Wait. The Dodgers are in First? What?
August 29, 2016

It's a conversation about the Los Angeles Dodgers that might go something like this...

“Quick. Name the five pitchers who make up the Dodgers starting rotation.”
“Um, okay. Let's see, there's Clayton Kershaw. No wait, he's hurt, isn't he? There's the Japanese guy, he's pretty good.”
“Yeah, Kenta Maeda. That's one.”
“There's the Oakland A's pitcher who keeps getting hurt.”
“Which one?”
“Yeah, but he's hurt. That doesn't count.”
“Um...I know. Brandon McCarthy!”
“He's hurt, too, and so is Brett Anderson.”
“Is there another Oakland A's pitcher?. Wait, they just made a deal for one, but he had a blister and was out for like a month.”
“Rich Hill. He's actually back and pitched well the other night.”
“Cool. That's two. Who else?”
“The 19 year old, starts with a U I think.”
“Julio Urias. I think you could say he's in the rotation, but I'm not sure.”
“The guy who struck out 8 against the Cubs yesterday. I think his name is Brock Stewart. I'd never heard of him before.”
“Me neither.”
“Then how the heck are the Dodgers winning?”
“Their offense has been pretty good.”
“Oh yeah, right. They got Josh Reddick from Oakland. That must have made the difference.”
“Dude, he's been a Dodger for almost a month, and doesn't have an RBI yet. And he's hitting like .145.”
“Well Corey Seager's been solid.”
“Definitely, we knew the kid would be good, but a 21 year-old leads the team in average, home runs, and runs scored. Can that be a good thing?”
“Well Adrian Gonzalez is hitting now, too. That's what the Dodgers need.”
“Their bullpen must be lights out!”
“I don't know. It doesn't seem like it. Closer Kenley Jansen is doing okay, but there's no one else that hitters seem to be afraid of.”
“I did hear that their defense is good, though.”
“Yeah, they have the fewest errors in all of baseball.”
“Well, that's something”
“Yeah, but they've scored only 10 runs total in their last 6 games.”
“Really, what's their record?”
“3-3. And they took two out of three against both the Giants and the Cubs.”
“Amazing. Who's pitching tomorrow?”
“I have no idea.”
“Yeah but at least they are in first place.”
“By a game and a half, baby!”
“You know it!” “And get this. They were 8 games back when Kershaw got hurt.”
“Yeah, what's the Giants problem anyway?”
“I don't know. I'm still trying to figure out the Dodgers!”

The Vin Scully countdown starts: With September 1 arriving on Thursday, and the next Dodgers homestand beginning Friday, Vin Scully only has 13 regular season home games left in the Dodgers broadcast booth. And that's if Fox and ESPN stay away from any national telecasts. The broadcasting legend also plans on doing the final three games of the year in San Francisco. If the Dodgers make the playoffs, he'll do the post-season games on radio only—innings 1-3 and 7-9.

Scully in Chi-town: As a nice tribute to Scully, the third inning of Sunday's Dodgers-Cubs game was not only broadcast by Scully on radio and TV on the Dodger networks, but Comcast Sportsnet Chicago carried the inning with Scully's narration, and he catered to the Chicago audience, telling brief stories of his memories of Wrigley Field, with of course a mention that Dodger pitcher Brock Stewart is from Normal, Illinois. Even for Dodger fans who have never been to Chicago (like me) found it to be a treat.

No-hit wonder: With Matt Moore of the Giants coming within an out of a no-hitter, someone figured it out, and Cubs broadcaster Len Kasper passed it along, that Scully has called 6.7 percent of all no-hitters in major league history. Those include perfect games by Don Larsen and Sandy Koufax. More Scully lore to come in the coming month.

The photo is Brock Stewart. At least someone knows who he is!

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