandal said. “With us, you can have a no-hitter or perfect game going through three or four innings. We’re not going to deviate from the plan. We’re going to stick with it.
“As soon as you start changing, now you’re changing back to what we want, and that’s when we go.”
Funny he should mention that. Luis Perdomo, the Padres’ starter, had a perfect game going through three innings. Six batters later, he had given up five runs.
Perdomo hit Chris Taylor with a pitch. Corey Seager singled. Turner homered.
Cody Bellinger doubled. Chase Utley flied out, deep. Grandal homered.
A 2-0 deficit had turned into a 5-2 lead, in less time than it would take you to eat a Dodger dog, and the Dodgers led the rest of the way.
The Dodgers did a lot of the little things. Kenta Maeda gave up a pair of home runs to Cory Spangenberg but pitched into the sixth inning and tied a season high with eight strikeouts. He might not make the playoff roster, but he is 4-0 with a 1.98 earned-run average since the All-Star break.
Kenley Jansen earned his fourth save in five days; he has walked five and struck out 80 this season. Luis Avilan struck out Jose Pirela with the tying run on third base and one out. Pedro Baez, he of the legendary wait between pitches, worked one full inning in a game that took a mere 2 hours 36 minutes to play.
Yasiel Puig had two terrific hustle plays. He ran hard to beat out a ground ball and force a throwing error. He also crashed into the wall down the first-base line, in an attempt to catch a foul pop that carried into the stands.
“I thought the wall moved a little bit,” Roberts said. “We’ve got to check that right-field wall. Yasiel is fine. I’m not worried about him.”
Turner likes to keep the game simple. He drove in four runs on his two home runs, his second two-homer game in six days. How did he analyze the power surge?
“One of them was in Arizona, where the ball flies really well,” he said. “The other was a day game at Dodger Stadium, when the ball flies a lot better than a night game at Dodger Stadium.”
So, yeah, duh. It is almost time for fantasy football, and Turner probably wins at that too.
“No,” he said. “Never made the playoffs. My draft’s not working.”