Life is so good to the Dodgers these days that they can laugh at their mistakes.
Actually, life is better than that. The Dodgers can hold a ceremony to laugh at their mistakes.
And so it was that, after Saturday’s 5-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays, the Dodgers gathered in their clubhouse so that Adrian Gonzalez could present Juan Uribe with third base, the very base upon which Uribe was not standing when the Rays fooled him with the hidden-ball trick.
“You can do those things when you’re winning,” infielder Nick Punto said.
These Dodgers win every day, or just about. They are 19-3 since the All-Star break, and a sellout crowd roared its delight when Punto spoke on the field after the game.
“This is incredible,” he told the crowd. “You feel the buzz in L.A.”
Saturday’s victory was almost routine. Zack Greinke and two relievers combined on a six-hitter, Skip Schumaker had four hits, and Punto and Gonzalez drove in two runs apiece.
On Friday, the Dodgers erased a 6-0 deficit by scoring seven runs in the final three innings, their largest home comeback so late in a game since May 9, 1994, when current coach Tim Wallach hit a walk-off home run against Houston’s Mitch Williams.
“That was crazy,” Greinke said. “I was starting to think it would take something crazy to win. Something did.”
On Saturday, Gonzalez hit a two-run home run in the first inning and Greinke took it from there. Greinke is 10-3 with a 3.21 earned-run average overall, 4-1 with a 1.66 ERA in his last seven starts.
The Dodgers have won 36 of their last 44 games. They have not lost consecutive games in seven weeks.
“For a while, I felt we were just playing perfect,” Greinke said. “The last week and a half, we have made some mistakes here and there and still found a way to win. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.”
The Dodgers have won a club-record 11 consecutive one-run games. They have not lost one in nine weeks.
“It’s not [as if we’re] completely destroying other teams,” Greinke said.
The Dodgers did not destroy Uribe for falling victim to the hidden-ball trick. He is one of the most popular players in the clubhouse and, after all, his gaffe did not cost them a loss.
So Uribe got the base, with a cleat attached, as a gentle reminder to keep his foot on the base until he sees the pitcher has the ball. When Uribe lifted his foot off the base, by a few inches, third baseman Evan Longoria applied the tag.
“Every day you see something different,” Uribe said.
The next time Uribe got to third, he barely moved a muscle.
“I put my two feet on the base,” he said. “I said, ‘OK, let’s see what’s going on now.’ One time, it was good. Two times, I need to be careful.”
The Dodgers have Clayton Kershaw on Sunday, then the New York Mets. Maybe they really will not lose again soon, or this season.
“I’m sure we will,” Punto said. “That would be some kind of record if we didn’t.”