COMMENTARY | By now, baseball fans around the country have taken notice of the scalding Los Angeles Dodgers.
They have heard about the emergence of Yasiel Puig, the resurgence of Hanley Ramirez, and the dominance of Clayton Kershaw. Other players are also stepping up along the way, such as Nick Punto, whose two-run double helped beat New York Mets ace Matt Harvey this week.
Punto and the Dodgers have been able to fend off everything opponents have thrown at them lately. This week it was Harvey, and last week Los Angeles won games against elite pitchers Adam Wainwright and David Price. The team has now won 39 of its last 47 games to go from 12 games under .500 on June 21 to 19 games over .500 this week.
To put it simply, the Dodgers seemingly can't stop winning. Maybe that's why Punto recently changed his walk-up song to Miley Cyrus' new hit, " We Can't Stop ." With the team 22-3 since the All-Star break, Cyrus' single is quickly becoming the theme song for the Dodgers. It was played right before Punto hit his second home run of the season on Monday night in a game where Los Angeles rallied back from a 2-0 deficit in the sixth inning. It was also blasted at Dodger Stadium last Friday just before Punto's heroics in the ninth helped the Dodgers complete their biggest comeback of the year, roaring back from down 6-0 in the seventh to walk off with a 7-6 win.
Since the Dodgers play on the West Coast, a lot of people around the country have missed out on watching the Dodgers pile up victories. The players probably couldn't care less about who else witnesses their hot streak, as long as the loyal Dodger fans continue to pack Chavez Ravine. Although Punto has been enjoying a .458 batting average in August, the utility man still feels a certain someone is missing from Dodger Stadium these days.
The past few weeks were supposed to be a tough stretch for Los Angeles, with 13 games coming against the Cincinnati Reds, New York Yankees, St. Louis Cardinals and Tampa Bay Rays. All the Dodgers did was go 10-3 in those games to extend their lead atop the National League West. Now the team is rewarded with 16 of its next 19 games coming against teams with losing records.
With Hanley Ramirez and Matt Kemp both nearing a return to the lineup, Los Angeles has a golden opportunity to continue riding the wave and lock up home-field advantage for the postseason. As the wins keep coming, an increasing number of celebrities have flocked to Dodger Stadium as it's quickly becoming a Los Angeles hot spot this summer.
Perhaps it's only a matter of time before Punto's wish is granted.
Nick Ostiller was born and raised in Los Angeles and currently lives in Santa Clara. He is the editor-in-chief at The Santa Clara and contributes content for Sidelines. He has also worked for Outlook Newspapers. Follow him on Twitter @nicko229.
- Sports & Recreation
- Los Angeles Dodgers
- Los Angeles
- Nick Punto
- Hanley Ramirez
- Miley Cyrus