The Dodgers open a nine-game road trip on Tuesday night, a three-city sojourn around the National League West that suddenly has more importance as the division becomes more compact. The Dodgers still find themselves in last place in the division, but their prospects look infinitely brighter.
The Dodgers reached their low point of the season at 12 games under .500 with a loss in San Diego on June 21, which dropped them to just 9-23 against divisional foes. The loss also put the Dodgers at a season-worst 9½ games out of first place.
Since then, just about everything has gone right for the Dodgers.
The Dodgers won their final two games against the Padres, then returned home to sweep the Giants. That improved the divisional record, but also gave the Dodgers a winning streak longer than two games for the first time since the opening week of the season. Three wins against the Phillies gave the Dodgers eight wins in nine games and put them within shouting distance of first place.
In 10 days, the Dodgers have shaved six games off that lead, and now find themselves 3½ games behind Arizona. But it's not just the Diamondbacks, losers of seven of their last eight, who are struggling.
The Rockies have lost nine of their last 13 and 12 of their last 18 games. The Dodgers have yet to beat Colorado in a series this season.
The Giants have lost seven of eight. The Dodgers head to AT&T Park after three games in Denver.
The Padres have lost seven of nine.
The Dodgers finish off their road trip next week with three games in Arizona, followed by four games back home at Dodger Stadium against the Rockies to finish off the pre-All-Star break schedule.
That's 13 games in 13 days, all within the division that seems prime for the taking. The first 81 games are over. The second half starts Wednesday, and it's time for the Dodgers to continue to make their move.
- July 2-4: at Colorado
- July 5-7: at San Francisco
- July 8-10: at Arizona
- July 11-14: vs. Colorado
- July 16: MLB All-Star Game