A group of Dodgers celebrating one of their 104 wins during this regular season. Photo courtesy of fanragsports.com
LOS ANGELES DODGERS – 2017 BY THE NUMBERS:
Final Record: 104-58, National League West Division Champions for the fifth straight year, 11 games in front of the Arizona Diamondbacks
* Most wins in Los Angeles Dodger history
* Second most wins in franchise history – only the 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers, with 105 wins, have more.
* Best record in Major League Baseball, will have home field advantage for the duration of the postseason, including the World Series (should they qualify)
Longest Winning Streak: TEN, June 16-25
Longest Losing Streak: ELEVEN, September 2-12
Next Game: National League Division Series, Game 1, vs either the Diamondbacks or the Colorado Rockies, Friday, October 6th at Dodger Stadium
Justin Turner, 3B – .322 average (tied for 2nd in the NL), 21 HR, 71 RBI
Cody Bellinger, OF/1B – .267 average, 39 HR (NL single season rookie record), 97 RBI
Yasiel Puig, RF – .263 average, 28 HR, 74 RBI
Corey Seager, SS – .295 average, 22 HR, 77 RBI, 159 hits
Chris Taylor, OF/2B – .288 average, 21, HR, 72 RBI
Clayton Kershaw: 18-4 (most wins in NL, tied for most wins in MLB), 2.31 ERA, 202 strikeouts (7th straight year over 200 K’s, breaking Dodger record)
Alex Wood: 16-3, 2.72 ERA, 151 strikeouts
Rich Hill: 12-8, 3.32 ERA, 166 strikeouts
Kenta Maeda: 13-6, 4.22 ERA
Kenley Jansen (closer): 5-0, 1.32 ERA, 109 strikeouts vs SEVEN walks, 41 saves (tied for 1st in NL, 2nd in MLB)
Highlights from the first half of the Dodgers’ spectacular season. Courtesy of YouTube.
If there are any baseball fans, even fans of the rival San Francisco Giants, who don’t believe that the Dodgers had a great regular season, one for the ages;
I would very much like to meet him or her.
How can anyone dispute their 104 wins, including a stretch of 16 wins in 17 games and 26 wins in 30 games mid-season?
How can anyone dispute the contributions of a young kid who spent the first month of the season in Triple-A ball, then upon getting called up in late April broke the National League record for most home runs by a rookie?
How can anyone dispute the fact that their pitching staff – and not just Clayton Kershaw either – were lights out more or less all season?
Including their relievers – and not just Kenley Jansen?
And how can anyone dispute their performance at the plate, which included no less than seven guys hitting at least 20 doubles?
All Right, Here’s The Inevitable Question:
How Do I See These Dodgers’ Chances Of Appearing In The World Series For The First Tine In 29 Years Over These Next Few Weeks?
One thing’s for certain:
I’m glad that the Dodgers finished the season well, winning eight of their final ten games.
Because to be honest, I was a little panicky during that long losing skid.
Any Dodger fan who wasn’t is kidding themselves as while I can’t speak for anyone else, visions of the greatest collapse in sports history was dancing in my head during those dark days.
A friend told me that he was glad that the team got that bad patch out-of-the-way when they did; better in early September than in the playoffs.
As for how I see those Dodgers’ chances…
While I do see them as having a good shot at postseason glory, Dave Roberts and the rest of those guys in blue need to keep this in mind:
Those L.A. record, MLB leading, home field advantage-earning 104 wins will mean ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to me – and I’m sure the bulk of the Dodger fan base,
Unless they are pouring champagne on each other’s heads around Halloween time and are parading in downtown Los Angeles with the Commissioner’s Trophy – the trophy with all those flags sticking up – in hand.
It will not be an easy, coronation-style romp, however.
The two teams that will play for the right to meet the Dodgers in the Division Series, the Rockies and the D-Backs, are very good clubs that have shown that they can beat L.A, their sweeps of them earlier in September being clear proof of that.
If those Dodgers get past those Rockies and D-Backs, waiting for them will either be a Washington Nationals team that obliterated the National League East the same way that the Dodgers obliterated the West, complete with lights-out pitching and led at the plate by a very confident super-stud, Bryce Harper,
Or a defending champion Chicago Cubs team that’s seeking to add to their fans’ happiness by being the first National League team to win back-to-back World Series since the Cincinnati Reds did in 1975 and ’76.
And if they get past those teams to win the pennant, there are two 100-win teams in the American League, the Houston Astros and a Cleveland Indians team whose 22 consecutive wins broke a record set by the Oakland A’s in 2001, that could well be waiting for them.
BOTTOM LINE: If the Dodgers do succeed at obtaining postseason glory, it will be extremely well-earned.
They must bring their A-plus game.
And I’m fairly confident that they will.
I certainly hope they do.
Though it’s not nearly as long a wait as the 108 years that the Cubs’ fans had to go through, it’s been a long enough wait.
A group of standout Dodgers at this year’s All-Star Game in Miami. Photo courtesy of dodgersphotoblog.mlbblogs.com