Dodgers Defeat Orioles in Series Opener, Secure 7th Straight NL West Title

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While fans knew it would happen eventually, the Dodgers made a seventh consecutive division crown a reality on Thursday evening after defeating the Orioles 7-3 in Baltimore.

Corey Seager went 2-for-5 with two long balls and five RBI, shouldering the bulk of the offensive workload for the Boys in Blue. Both homers came off old foe Ty Blach, who lasted just 2-1/3 innings in his fifth start of the year. The blasts were Seager’s 15th and 16th of the season.

The series opener also saw rookie Gavin Lux bust out of a previous 1-for-15 slump. The 21-year-old Wisconsin native went 3-for-4, including his first big league home run—a solo shot over the right field wall in the top of the fifth inning that put Los Angeles up by seven.

Pitching-wise, starter Walker Buehler was absolutely brilliant. The righty threw seven shutout innings, allowing just four hits and no walks while striking out 11 opposing batters.

The victory improved Buehler’s record to 13-3, tying him with Clayton Kershaw for most wins on the team. Buehler also secured another milestone, his first-career season of 200 or more punchouts.

Casey Sadler pitched the eighth inning, but was unable to preserve the team shutout after allowing three runs—two earned—on three hits and a walk. The big blow came on a long ball to center field by DJ Stewart, his first of the year.

Caleb Ferguson threw a perfect ninth with one strikeout to seal the victory.

Blach’s record fell to 1-3. The six earned runs he surrendered moved his season ERA to a miserable 12.00.

The Dodgers will play in the postseason for the 33rd time in franchise history—the 24th time in Los Angeles—and for the ninth time over the last 12 years. Los Angeles previously won division titles in 1974, 1977, 1978, 1981, 1983, 1985, 1988, 1995, 2004, 2008, 2009 and 2013-18. In franchise history, the club has won six World Series championships and 23 National League pennants.

Los Angeles is just the third-ever team to win seven or more consecutive division titles, joining the New York Yankees with nine (1998-2006) and the Atlanta Braves with 14 (1991-2005). With Tuesday’s clinching victory, Dave Roberts, the Dodgers’ manager since 2016, became the first skipper in MLB history to lead his team to division titles in his first four full seasons as a big league manager.

The biggest battle right now continues to be with the Braves for home field advantage throughout the NL playoffs. Atlanta’s loss to Philadelphia on Tuesday evening pushed the Braves back to four full games behind the Dodgers.

 

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38 thoughts on “Dodgers Defeat Orioles in Series Opener, Secure 7th Straight NL West Title

  1. I was glad to see Lux get those three hits tonight and, of course, his first homer. I really like what I’ve seen from him. Even when the hits weren’t coming, he never looked like he was pressing. Really looking forward to having him here for a full season next year. We’ll see what the next 16 games bring but I expect to see him on the post season roster.

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  2. Never gets old.

    14 in a row. 5 pennants. 1 World Series title. Who’s resume is that?

    Agree about Lux Dennis. When Muncy gets back I assume he goes to second base.

    Sadler might get some low leverage innings the rest of the way but he won’t likely be a post season pitcher. Can’t wait to see Hill pitch.

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  3. Yikes! Yelich fouled a ball off his knee tonight and fractured his kneecap. Naturally, he’s out for the rest of the year but I wonder how that might affect the rest of his career. That’s a shame, no matter how it plays out.

    Vazquez and Crick got into a fight in the Pirates clubhouse tonight and Crick fractured his finger. Out for the rest of the year. Apparently he hasn’t been the best citizen and neither has Kela who gave them problems earlier. What a mess! They need to get rid of Huntington and Hurdle and start over.

