After the Dodgers lead dwindled down to 1.5 games at the beginning of the week, it is now back up to a full four games. The magic number for an eighth consecutive National League West Division title is down to five with only nine games to play. On Wednesday, the Dodgers became the first team to clinch a playoff berth. The season has breezed by as we all expected a 60-game season to be. As we enter the final week of the season, it would have been exciting to watch this Dodger team over a full 162-game season. But, at least the front office secured Mookie Betts for the next dozen years, which I’d believe 99 percent of Dodger fans would be content with.
The Dodgers took the opening game of a four-game series against the Colorado Rockies on Thursday. This is the first and only trip the Dodgers will make to Colorado. The win was propelled by a six-run seventh inning. After the Dodgers found themselves down 2-0 early, they tied up the game 2-2 on a pair of RBI by Corey Seager and Kike Hernandez. The score would remain tied until the seventh inning when a Betts RBI single broke the tie and a couple of RBI doubles by Seager and Will Smith would lead the Dodgers to a 9-3 win.
Julio Urias had a nice outing, as he looks to cement his playoff rotation spot. Urias pitched 5.2 innings, only allowing two runs. Considering the game was played at Coors Field, it was a pretty nice outing. Urias had previously struggled with pitching deeper into his starts, often running into traffic jams early on the bases. But this time out, he only allowed three hits and didn’t issue any walks.
September has been a nice month for Urias, as he’s pitched six innings twice and nearly did it again Thursday. Out of four starts in November, he’s allowed only one run twice and two runs Thursday. His worst start was at home against the Rockies when he gave up four runs. Perhaps a second time around against the Rockies helped Urias. As it appears now, depending on injuries, Urias could be that third or fourth starter in the Dodgers playoff rotation.
Dodger manager Dave Roberts still has about a week to figure out his playoff rotation and playoff roster. Once those are selected, the Dodgers will travel to Texas for the postseason bubble. I’m sure Dodger fans always envisioned the Dodgers holding up a World Series trophy at Dodger Stadium. But, if they manage to win for the first time since 1988, they will list the trophy in Arlington, Texas at Globe Life Park. However, if they manage to win the World Series, they can lift that trophy in Antarctica and it wouldn’t matter to any lifelong Dodger fan.
The Dodgers will look to bring down their magic number to four on Friday night. It will be the second game of the four-game series. The Dodgers will face right-handed pitcher Ryan Castellani, who pitched once this season against the Dodgers going 4.1 innings and allowing four runs.
Alex Wood will start for the Dodgers tonight, as he was announced this morning. This is Wood’s second start of the season with his last coming in the opening season series against the Giants. Since going down with an injury in that start, he’s pitched strictly out the bullpen in September, only allowing one earned run in that time frame.
With Wood starting tonight, it appears this will be another bullpen game for the Dodgers, which will be the third bullpen game in six days.
First pitch is set for 5:10 p.m. Pacific time.