Originally posted on dodgerfan.net  |  Last updated 5/20/12

Despite an up and down pitching performance by Chad Billingsley (mostly down), the Dodgers managed to squeak by the Cardinals io6-5 in the Sunday evening nightcap on ESPN in thrilling fashion.

The big moment in the game came in the bottom of the seventh, when 25 year-old rookie outfielder Scott Van Slyke powered a three run home run to left field to give the Dodgers a 6-5 lead. The bullpen then came through in exemplary fashion, with Javy Guerra, Josh Lindbloom and Kenley Jansen combining for a perfect seventh, eighth and ninth innings.

But what’s really remarkable is the performance of the young Dodgers that are stepping up for the injured Matt Kemp, Juan Rivera, Jerry Hairston, Jr., Mark Ellis and Juan Uribe. Take a look at the following stats for the time they’ve been in LA this year:

Elian Herrera: Batting .385 with a .429 OBP (he also went three for four today)

Jerry Sands: Batting .250

Justin Sellers: Batting .171 with one HR and one RBI

Scott Van Slyke: Hitting .333 with one HR and six RBI

It’s one thing for the Dodgers to continue to win an MLB-best 28 games, but it’s quite another to do it with so many starters out for an extended period of time.  Herrera has probably been the most surprising so far, but as long as he continues to get on base ahead of NL RBI leader Andre Ethier, the Dodgers will be in good shape.

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