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      1. I believe that when the backbone is wounded beyond repair you need a new backbone. The Pirates are going nowhere. At this point it looks as though there will be four good teams in that division next season and then there will be the Pirates looking up at all of them. Changes need to be made. They are fighting amongst themselves in the clubhouse. I realize that Huntington is handicapped by some payroll restraints but they need to make some changes. And I say that as a totally neutral (with regard to the Pirates) Dodger fan. I can imagine how an actual Pirates fan is feeling right about now.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Not only did they ship out Cole and Cutch but they traded for Archer and that hasn’t worked out very well either. Then they had that year-long brawl with the Reds. They just seem to be out of control. I bet that if you asked the guys you work with they’d be ready for both Huntington and Hurdle to be replaced with new faces. They should grab Chaim Bloom of the Rays before someone else does. Look at what TB has accomplished with no fans, no payroll and having to play the Yanks and Sox umpteen times a year.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I don’t know much about Pittsburgh other than they were good for a few years and aren’t anymore. They will probably suffer what all non major market teams do – good for a few years then not good anymore. Wilbon thinks they are thugs.

        You know what would be cool – if Corey Seager could become the player he was 3 years ago. He’s had 483 plate appearances and is OPSn .792. That’s an OPS+ of 107, which is above average, but this guy OPSd .986 as a rookie and hasn’t really come close since. I know he’s been injured, but, he’s playing now. If he, Bellinger, Turner and Muncy could all come together at the same time…… wow. Would love to see it happen in October.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Not sure if we’ll see the Seager you describe any time this year but I’ll bet, barring further injury, that we see him again in 2020. He’s definitely shown flashes of what he was 3 years ago and he’s young enough to get back there again on a permanent basis.

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    1. Pretty sure he knew the answer to that Rich. If Vazquez is that bad of a clubhouse guy he has little to no chance of ever coming to LA. With Yelich out, the Brewers are a lot less scary. But they are still in the hunt for the second wild card spot. We gained a game on Atlanta, New York and Houston last night. Orel and Davis were singing praises for Roberts last night. They just could not say enough about his media skills. I did not get to see any of the club house celebration. On MLB.TV they shut down when the game is over. But they showed Roberts and the team sharing the moment with Muncy and Verdugo who are in Arizona working out. On a somber note, I pause today to remember the fallen from 18 years ago today. RIP to all the tower, Pentagon and victims on flight 93.

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    2. That was Stan Kasten and Atlanta Rich.

      Celebrating in Baltimore after swallowing an olive at home against our rivals seems … searching for the word here…. how about picayune. It’s the seventh in a row, you should have done it at home in front of your own fans and you blew it. Yeah, I know, it’s no small thing, but whoopin’ and hollerin’, and celebrating with champagne like you actually won what it is you set out to win is just self centered and looks silly. You were expected to win the Division and you won it with 16 games to spare. We’ve seen 7 straight. Getting to the playoffs is cool, but not champagne cool. We’ve now been to the playoffs 13 times since our last championship. Many of you weren’t even born the last time we fans celebrated a championship. How about you just put the bubbly on ice, shake hands, slap each other on the back and finish the f’n job.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Orel and Davis explained why they do that at every step of the way. Some of those guys have never experienced that. Some never will again. For guys like Negron and some of the rookies, this is a taste of what it is like. To us, it may look frivolous and unneeded. But Kershaw says it is part of what the organization is now. They want those players to taste those fruits of victory. I concur.

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      1. That is your privilege Scoop and you know I have the utmost respect for you. Today’s lineup….Pollock LF, Freese 1B., Taylor RF, Bellinger CF, Hernandez 2B, Seager SS, Smith DH, Gyorko 3B, Barnes C. Stripling P.

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    1. It’s the Dodgers. It is what they do now. Lefty pitching and DR gives Lux a day off. Game is unimportant except for getting players reps. As far as that goes,, Bellinger should get a blow as should Smith. Both are in extended slumps. Dick Mountain gets the start tomorrow. Braves won so they carve a game off of our lead as team with the most wins in the NL. DR did learn a valuable lesson in tonight’s game, do not pitch Ferguson in back to back games.

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      1. Doc did Fergie a huge favor and put him into the record books. Villar’s homer off of him set the record for most home runs ever hit in a MLB season. Congratulations to all who were involved.

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  4. You said you were going to tonight’s game Dennis. I hope you didn’t pay for your tickets. If so, I suggest you ask for a refund. If ever a team was going to come out flat, this would have been the night. The game after the clincher and playing the second worst team in baseball. And just think, you were there to see it!

