With apologies to Cincinnati, the Dodgers are beginning to resemble a big blue machine.
The Dodgers might not have the top-to-bottom firepower of the 1970s Reds, but the Dodgers’ winning ways are becoming so consistent they’re starting to have a mechanized feel about them.
Good teams, bad teams, National League teams, American League teams. Whatever, the Dodgers keep rolling.
This time they toppled Matt Harvey, the NL starting pitcher for this year’s All-Star game, to defeat the New York Mets, 4-2, at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday night for their season-high seventh consecutive win.
The Dodgers are 22-3 since the All-Star break and, by winning the first two games of their three-game series with the Mets, haven’t lost a series since mid-June.
The Dodgers were led by starter Hyun-Jin Ryu, who held New York to one run in seven innings, and by Nick Punto and A.J. Ellis, who each had two-run hits against Harvey in front of a crowd of 46,335.
“It’s real fun to be a Dodger right now,” Ellis said.
The win also gave the Dodgers a 39-8 record since June 22. The last NL team to win 39 of 47 games was the 1951 New York Giants, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
That Giants’ surge, coincidentally, came as the team was overtaking the Brooklyn Dodgers for the pennant, capped by Bobby Thomson’s famous home run.
The Diamondbacks also won, so the Dodgers’ lead over second-place Arizona in the NL West remained at 71/2 games.
Harvey (9-4), who came into the game with a 2.09 earned-run average, stymied the Dodgers through the first four innings as he repeatedly fired fastballs at 96-97 mph and the Dodgers hit into three double plays.
But the Dodgers broke through in the fifth inning when Ellis walked, Juan Uribe singled and both scored on Punto’s double down the left-field line.
Mark Ellis and Yasiel Puig singled in the sixth and, with two out, they both scored on A.J. Ellis’s single to give the Dodgers a 4-1 lead.
Ryu (12-3) gave up a solo home run to Juan Lagares on the fourth pitch of the game but then settled down to out-duel Harvey.
“That’s how you beat a good pitcher . . . keep the game close,” Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly said. Harvey, he added, is “a good pitcher but he’s beatable.”
Ryu said through an interpreter that, after allowing the first-inning homer, his goal “was just to make sure I didn’t give up any more runs.” He didn’t and lowered his ERA to 2.91 from 2.99.
After reliever Ronald Belisario threw a scoreless eighth inning, Kenley Jansen earned his second save in as many nights despite allowing a run-scoring single by John Buck.
Mattingly also said that Andre Ethier, who was scratched from the lineup with tightness in his left calf, was “going to be fine” and should return to the lineup by Friday.