Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  By JOE McDONNELL  |  Last updated 8/29/13
LOS ANGELES On June 21, the Dodgers were an injury-ravaged ballclub, floundering toward the abyss with a 30-42 record. The team had a payroll of over 200 million and a turnaround seemed impossible or at least improbable. The team that was chosen by many pundits to represent the National League in the World Series was in danger of playing out the string for the entire second half of the season. While manager Don Mattingly was being skewered by fans and media alike even by his own front office, which told him that if things didn't change in a hurry, he'd likely be out of a job by the All Star break things were about to change. Not in a hurry, but a change that would see them dominate baseball like few teams ever had. From that dark day in June until until August 27, the Dodgers put together one of the most impressive streaks in the history of pro sports, going 48-12 and taking control of the NL West. They are currently tied for second in the National League with 78 wins and are just two games behind the Braves and Red Sox for the best overall record in baseball. How did it happen? Well, Yasiel Puig came up from Double A Chattanooga and began destroying big league pitching. Great starting pitching led by Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke was a huge factor, as well as Kenley Jansen taking over from Brandon League and becoming one of baseball's top closers. There was lots of credit to go around, yet the one name you rarely heard praised was that of Mattingly. In his third year guiding the Dodgers, the former Yankee great stood strong against the hourly criticism and speculation even after being told that he might be dismissed in a couple of days and made the moves that turned the team around. "I always believed that we had enough to be a really good team," Mattingly said, "even when we were playing bad baseball. There was too much talent here not to make a run. But the big question was, would everyone heal quickly enough to give us enough time to do it? Except for Matt Kemp, we did, and now we just have to be patient with Matt and see how much he'll be able to give us in the last month and hopefully the playoffs." In the Joe McDonnell Podcast (click here to listen) Mattingly talks about the job he's done, his feelings about still not being offered a contract extension and how he feels about the Dodgers' chances to bring home their first World Championship since 1988.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Oregon headed to first Final Four in 78 years as Jordan Bell & Tyler Dorsey dominate Kansas

This is the Gonzaga we’ve been waiting for

Jets won’t rule out selecting another QB in 2017 NFL Draft

Rougned Odor threw a cup of water into Felix Hernandez’s face on the field

Michael Irvin rips Texans for not trading for Tony Romo

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Richard Sherman on trade talk: ‘I just laugh it off, man’

Grumpy writer complains about 'SI for Kids' reporter

Report: Archie Miller closing in on seven-year deal to coach Indiana

Alex Rodriguez said he 'made an ass of' himself denying PED allegations

LaVar Ball finally got what he deserved

Adrian Peterson makes statement, says it is ‘not all about the money’

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Box Score 3/24: Waiting on West Virginia

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

With Team USA's victory, World Baseball Classic (finally) lived up to its potential

The NFL distraction playbook

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Lingering issues for each 2016 MLB postseason team

Box Score 3/23: Team USA wins their first WBC title

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

The NFL distraction playbook

With Team USA's victory the WBC (finally) lived up to its potential

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Steph Curry pushes OKC's buttons

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker