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Dodgers buck up for life on the road

August 15, 2011 | 11:25 am

Brewers_640 And now the road beckons the Dodgers, though it’s not exactly the siren’s call. Like life hasn’t been difficult enough in the cozy confines of half-empty Dodger Stadium.

But beginning Monday in Milwaukee, the Dodgers will play 21 of their next 27 games on the road. Just keep the suitcases packed.

Games on the road actually haven’t been all that more challenging for the Dodgers than those at home; they get such little support at Dodger Stadium, maybe the home games are good training.

The Dodgers are 24-30 on the road and 31-34 at home.

"We’ve actually been pretty good on the road," said manager Don Mattingly. "We’ve been a pretty solid club everywhere we go, in terms of the consistency of our play. It should be a fun road trip, really."

Right, just oodles. The immediate 10-game trip starts with four in Milwaukee where the Brewers are a major-league best 44-15 at home. Then come three in Colorado, before three in St. Louis.

With the Dodgers still 12 games out in the National League West and the season down to its final seven weeks, the Boys in Blue are reduced to trying to get some pseudo pennant race feel by playing teams actually still in it.

"Playing in those situations kind of puts you in the pennant race," Mattingly said. "I think it’s good to play in that energized situation."

You know, big crowds, an excited populace, games that matter. Kinda like the old days.

By the time the Dodgers complete this 27-game swing, it will be mid-September with only one home stand remaining. Yeah, it’s getting down to it.

But aside from a spell in early July when the energy and edge seemed sapped from the Dodgers, they have mostly continued to play hard. Now they get to play for something, even if it’s in the role of spoiler. In September they have series against Atlanta, San Francisco (twice) and Arizona (twice).

When your season has headed south, you take your pleasures where you find them. Even when it starts on the road.

"We have a chance to play some clubs, good cities that are kind of energized," Mattingly said. "It should be a good chance to help a couple of clubs, help ourselves. Basically go in and kind of measure.

"Milwaukee’s playing so well. It’s a good measuring stick for our guys."

For the Dodgers, it’s the road ahead.


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-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Bernie Brewer poses with a fan at Miller Park on June 24. Credit: Scott Boehm / Getty Images