A sixth consecutive division title is still indeed within the grasp of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
After all the dust settled on the 162nd game of the regular season on Sunday, the Dodgers handed the Giants a 15-0 pummeling in San Francisco, while the Rockies crushed the Nationals 12-0 in Denver, forcing a one-game playoff in Los Angeles on Monday to determine the eventual 2018 NL West champions.
The Dodgers jumped out to an early two-run lead in the first inning and two innings later tacked on seven more runs to put the game out of reach early. Matt Kemp and Enrique Hernandez led the Los Angeles offensive charge with three hits apiece. Kemp hammered two doubles to give him 25 on the season while also elevating his RBI total to 85 and his season average to .290. Hernandez poked two singles and a triple, scoring twice and driving in two.
Austin Barnes, Max Muncy and Brian Dozier all homered for the Dodgers in the 15-run shutout. Muncy’s two-run shot in the fifth inning was his 34th of the season.
Manny Machado and David Freese added two hits apiece, while Justin Turner and Chris Taylor managed to scored two runs each.
Perhaps overshadowed by the offensive surge was the performance of starting pitcher Rich Hill. The veteran southpaw threw seven scoreless innings and struck out seven batters while allowing just two hits. He did not walk a batter.
JT Chargois tossed a hitless eighth inning and Julio Urias pitched a flawless ninth to cap an otherwise perfect afternoon for Los Angeles.
The three weekend victories produced the Dodgers’ first series sweep in San Francisco since 2014.
Monday will mark the fourth division-tiebreaker in Los Angeles history. First pitch is scheduled for 1:09 p.m. Pacific time.
2 thoughts on “Dodgers Handle Giants, Force Divisional Playoff with Rockies”
Among all the great things that happened in the game today, the one which got me the most excited was seeing Urias have his third straight terrific appearance. In his last three outings he has faced 13 batters – 7 strike outs and a single. I don’t know how management feels about beginning 2019 with him in the starting rotation. They may feel they need to limit his innings at the beginning of the year, but a rotation with Buehler and an all-the-way-back Urias at the top makes the uncertainty of Kershaw (both contract and performance wise) much easier to handle. Does Urias make the post season roster? I guess that all depends on how many days they think he requires between appearances.
They won’t pitch him in the postseason. All his appearances have been extremely low leverage. But there’s no reason to think he wouldn’t be ready to make the Opening Day rotation next year. I think the Dodgers will probably get one of either Kersh or Ryu to return.