ST. LOUIS -- As the Los Angeles Dodgers took the field at Busch Stadium Monday night, riding a 14-game road winning streak, there was a worn-out broom resting in their dugout.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly laughed when he saw it and was told it was a bold statement by his team.
“Oh no,” Mattingly said. “I’m humble.”
Mattingly might be humble, but he has every right to brag about his team right now. After Monday night’s 3-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals, the Dodgers have won 15 straight games on the road, the most by a National League team since the Cincinnati Reds won as many in 1957.
The Dodgers are now just two road wins away from tying the NL record for consecutive road wins, which was set by the New York Giants in 1916. The Detroit Tigers won their first 17 road games in 1984.
There was once a time in the not-too-distant past, when the Dodgers were waiting for things to go wrong during one-run games. Now they’ve won their past 10 games decided by one run.
Of course, a lot of that has to do with the team's pitching, and ZacK Greinke was once again dominant on Monday, allowing two runs on eight hits and striking out four in 6.1 innings. Greinke has allowed just nine runs in his past six starts.
Greinke helped his own cause when he singled to center and drove home Nick Punto in the seventh inning to give the Dodgers a 3-1 lead. Greinke has been surprisingly efficient at the plate recently, going 8-for-13, with two doubles and a walk, last month. He started August with an RBI.
The Dodgers’ road winning streak has included its fair share of unheralded heroes. On Monday, one of them was Nick Punto, who teamed up with Yasiel Puig and A.J. Ellis for a picture-perfect relay to tagged out Allen Craig at the plate for what would have been a game-tying run in the fifth inning.
Punto also had a sensational double play in the eighth inning with an equally incredible turn by Mark Ellis. Punto also scored what would be the game’s winning run in the seventh inning.
Paco Rodriguez came in for the save as the Dodgers were able to rest Kenley Jansen, who won three of the four games in Chicago last week. The Dodgers are now 32-7 in their past 39 games and have taken a six-game lead atop the NL West. It’s a reality that Mattingly still has a hard time wrapping his head around.
“We’re been playing well,” Mattingly said. “We’re playing well.”