Dodgers Playing for Spot in Regular-Season History Books

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(Photo: Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports)

While Sunday’s regular-season finale in San Francisco certainly doesn’t have any bearing on what happens in the upcoming NLDS, a victory could cement the 2019 Dodgers in the franchise history books as the squad with the most regular-season wins ever.

Currently, the Dodgers’ 105 wins are tied with the 1953 Brooklyn club for the most victories in franchise history. If you’re familiar with the works of this site, you’ll know the 1953 team is one of those squads we often refer to when looking back on the rich history of the franchise.

In comparison, both the present-day team and the 1953 squad were strikingly similar in the sense that they were offensive powerhouses. Players like Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale were not yet part of the team, but the offensive firepower on the 1953 squad that fronted the Brooklyn attack was unparalleled at the time.

Like several other marks in the MLB history books, though, the 1953 Dodgers could ultimately have an asterisk beside their name because they tallied their 105 wins in only 154 games played. Furthermore, five players from that special squad would eventually be enshrined in the MLB Hall of Fame.

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Carl Furillo slashed a phenomenal .344/.393/.580, while adding 21 long balls, 38 doubles and 92 RBI in what was arguably the benchmark campaign of his career. Roy Campanella hit an impressive .312/.395/.611, but most notably tallied 41 home runs, 142 RBI and 103 runs scored. Incredibly, Duke Snider outdid Campanella in the OPS department, posting an insane mark of 1.046. Finishing third in the NL MVP voting behind Campy and Eddie Mathews of the Milwaukee Braves, the Duke ended up hitting .336/.419/.627 with 42 bombs, 38 doubles, 126 RBI and 132 runs scored.

And, keep in mind, this is when many pundits put runs scored and RBI at the top of the statistical hierarchy.

Not to be outdone were Hodges and Robinson, who registered slash lines of .302/.393/.550 and .329/.425/.502, respectively. Hodges added 31 jacks and drove in 122 baserunners while scoring 101 runs of his own.

The 2019 Dodgers don’t have any players who hit for average like the 1953 crew, but they definitely have the sluggers who racked up the power numbers. Similar to Snider, Cody Bellinger leads the team with a 1.033 OPS. Bellinger’s 47 long balls are just two behind the franchise record of 49, a mark set by Shawn Green back in 2001.

Surprisingly, while the 1953 team had exactly three players who jacked 35 or more bombs, so does the 2019 crew, as made evident by Joc Pederson‘s 36 homers and Max Muncy‘s 35. In total the 2019 Dodgers have a whopping 11 players who tallied long balls in the double digits while the 1953 team had just eight.

For all of their regular-season accolades, however, perhaps the biggest disappointment back in 1953 was that the team failed to handle the Yankees in their quest for Brooklyn’s first championship. Consequently, they would wait until the 1955 season to hoist the World Series trophy.

Let’s just hope the 2019 crew fares much better in the playoffs. Considering the final outcomes of the past two years, anything less than a World Series title will probably be considered as disappointing by many.

 

34 thoughts on “Dodgers Playing for Spot in Regular-Season History Books

  1. What a year! 12 more wins to be crowned the greatest Dodger team ever and we got to “watch” it, at least on my iPad! And to start it off against the midgets at Oracle Park. Doesn’t get any sweeter! Dennis yesterday you left Urias off your 2020 pitching staff. Was that intentional?

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  2. Nice re-cap of some history there Dennis. A little deeper look reveals that this team scored 955 runs and allowed, 689. A run differential of 266 to the plus side. They had the rookie of the year, Jr. Gilliam who was second on the team with 125 runs scored. They had 6 players score 100 runs. 5 starters were in their 30’s. Snider and Gilliam were the youngest starters on the team at 26 and 24 respectively. Pitching wise, they were without their ace, Don Newcombe, who was in the Army that year. Carl Erskine was the ace that year posting a 20-6 record and also had 3 saves. Russ Meyer was 15-5, Loes was 14-8, Preacher Roe was 11-3 and Podres posted a 9-4 mark. Labine had 11 wins and 7 saves out of the pen and Jim Hughes won 4 and had 9 saves. Bob Milliken added 8 wins and 2 saves in the pen. Wade had 3 saves and 7 wins and Joe Black won 6 and saved 5. His ERA was over 5. So Brooklyn pretty much bludgeoned the opposition. Huge difference in style of play and thought process, the Dodger staff had 51 complete games. The biggest difference to me though is the bench. They had one player with double digit homers off of the bench, Wayne Belardi. This teams bench is way more potent. They did have 2 pitchers hit homers that year, Ben Wade, and Preacher Roe, much like Ryu, his his only major league home. Newcombe would come back in 54, and Roe was relegated to being a spot starter. He was 38 in 54.

