Four in a row
…that is, days with the same lineup. Plenty more below:
Lofton, CF (baseball hottest hitter finally qualifies for league leaders)
Billingsley, P (second-best ERA among MLB starters since the break)
Here are some game notes to snack on:
STAYING HOT IN AUGUST – The club record for wins in August was 20, set by the 1983 Dodgers. The team is five victories shy of that mark with nine games to go.
LOOKOUT LEADERBOARD – Kenny Lofton has now tallied the necessary amount of plate appearances to qualify for the league leaders and is tied for seventh in the NL with a .319 batting average. He leads the NL with a .350 average (27-for-60) in August and is 10 points short of the club record for highest average in a month. According to STATS, LLC, Lofton’s current mark would be the third-highest by a Dodger in any month behind Pedro Guerrero (.460 in July 1985) and Willie Davis (.459 in August 1969).
NOT JUST THIS SEASON OR THIS MONTH – Since the start of the 2005 season, only two players in baseball have a better average than Kenny Lofton among big leaguers with 600 or more plate appearances. Miguel Cabrera (.329) and Albert Pujols (.328) are just above Lofton (.327). During that span, Lofton has stolen 46 bases and has been caught just six times for an 88 percent success rate. He also has a .384 on-base percentage since the start of last year.
WILSON TOPS RUSSELL – Wilson Betemit is now 16-2 in his starts for the Dodgers, including victories in his first 14 starts. Russell Martin was 15-2 in his first 17 starts, including a 5-0 mark to start his big league career.
OUTFIELD OF DREAMS – Since the Dodgers’ began their recent hot streak on July 27, J.D. Drew has led the team with 18 runs batted in while playing in 21 games during that stretch. Andre Ethier is second on the club with 15 RBI during that span. Combined with Kenny Lofton, the trio of outfielders is batting .352 (77-for-219) with seven homers, 41 RBI, 38 runs scored and eight stolen bases in the Dodgers’ last 22 games.
SLAMMIN’ SAMMY – Takashi Saito came on yesterday with the bases loaded in a 5-1 game and struck out three of the four batters he faced for his 14th save in 15 chances. Saito lowered his ERA to 2.24, which is the lowest mark of any National League pitcher with 50 or more innings, ahead of Billy Wagner (2.27). Saito joins the Twins Joe Nathan (25/26) and Pittsburgh’s Mike Gonzalez (21/21) as the only pitchers in baseball with 10 or more saves and one or less blown saves.