Reds-Dodgers: Streaks of Blue Sweep Through Los Angeles

Jeff RuthContributor IMay 21, 2008

   Make that three in a row, and counting. The Dodgers, following their series loss to the Angels last weekend, headed back to Chavez Ravine on Monday and took care of business in their series against the Reds, giving them a 6-2 record in the past eight games. The Dodgers won 6-5, 4-1, and 5-2, in games one, two, and three respectively.

So what's to credit for the Dodgers recent success? If anything, the Dodgers' winning ways have to be credited to the younger players coming through in the clutch, and a rotation that is striking out more batters and working deeper into games—which in turn is taking the workload off of the bullpen.

What's especially good for Dodgers fans is the team is doing all of this on a four-man rotation, which figures to change later this season when they call up top pitching prospect Clayton Kershaw. If he manages to be lights-out following his promotion, the Dodgers could quite possibly have the deepest pitching staff in the National League.

On Friday, the Dodgers are starting a series with the Cardinals, and could be in first place in the National League West as early as Tuesday if Arizona loses their game Thursday against the Marlins, and is swept by Atlanta over the weekend. However, this is highly unlikely, considering Arizona's been playing just as strong as the Dodgers this season.

The Dodgers weren't supposed to do well once the catalyst of the offense, Rafael Furcal, went down with a back injury. But Friday, Furcal and Andruw Jones are expected to return to the lineup. Furcal should only make this lineup better, and if they've won six of their last eight without him, I could see them breaking off another eight-game winning streak, which happens the longest streak in the game this season.

As good as Furcal will make this lineup, Jones coming back could have a reverse effect. He's been terribly inconsistent this year, and almost non-existent in terms of production.

It's been a great week for Dodgers fans, and things seem to only be getting better in Tinseltown. Let's hope the Dodgers can keep up their winning ways and finally overtake Arizona in the National League West standings.

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