All the big news across the baseball blogosphere on Tuesday night surrounded the Dodgers and their eighth straight National League West division title. And, although it doesn’t really mean much in the eyes of many, the win also secured Los Angeles as the No. 1 seed throughout the NL playoffs.
According to most reports, things were mostly business as usual in the clubhouse after the game, as the MLB has apparently discouraged any types of excessive celebrations. Indeed, the Dodgers are no strangers to such a scenario and are unlikely to get caught up in such commotion, anyway. While the squad will definitely be prioritizing just one game at a time come playoff time, a lot of the thinking among the fan base is that anything short of a World Series Championship will be disappointing.
Regardless, skipper Dave Roberts was still able to harness what it means for the team to secure another division title.
“It’s something that a lot of people expect but it should never be taken for granted because as you can see every year there’s a different champion in divisions,” Roberts said Tuesday night. “The consistency we put forth every year is a credit to the entire organization.”
As stated by Roberts, some players on the club did not realize the team was so close to clinching the NL West title.
“Truth be told, there were some guys tonight who didn’t even know we had a chance to clinch,” Roberts said. “I think we were pretty responsible, but I let it be known that this needs to be appreciated because this is not easy.”
Infielder Justin Turner, who was initially in the lineup against Oakland on Tuesday, was scratched late because of discomfort in his hamstring. The initial plan was to get him back on the field at third base.
“There was just a cramp in his hamstring,” Roberts said. “As he went through his pregame, he felt good then something kind of tightened up. As I understand it, I just talked to Justin briefly a few minutes ago and he says he wants to be in there tomorrow. I’ll have to see how his hamstring responds tomorrow. But when the player says he wants to be in there, that’s a good thing.”
The veteran has served as the designated hitter during each of his five starts since returning from the injured list on September 15, hitting .389 (7-for-18) with three walks over that span.
According to Bill Plunkett of the OC Register, Pederson’s family situation still might not be resolved, opening the door for perhaps another absence in the foreseeable future during the playoffs.
“Family first. Joc knows that. His family understands that,” Roberts said. “I just know Joc worked real hard to be here with us to finish out this homestand. And I would expect him to be with us through the Wild Card Series. But after that, I just don’t know.”
In the meantime, the Dodgers continue their series with the middle game of a three-game set against Oakland at home on Wednesday. Julio Urias will take the bump for Los Angeles, opposed by southpaw Sean Manaea of Oakland.
First pitch is set for 6:40 p.m. Los Angeles time.