Dodgers, Cardinals Look to Tune-Up Before Postseason

Mookie magic propelled the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 3-2 walk-off win Thursday. It was the Dodgers 104th victory this season, which puts them three wins away from their franchise record with 12 games left to play.

Sure, breaking the franchise record will be nice, and it raises the question if this is the best Dodger team of all time. But, we all know the actual goal, and it’s cruise control until the postseason.

The Dodgers look to inch closer to the 107 mark against the St, Louis Cardinals this weekend. A nice series against another playoff team, and it pauses all the division play the Dodgers have been doing. This is the last non-division series for the regular season until the playoffs.

The Dodgers are expected to honor former Dodger Albert Pujols before Friday’s opener. Pujols, however, is still looking to break more records than he already has. Pujols looks to reach 700 home runs. He is currently at 698, so there could be potential history at Dodger Stadium. So for those sitting in the pavilions, bring a glove.

Back to the Dodgers, Craig Kimbrel pitched the top of the ninth inning Thursday and gave up a homer that put the Diamondbacks in front. Kimbrel had a stretch in which he pitched scoreless innings, but he’s back to giving up runs. Just an inconsistent year from Kimbrel, and it’s going to be hard not to have a panic attack if he steps onto the mound in October despite the leverage situation.

L.A. has already clinched a first-round bye, and the only thing left to clinch is the best record in the majors. It appears if anyone can catch them, it will be the Houston Astros, who are 5 ½ games behind. The current magic number for the Dodgers to clinch the top spot is eight, so barring any last-minute disaster, they should be able to get it.

The Dodgers, including this series, only have three series remaining. After the Cardinals, they’ll face the Padres in San Diego, which might as well be another home series at Dodger Stadium south. They’ll then conclude the regular season with six straight against the Rockies, the same team they began the season against.

Pitching matchups for the three-game set against the Cardinals have been set. The Dodgers are trotting out all left-handers with Andrew Heaney, Clayton Kershaw, and Tyler Anderson. The only worry for the Dodgers is health and getting the players tuned up for the postseason.

The Cardinals are countering with left-handers Jose Quintana and Jordan Montgomery and veteran right-hander Adam Wainwright for the finale. So quite the familiar names and a couple of baseball legends on the field for this series.

The first pitch for Friday’s game is at 7:10 p.m. It will also be an Apple T.V. exclusive.

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