Since June 22nd, the Los Angeles Dodgers have won 40 games against only 8 losses. That’s a winning percentage of 0.833. As my kids would say, “That’s Sick!” meaning, unbelievably unreal. The victory over the Mets Wednesday, August 14th gave the Dodgers a 40-8 record since June 22nd, the best 48-game performance since the 1942 St. Louis Cardinals went 41-7. Local television ratings for the Dodgers are up across the board for the season, and ESPN is moving Dodger games into prime time.
This is the definition of buzz.
“The buzz all starts with the success on the field,” said Lon Rosen, the Dodgers’ chief marketing officer. “Without the success on the field, I don’t think we get all the buzz.” “The magic has happened again,” the Dodgers’ fabled 85-year old announcer Vin Scully excitedly proclaimed to his listeners as the Dodgers stormed back from trailing four-nothing to win in the Twelfth inning on Wednesday night.
When the hot streak started, Los Angeles was 30-42 and 9.5 games behind the leaders in the NL West. Today, the team boasts a 71-50 record and sits 7.5 games ahead of the Arizona Diamondbacks in the division. To cap it off, the Dodgers have missed the playoffs for the last three years and haven’t been in the World Series since winning it in 1988. Now, they’re the favorite to win it all.
A hot streak is one of the more incredible phenomena in all of sports. They’re uncanny, usually unpredictable, and always unmanageable, meaning you can’t schedule a hot streak, you don’t know when it’s going to end, nor can you see one coming — “it just happens.” Or does it?
Since winning breads winning, it is paramount to feed the fuel of a hot streak when one is underway. But how do you start one? How do you keep it going? How do you get out of the rut of playing “Five-Hundred” (.500) baseball – winning and losing; winning and losing; winning and then losing again? Playing .500 baseball is like living an inconsistent, up and down, day-in and day-out life.
As for the Dodgers, one opposing manager said “They’re playing great defense, they’re pitching like crazy and they’re coming up with big hits. And you don’t have to play much better if you’re doing all those things.” So that’s the recipe: play great defense, pitch like crazy, and come up with big hits.
So get on a hot streak. First, play great defense: guard yourself against ugliness of heart and unpleasantness of mind; bitterness of soul and barrenness of spirit; selfishness and spitefulness, offensiveness and repulsiveness. All of these and many more are “works of the flesh.” Guard, defend, and prevent these hindrances to a hot streak.
Second, pitch like crazy. In other words, give everything your best shot. Stop living an average life. Allow the fruit of the Spirit to grow and saturate each and every area of your life. Third, come up with big hits. How, you ask? Focus on every moment. Each at bat in a game is an opportunity and each day of our lives is another chance to do something timely and significant.
So get on a hot streak. Do all of the things you know to do, continue to do them, and the hot streak will come to you.