I have been hesitating to write this for a month now.
Most baseball fans are superstitious. I think that’s because, in part, games are played every day and there are ample opportunities to test them out. But I think it’s also because the players and managers are generally open about superstitions.
But my favorite team in professional sports, the Los Angeles Dodgers, are on a hot streak that stretches back 33 games, into the final week of June. Over those 33 games, they had won 27 games going into Wednesday night’s game against the New York Yankees in Dodger Stadium.
Much of this surge has been attached to the emergence of young outfielder Yasiel Puig. He debuted when this streak was in its infancy and certainly his talent and exuberance for playing the game have been a hit with Dodger fans and his teammates.
Puig has slowed a bit from his initial surge above .400, but his hitting has been no less clutch and his impact no less noticeable.
But what I have enjoyed, as much as the winning, is the fact that his enthusiasm has been infectious and his performance has lifted others to similar heights.
For instance, Hanley Ramirez has been an even better hitter in this stretch than Puig. His presence in the heart of the batting order has made it possible to do this streak without the hitting of Matt Kemp, who is currently in his third stint on the disabled list.
Adrian Gonzalez has been phenomenal with the bat and also with his glove at first base.
AJ Ellis has been solid as the catcher and surprising as a hitter that is always a tough out. Mark Ellis has an 11-game hitting streak and it was his walk-off single in Tuesday night’s game that propelled L.A. past the Yankees.