That was quite a team the Dodgers assembled in 1953. They had Hall of Famers everywhere — at catcher (Roy Campanella), shortstop (Pee Wee Reese), left field (Jackie Robinson), center field (Duke Snider) and in the broadcast booth (Vin Scully and Red Barber).
They were Brooklyn’s finest, immortalized by author Roger Kahn as the Boys of Summer. Perhaps the Dodgers of 2017 will be immortalized with their own timeless nickname, or with a classic work of nonfiction.
For now, these Dodgers stand with the Boys of Summer in the standings. For the first time since that 1953 club — and for the first time in Los Angeles history — the Dodgers are 50 games over .500.
“Our focus isn’t on being 50, 60, 70 games over .500,” Justin Turner said. “We’re trying to figure out what we have to do to win a World Series.”
The Dodgers (84-34) took another step in that October direction Tuesday, snapping a tie by scoring five times with two out in the eighth inning to beat the Chicago White Sox 6-1.
As a measure of the Dodgers’ resourcefulness, Joc Pederson drove in the go-ahead run by getting hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. The Dodgers poured it on from there: three consecutive hits, including two-run singles from Austin Barnes and Corey Seager.
“We just like to win,” pitcher Alex Wood said. “We haven’t really thought about how much we’ve won.”
The Dodgers have been so dominant that they have registered 84 victories with more than six weeks left to play. Two National League teams qualified for the playoffs last season by winning 87 games.
The Dodgers remain on pace to win 115 games, one shy of the major league record. They have won 49 of their last 57 games — the first major league team in 105 years to do so — and 29 of their last 33 home games.
So much winning. Hey, Dave Roberts, are you getting tired of all this winning?
“No,” the Dodgers’ manager said, laughing. “You never get tired of winning, and shaking hands. Those days that we don’t win, we don’t know what to do with ourselves.”
The Dodgers did not score over the first five innings, but they rallied for the tying run in the sixth, in an industrious and old-fashioned kind of way.
They loaded the bases on an infield single by Cody Bellinger, a shift-busting, opposite-field single by Yasmani Grandal and a walk to Yasiel Puig — on four pitches, none so wild that the old Puig would assuredly have taken them. Bellinger then scored on a sacrifice fly by Logan Forsythe.
Wood got no decision for a fine effort. He gave up one run over seven innings — yielding three hits to the first five batters he faced and three more to the final 22 — and lowered his earned-run average to 2.30.
He should qualify for the league leaderboard after his next start. If he were qualified now, his ERA would rank third in the majors, behind teammate Clayton Kershaw (2.04) and Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals (2.25).
The marine layer made a rare summer appearance at Dodger Stadium, making the evening more pleasant for the paying customers but more frustrating for the home team. Pederson, who has one hit in his last 38 at-bats, drove a fly ball to the warning track in each of his first two at-bats. Puig drove one to the track too, and Grandal very nearly did. But what might have been three or four home runs on a steamy Sunday afternoon or a warm weekday evening went for naught.
One ball did leave the park, the first ball pitched in the game. Wood threw it, Tim Anderson hit it, and the Dodgers trailed in the game for (gasp!) almost two hours.
Puig chuckled at the idea of playing on a team that really does win every day.
“One time I was on a team that lost 58 games out of 60,” he said, talking about a team he played on as a teenager, “so I don’t think I’ve ever been on a team like this.”
Roberts moved Puig from eighth in the batting order to sixth and dropped Pederson to eighth. . . . If Kershaw’s simulated game today goes well, he could pitch in a minor league game in the next week and perhaps rejoin the Dodgers by the end of the month.