Oh, Those Road Games

The good news: the improbable Dodgers have a game and a half lead early in September, courtesy of a three-game sweep of Arizona and an unlikely eight-game winning streak. The bad news: the Dodgers have the worst road record in all of baseball and 13 of the Dodgers remaining 19 games are, ugh, on the road.

The Dbacks have 20 games left, 10 on the road but 10 at home. The record and the schedule favors the Dbacks, not the Dodgers. If the Dodgers hang on and win the division, they will have to rewrite the script and win on the road. There is no chance for a wild card berth, the NL West being baseball's worst.

Just as there were goats galore during the Dodgers 9-0f-10 recent losing streak, there have been heroes galore during the eight-game comeback winning streak.

Who'll be the heroes and goats during the final three weeks?

The race is tighter than the presidential election.

The Dodgers can largely forget about any contributions from among he following wounded: Schmidt, Penny, Furcal, Jones, Saito. They will win or lose with what they have healthy.

The Dodgers have enough hitting -- if it is timely. Its the pitching, as it always is in baseball.

Derek Lowe loves September. The Dodgers love Chad Billingsley anytime its his turn to take the mound. Mr. Kuroda, who cost the Dodgers about the same as the bankrupt Andrew Jones, has been a win one, lose one hurler.

The kid, Clayton Kershaw, who's actually pitched much better than his record, will face three or four clutch starts. He maybe never ever again will have to face in what promises to be, injuries aside, a long and distinguished big league career -- quite a challenge indeed.

Greg Maddux will get three more starts. The Old Grey Mare ain't what she used to be, but, even though he is 1-2 from coming over from the Padres, Greg Maddux is still Greg Maddux.

The bullpen may be the key. Scott Proctor and Cory Wade are back. Lefty Joe Beimel has been phenomenal all season. How, in the season of injuries for Dodgers in general, Four-Surgery Kuo has stayed healthy is a story in itself.

Chan Ho Park has been a shot in the arm all season. What will Kuo and Park do in the last three weeks.

Then there is Jonathan, the Animal Broxton. When he has been good, he has been very, very good. When he has been bad, well, he's been awful.

The season could well wind down to which Jonathan Broxton shows up the last week in September.

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