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  3. Outstanding performance by Ryu yesterday. He was definitely on his game. RBI single scored the first run and Muncy’s blast did the rest. Nice job by Kenley getting out of a 2 on no out jam. Turner is out for today’s final with lower back stiffness. Roberts said he should be ready for game 1 of the division series on Thursday. Your preference for an opponent, DC, or Milwaukee?????

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  4. Brewers are more banged up. DC probably will throw their best at them, meaning Scherzer of Strasburg. Brewers starters no where near as lethal as DC’s, so I believe you will get your wish. Personally. If St Louis loses and Milwaukee wins, they would be in a tie, not sure who own’s the tiebreaker there.

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    1. I think you may be right. With both leading 2-0 at this point right now the point may be moot and the Cards finish 1 game ahead and Milwaukee heads to DC. Hill a very good two innings today. Smitty with a dinger. Seager a bases clearing league leading 44th double. 106 looking beery beery good!

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  5. Correct Keith. They would have played a one-game playoff tomorrow but the Cards are leading the Cubs 8-0 in the 4th so the odds are that it will be the Nats and Brewers on Tuesday in the Wildcard. I’d like to see the Brewers come out of that because they are pretty banged up as Bear mentioned. I would also rather face their starters than Washington’s. So here’s hoping the Brewers can surprise in the Wildcard and that we eliminate them in the DS.

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  6. Pirates just fired Hurdle. Instead of bloody Monday, Sunday is not being kind to managers. I would not be at all surprised to see Kapler gone by the end of the day also. Brewers still up 2-0, but Cardinals are crushing the listless Cubs 9-0. So looks like DC and Milwaukee will meet in the wild card,

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  7. Joe Maddon and Clint Hurdle fired. That’s very shocking especially Maddon. We all know how much Andy loves Maddon this might get interesting. How can you get rid of Doc after a 105+ win season though?

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    1. No way Maddon is the Dodger manager next year. He’ll have his chance at a number of jobs: Padres, Pirates, Giants, Royals and very possibly the Phils and Mets will be looking. My prediction is the Mets.

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    2. Roberts just signed an extension. No way he gets let go. No shock about Maddon. Cubs just did not respond this year, clubhouse had some bad vibes, injuries to major pieces. But he did what no Cubs manager had done in over 100 years in winning a World Series. If for nothing else, that holds a high place with Cubs fans. Roberts is not the best strategist, but the guy communicates with his players as good as any body in the business and most of all, he is well respected in his clubhouse and his team plays hard for him. Last year was rougher than this year. This team is much like the 2017 squad. Ok guys, who gets the Cy Young, and MVP awards?

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      1. And that’s exactly why Theo got rid of Maddon. He didn’t go along with everything Theo came up with. Maddon, possibly deservedly so, has a rather large ego. Not every GM will jump to hire him. That’s why I think he’s a good fit with the Mets. BVW wouldn’t have a problem with his personality.

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      1. Semantics – Theo didn’t want him back. His contract was up. He agreed to leave instead of staging a sit in at Wrigley while waiting to be arrested.

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  8. Maddon is a fit anywhere. I hope it’s not in the West.

    Washington is 9-1 with 8 in a row. I don’t want to play those guys, but I suspect we will.

    Great year. Congratulations to the Dodgers. Now finish October with a W.

    Rams look like crap today.

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      1. I can’t control the schedule. I don’t worry about stuff like that. They have a winning record against all of the playoff teams except St Louis. 4 wins each against Atl, Mil, DC. 3 against the Cardinals. The 3 wins against the Cardinals all came at home. They have home field through out the NL playoffs. Cardinals have to play Atl. We get the wild card winner, probably DC. Scherzer is starting that game, which means he can’t pitch against LA until at least game 3. The Dodgers had their best month in September, Seager, Bellinger and Muncy all starting to come out of slumps. Maybe this is finally the year. This team better than the 2017 team with men in scoring position, they have less K’s than that team and a more diverse offense. They set a NL team record for homers. They have been proving us wrong all year, so as I used to say a lot, don’t sweat the small shit.

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  9. I don’t sweat much of anything these days Bear. Certainly not the small stuff. Just stating facts. And the fact is, we haven’t faced starting pitching like the Nationals have for the entire month of September. We’ve been facing junior varsity pitching for several games. I think the plan with these guys is to weather the first 6 innings, see a lot of pitches and get to the bullpen.

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    1. Hey I get it, but the Nats were not facing an offense like the Dodgers have nor that kind of pitching. Like it or not, they led the NL in pitching and finished on a high note, exactly what you want going into the playoffs. And the Dodgers have beaten a lot of good pitchers this year, including some of Atlanta’s best and DC’s also. We all know the playoffs are a crap shoot. Anything can happen. Dodgers seem to have more trouble with pitchers that they have never seen.

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