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Dodgers facts and figures

Dodgers facts and figures

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If the Dodgers had known at the beginning of the season starting shortstop Rafael Furcal would miss the better part of five months, Opening Day starter Brad Penny would win one game after May 2, closer Takashi Saito would miss most of the second half, Jeff Kent would undergo knee surgery before the final month and Andruw Jones would make no impact at the plate, nobody would have predicted a playoff berth for the club.

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But the Dodgers have achieved just that behind a deep pitching staff of starters and relievers and an offense energized by the midseason trade for Manny Ramirez. The proud Los Angeles franchise enters the 2008 postseason having won just one playoff game since taking home the 1988 World Series championship.

TEAM RECORD

Overall: 84-78
Home: 48-33
Road: 36-45
Day: 23-24
Night: 61-54

By month: March 1-0, April 13-13, May 13-15, June 11-15, July 16-10, August 13-16, September 17-8

KEY MOMENTS

The Manny trade: When the Dodgers pulled off arguably their biggest trade since moving to Los Angeles 50 years ago by acquiring Ramirez minutes before the trade deadline, the whole complexion of their offense changed as well as their chances at a playoff berth. Ramirez has been everything the Dodgers hoped for and more, powering the offense with a presence that teammates have benefited from and loosening up the locker room without becoming a distraction away from the field.

The five-run rally: Brandon Webb held the Dodgers to one run in eight innings in the rubber game of a three-game set on July 20, but Los Angeles exploded for five runs in the ninth off closer Brandon Lyon in a 6-5 victory. Matt Kemp tied it with an RBI double in the gap, and Andre Ethier brought home the go-ahead run with a triple to center to knot up the division on their rivals' home field.

Kent saves the day: Manager Joe Torre often talks about his club building momentum after taking two of three from the Angels at the end of June, one without the benefit of a hit, but that momentum may have stalled if not for Kent's eventual game-winning homer in the 11th on July 1 in Houston in a game the Dodgers led, 6-1, in the sixth. Torre said a loss in that contest would have been "devastating," but Kent's homer started a streak of six wins in seven games.

Turning point: The Dodgers stumbled into Phoenix at the end of August on a disastrous seven-game losing streak, the last three at the hands of the lowly Nationals, and lost the first game to the D-backs to fall 4 1/2 games back in the division race with Arizona aces Dan Haren and Brandon Webb scheduled the next two days. Then Ramirez went 4-for-5 with two homers and a double on Aug. 30 to lead Los Angeles to a victory that started a run of eight straight wins -- five over Arizona -- and 12 of 13 to put the Dodgers up 4 1/2 games in the division.

HITTING

Team stats
Avg.: .264, 5th in NL
Runs: 700, 13th in NL
HRs: 137, 13th in NL

Individual leaders
(qualifiers only)
Avg.: Andre Ethier, .305
HRs: Ethier, 20
RBIs: James Loney, 90
Runs: Matt Kemp, 93
OPS: Ethier, .885
SB: Juan Pierre, 40

Postseason team hitting
Avg.: .250
Runs: 20
HRs: 4

Postseason individual leaders
Avg.: Ramirez, .500
HRs: Ramirez, 2
RBIs: Loney, 6
Runs: Ramirez, 5
OPS: Ramirez, 1.743

It's been a tale of two halves for the Dodgers at the plate, as they have been one of the better-hitting teams in the second half after acquiring Ramirez and Casey Blake following a lackluster first half. The Dodgers feature a well-rounded attack that could get even better if Furcal and Kent can return for the playoffs, but it all starts with Ramirez and to a lesser extent Ethier, who has thrived hitting in front of Ramirez.

PITCHING

Team stats
Overall ERA: 3.68, 1st in NL
Starters ERA: 3.87, 3rd in NL
Bullpen ERA: 3.33, 2nd in NL
Strikeouts: 1,205, 5th in NL
HRs allowed: 123, 16th in NL
Opponents' BA: .251, 2nd in NL

Individual leaders
Wins: Chad Billingsley, 16
ERA (starter): Billingsley, 3.14
ERA (reliever): Hong-Chih Kuo, 1.69 (as a reliever)
Strikeouts: Billingsley, 201
Saves: Saito, 18
Holds: Jonathan Broxton, 13
HRs allowed: Billingsley, Derek Lowe, 14
Opponents' BA: Cory Wade, .202

Postseason team statistics
Overall ERA: 2.00
Starters ERA: 1.42
Bullpen ERA: 3.38
Strikeouts: 24
HRs allowed: 1
Opponents BA: .240

Postseason individual leaders
Wins: Lowe, Billingsley, Hiroki Kuroda, 1
ERA (starter): Kuroda, 0.00
ERA (reliever): Broxton, 0.00
Strikeouts: Billingsley, 7
Saves: Broxton, 1
Holds: Wade, 2
HRs allowed: Lowe, 1
Opponents BA: Broxton, .000

It's no surprise the Dodgers rank among the league leader in starting and relieving ERA because the club features great balance at the front and back end of games. The Dodgers are the only National League club with three pitchers among the top 22 in ERA, with Billingsley and Lowe ranking in the top 10, and a deep bullpen got better with the mid-September return to health of Saito.

FIELDING

Fielding percentage: .984, 7th in NL
Errors: 100, T6th in NL

The club's defense improved up the middle range-wise when Angel Berroa and Blake DeWitt took over at shortstop and second base, respectively, for Nomar Garciaparra and Kent. Kemp ranks among the league leaders in outfield assists and Loney is a quality glove man at first, but Ramirez is always an adventure and catcher Russell Martin has struggled throwing runners out.

DODGERS VS. PHILLIES

Record: 4-4

Aug. 11: Dodgers 8, Phillies 6
Aug. 12: Dodgers 4, Phillies 3
Aug. 13: Dodgers 7, Phillies 6
Aug. 14: Dodgers 3, Phillies 1
Aug. 22: Phillies 8, Dodgers 1
Aug. 23: Phillies 9, Dodgers 2
Aug. 24: Phillies 5, Dodgers 2
Aug. 25: Phillies 5, Dodgers 0

DODGERS VS. POSTSEASON TEAMS

vs. Phillies: 4-4
vs. Angels: 3-3
vs. White Sox: 1-2
vs. Rays: 0-0
vs. Red Sox: 0-0

Michael Schwartz is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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