The Dodgers lost tonight for the first time in nearly three weeks, stopping their win streak at 11 and dropping them to 31-5 in their past 36 games. Their streak was tied for the longest such one in baseball this year. (The Astros put up the same mark in early June.)
L.A. fell behind Atlanta early on Thursday evening, with starting pitcher Brandon McCarthy giving up two runs in the first. He was pulled after four innings, which was enough time for him to give up nine hits and allow the Braves to build a 6-1 lead. The Dodgers managed to keep things somewhat interesting with a two-run home run by Yasmani Grandal in the sixth, but they ultimately fell, 6-3.
The Dodgers’ past six weeks have been one of baseball’s best such stretches in decades; no other team has won 30 out of 34 games since the 1977 Royals, and no team has done it in the NL since the 1936 New York Giants. Over the past 30 days entering Thursday’s game, L.A. had baseball’s best pitching—with a team ERA of 2.02 and FIP of 2.60, plus a double-digit strikeout average per game and the lowest home run rate in baseball—and second-best offense. (Yeah, it’s hard for anyone to hold a candle to the Astros there.)
They were never going to be able to sustain this pace forever, but there’s no reason to believe that they can’t continue to keep it pretty damn close. Tonight’s loss, then, might very well be just be a breath before the next streak.