By Bruce Levine–

CHICAGO (CBS) — The Chicago Cubs are proving that as a team, you don’t need to be the best on paper to win — just the best that day. In at least a mild surprise 69 games into their season, the Cubs have the third-best record in the National League at 39-30 and are tied for the fifth-best record in all of baseball.

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Chicago’s nine games over .500 for the first time this season after another walk-off win in extra innings Tuesday night, a 1-0 win in 10 innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Cubs’ 39-30 record is their best start since 2008 season, and they’ve beaten Clayton Kershaw and stayed even through six innings with Zack Greinke on successive nights.

Chicago has also moved ahead of Los Angeles with the back-to-back wins.

For the MLB-leading ninth time, the Cubs walked off with a win on Tuesday evening, this time on Chris Denorfia’s sacrifice fly with the bases loaded and one out in the 10th.

“The thing we have been harping on since spring training is, ‘play nine innings hard every night,'” manager Joe Maddon said. “We just had to convince a lot of our guys the best way to do it. This just doesn’t happen. You have to take things. Nobody gives you anything. You have got to take things. We were engaged in everything both nights and played in the present tense.”

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Maddon’s men shut down the Dodgers offense on two straight nights, allowing just a combined two runs in 19 innings.

“We all know what we are playing for and how to get there,” Denorfia said. “I think you saw the last couple of days just what we are capable of — pitching awesome, playing good defense and getting some timely hits.”

The pitching prowess Tuesday was supplied by starter Jason Hammel, who threw 7 2/3 innings of two-hit, no-run ball.

“We just don’t quit,” Hammel coming out of the game with two on and two out in the eighth inning. “We have 25 men on this team that are going to make some type of impression on a game. It may be one at-bat, one swing, one throw. These guys are ready to play. It’s all hands on deck right now. It has been like that for three months, and it is not going to change.”

The Cubs have won four straight games, and their pitchers have allowed just three runs in their last 39 innings, dating back to Friday. The staff has eight shutouts in 2015.

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Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score and CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.