The craziest game Tuesday night was the last one that ended. It lasted four hours and 25 minutes in Arizona’s Chase Field. The Diamondbacks put up a five-spot in the third inning and held a 6-4 lead heading to the seventh, only to see the relentless Dodgers tie it. 

It went to extras after Diamondbacks center fielder Tim Locastro stole second, advanced to third when the throw got away and then tried to take home: 

The Dodgers got one run in the 10th before Gavin Lux sent a three-run shot deep into the stands.

The Dodgers would need every bit of that, because the D-Backs got three in the bottom and had the go-ahead run at the plate before Kenley Jansen struck him out. 10-9 Dodgers in 10. 

The win was a good illustration of the Dodgers and why they so rarely lose. This staved off their first three-game losing streak of the year. They sit as the best team in baseball, easily, at 31-12. 

They have stars. There are MVPs Mookie Betts and Cody Bellinger. Clayton Kershaw and Jansen obviously. Corey Seager would be the best player on a good number of teams right now. 

The win on Tuesday summed up that it’s about both the stars and the incredible organizational depth that Andrew Friedman and company have built. Nevermind how they have gotten guys like Chris Taylor, Max Muncy and even Justin Turner (though that pre-dated Friedman) for basically nothing. They build from every which way. They even sold Ross Stripling at the trade deadline to maintain the organizational depth that is their calling card. 

It was on display in Tuesday’s win in a big way. Top-shelf starter Walker Buehler couldn’t make it through the third (he has ongoing blister issues and though he insisted after the game they were fine, there’s photo evidence that says otherwise). For so many teams, losing one of its best pitchers in the third inning while trailing 5-1 would mean a loss. For the Dodgers, they just went to work. 

Victor Gonzalez, Dylan Floro, Adam Kolarek, Blake Treinen and Alex Wood combined to allow just one run on three hits in six innings of relief work, getting the ball to Jansen with a tie game in the ninth. Jansen was shaky and barely held on. 

Offensively, the Dodgers scored 10 runs, though Betts, Seager, A.J. Pollock, Bellinger and Muncy combined to go just 4 for 24 with six strikeouts. The star was Lux, who went 3 for 5 with a walk, two homers, five RBI and three runs. Edwin Rios — filling in for the injured Turner — had a two-RBI double. Taylor got on base three times and scored twice. 

That was a win not with star power, but with depth. They can do it either way, or sometimes they do it with both. 

The resurgent Kershaw starts next for the Dodgers, followed by rookie fireballer Dustin May. After that it’s Tony Gonsolin, and one who hasn’t been following the Dodgers much beyond their record might scoff. Gonsolin has a 0.76 ERA, 0.72 WHIP and 25 strikeouts against five walks in 23 2/3 innings this season. In 11 career starts, Gonsolin has a 1.92 ERA and 0.91 WHIP in 51 2/3 innings. They really do just roll them off an assembly line, don’t they? 

This is all happening with an injured Turner. It’s with Bellinger hitting .217/.301/.439. Enrique Hernandez has a 70 OPS+ (98 was his previous OPS+ for the Dodgers). Max Muncy is hitting .201. Big-time prospect Lux was capable of much more before Tuesday and maybe now he gets hot. Buehler has only managed 32 2/3 innings over seven starts. Stripling was bad in his seven starts before being shipped out. 

And yet, the Dodgers enter Wednesday leading the NL in homers while ranking second in runs and third in OPS.  They have the best ERA in the NL. 

They are 31-12, despite some underachievers. It’s a testament to both their star power and depth. 


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