Manny's Back and So Is Dodgers Offense

With Manny back, everybody is hitting and the Dodgers are winning.

You’re going to win a lot of baseball games when your team averages scoring 6.7 runs per game.

And that is your Los Angeles Dodgers since Manny Ramirez returned from suspension.

While Manny’s reception from fans has been grabbing all the attention around the Dodgers, their bats have been doing most of the talking. That is a key reason the Dodgers are 4-2 since Ramirez returned (although some strong pitching nights from Clayton Kershaw and Randy Wolfe helped, too).

Manny has been part of the surge — the six games since he returned, he is hitting .333, has driven in 7 runs, scored four runs, and pounded two home runs.

But really, it’s what the hitters around him are starting to do now that they are seeing good pitches that makes the difference. In July, Rafael Furcal is hitting .467. Matt Kemp was 8 of 11 at the plate with three walks in the Dodgers three-game series against the Mets.

And the Dodgers are getting off to early leads. The Dodgers have scored 11 first inning runs in the six games since Manny stepped back into the third spot in the lineup, scoring in those first at bats in four of the six games. In the two games they didn’t score in the first inning, they scored in the second.

Sure, it’s only been six games, which is a blink in the long summer of baseball. Number crunching guys at computers will tell you not to read too much into what happens in a six game span, talking about sample size and other concerns.

But if you’ve watched the Dodgers, you have seen a new swagger in the team at the plate, as Manny’s confidence just seems to extend through the lineup. A lineup that could be playing into October.

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