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  5. That sucked.

    I take it you disagree with my Kasten take Bear. 14 Division titles. We are half way to that. Sure hope we close the deal. I think we can if all the first teamers are healthy. We had a few 0fers from the varsity tonight. And this against a team that will lose well over 100 this year. When we’re bad we’re awful.

    The bullpen will cost us something in the post season, I think we can count on that. But if the middle of our lineup doesn’t pull it together and get hot again…….. Atlanta will catch us, and that could be just the beginning.

    I find it curious we have a bullpen game the day before Hill is supposed to start. Roberts said he would make 4 starts before the playoffs begin. 4 starts? There’s 15 to go. Basically 2 weeks. 4 starts in two weeks? He threw 2 innings in a simulated game last week. Is he ready to go 6?

    What is the plan here? No Muncy, Seager hitting .194 for Sept/Oct, Bellinger in a slump, Turner out, the rest of the lineup kinda up and down, Ryu stumbling, Kershaw with a BAA of .389 in Sept/Oct…….. at what point does that Dodger team that was playing .700 ball and thumping everyone show up again?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No Scoop, I agree with you about the comparison to the Braves with Kasten. That was about the celebration taking place after they clinched. He is the thing about those Brave’s teams. In the first 5 years of that run, they went to the Series 4 times, winning 1 and losing the other 3. The other time in that 5 year run, they lost in the NLCS. From 1997 to 2005, the last year of the run, they went to the NLCS 3 times and LDS 5 and 1 WS and lost them all. 9 years in a row they missed the big prize and did not make it to the WS the last 6 years of that run. Kind of like Brooklyn in the 50’s. They just could not beat the Yankees. The last 4 years of that they never got out of the LDS. Here is another kicker, the first 3 years of that run, they were in the NL West. So the first shot they got as East winner, they won the Series. The year before they started their run, they were in last place. So Kasten had a leg up on that when he got here. Different circumstances at least. He inherited a pretty good team in LA not the sad sack Braves of 1990.

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      1. Yeah, I read all that too. Counting what he’s done here, that’s like 20 years of winning baseball teams, but only 1 championship. If you add what he did for the Nationals, Thrashers and Hawks, he’s got 30 years of winning with multiple franchises but only that 1 championship. Perhaps I’m being too critical here, or over analyzing, but I do find it interesting. He builds franchises, making a lot of money, but not wearing many rings.

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      2. Well Jeff, not sure anyone would see it that way. You have to get there first before you can even compete. His Braves got the a lot and lost 5 of the 6 they were in. But just look at the teams who have never been and those who have not been back in many years. Dodgers streak is small compared to what the Giants, Indians, and Cubs have had to endure. From 54 to 2010, the Giants went 3 times in 56 years and lost them all. Indians have not won since 1948. Colorado, Padres, have never won, and it is a lot harder to get there now. Although I would love to see them win another before my time is over, I am glad I was around to see 6.

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      3. And that is the point… or is it?

        Maybe the goal isn’t necessarily building a championship team, it’s building a brand. Kasten’s record is that of a businessman. Franchises can most assuredly increase in value without winning a championship. Winning in general puts butts in seats and increases tv revenues. That’s basically what branding is – developing sound strategies and compelling concepts in order to get return on design investment. Championships obviously help in that goal, but clearly aren’t necessary.

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  6. Gee, that went well. 2 innings? How about 2/3 innings. 27 pitches to get 2 outs.

    I guess if you’re going to take risks it’s best to do it against the weakest club remaining on your schedule.

    2 bullpen games in a row. Who does this?

    I saw a new thread, commented on it, and it all disappeared. Waddup with that?

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  7. He had the same problem earlier in the year prior to his forearm problem. I doubt he is going to make the post season roster unless it is as a lefty specialist. I see no way that they can stretch him out before that unless he goes back to AZ and pitches there over the next 2 weeks.

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    1. I had him in the bullpen anyway. Maybe he can still make the roster in that role.

      And in the 6th we see why the Orioles have the record they do. This is bad baseball team.

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