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.

Dodger Legend Maury Wills Passes Away at 89

The Dodger family has lost some legends this year, first with the most outstanding sports broadcaster ever to pick up a microphone in Vin Scully, and now franchise legend Maury Wills.

The Dodgers announced that Wills passed away Monday night at the age of 89.

Wills had many different roles with the Dodgers. First off, as a player, when he became the first player in the modern era to steal 100 bases, something that probably won’t happen in the future of the game. Wills won National League MVP in 1962, was a seven-time All-Star, and was on three World Series-winning Dodger teams.

He was a dangerous threat on the basepaths for opposing pitchers and catchers. He led the National League in stolen bases for six straight seasons from 1960-1965. He also won two gold glove awards.

Wills remained involved in the game, taking jobs as an announcer, coach, and advisory roles. He also was a musician in the offseason and played live in several shows.

Wills was a mentor to current Dodgers manager Dave Roberts and was vital in arguably the most significant moment of Roberts playing career when he stole second base against Mariano Rivera in Game Four of the 2004 ALCS.

Wills remained involved with the Dodgers organization and would make occasional appearances from time to time. Baseball lost a true speedster.

The Dodgers are likely to hold a moment of silence for Wills today. The Dodgers play a doubleheader Tuesday against the Arizona Diamondbacks in a rare five-game series. Los Angeles won their 102nd game of the season Monday night 5-2 over the Diamondbacks.

Right-hander Michael Grove will start the first game, Ryan Pepiot was also added to the roster, and the plan is for Pepiot and Grove to take most of the innings.

Left-hander Tyler Anderson was activated off the paternity list and will start the second game. Arizona will start right-hander Zach Davies, and Drey Jameson.

The first pitch for the opening game is at 12:10 p.m., and the second game is scheduled to start at 7:10 p.m.

Dodgers, Giants Face Off for Final Time in 2022

The last trip up to the bay for the Los Angeles Dodgers, the three-game series in which they got swept, seems like ages ago. But a lot has changed since that series, as the teams have trended in opposite directions.

The Dodgers have clinched the division and are looking to surpass the 100-win mark in this series. The Giants are at 69-74 and 8 ½ games out of a playoff spot.

Los Angeles is still five games ahead of the Astros for the best record in the league, which is really what they should be focused on now. That and keeping everyone healthy, but you can only do so much. Max Muncy was hurt in the last game of the year last season, but that was in the middle of a tight pennant race.

After this game, the Dodgers only have three road games against the Padres. The rest of the games are home games.

With the Dodgers clinching this early, it could hurt or help them. It gives them the chance to rest players, but at the same time, too much rest can always cause a player to go cold.

Apart from that early season sweep, the Dodgers have dominated the Giants. The Blue Crew have swept the Giants twice in four-game series. The Dodgers own a 12-4 record against the Giants this season and have beat up on the division quite a lot.

Pitching matchups have been set for this season finale between the two rivals. The Dodgers are starting Dustin May, Julio Urias, and Andrew Heaney. These starts will also become tryouts for the postseason roster, as the Dodgers can only fit so many players into the roster.

May came back from Tommy John surgery late this season and is still looking to ramp up for the postseason, as the Dodgers could use him. Urias has been the most consistent Dodger starter this season, and it is incredible how far he’s come. Heaney, while he has struggled with injuries a bit, has had an excellent deal, similar to Tyler Anderson on a one-year deal.

The Giants are starting Logan Webb and Alex Cobb. They have not announced a starter for Saturday’s game.

No matter the record, it is always fun to beat the hated ones from up North. Hopefully, the Dodgers can put one last exclamation point on the rivalry for this year. It will be the last time the two teams play each other 19 times each year, as there will be fewer meetings between division rivals next year due to scheduling enhancements.

Friday’s game is on Apple TV, the first pitch will be at 7:15 p.m. Pacific.

What Team Poses Biggest Threat to Dodgers in 2022 Postseason?

After playing Arizona, only four series remain before the Dodgers close the season out with six straight games against the Rockies at home. After the Dodgers wrap up the division, they will look to secure home-field advantage and a bye into the NLDS.

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MLB Announces New Rules for 2023, Latest Dodger Notes

Games at Dodger Stadium and MLB ballparks will look a bit differently next year, as MLB has instituted the new on-field play rules for the 2023 season.

MLB hopes to improve the pace of play and create more game action. First up is the pitch clock. One person who may not be happy is Pedro Baez. Pitchers have 15 seconds to throw a pitch if the bases are empty, 20 seconds with runners on, and hitters only get one timeout per plate appearance.

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What Lies Ahead for Cody Bellinger?

While we’ve seen moments of a possible resurgence of a 2019 Bellinger this year, it hasn’t come close to full circle, and fans are starting to become restless about the former MVP’s future.

If you’re ingrained in any Dodger social media space, you’ve probably seen the Jerry Hairston Jr. rant on Bellinger in the Sportsnet LA postgame. Hairston made some excellent points, and with the postseason coming soon, it raises the question of how Bellinger will be used.

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Dodgers, Padres Begin Weekend Series

We are now entering the final month of the regular season. With the MLB lockout pushing back the season, the regular season ends a little into October.

Oddly enough, the Dodgers end the season with six straight games against the Rockies.

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Can Dodgers Eclipse All-Time MLB Win Record?

The teams with the two best records in the majors begin a series Tuesday night. The Los Angeles Dodgers, with the best record in baseball at 89-38, face off against the Mets 82-47 at Citi Field.

There is a little over a month to go in the regular season, and the Dodgers continue to steamroll everyone, and it is starting to feel like a pretty historic season.

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Early Thoughts on a 2022 Playoff Rotation

It’s almost September, as this season went by in a flash. The Dodgers hit their stride after the All-Star game break, establishing themselves as the top team in the majors.

They’ve had a stretch of 50 games in which they went 41-9. It’s pretty ridiculous how this team has spoiled us the past couple of years, and I can see why everyone else is envious.

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Who Will Dodgers Offer a Contract Extension to Next?

The Los Angeles Dodgers signed Max Muncy to a one-year extension with a club option until 2024. His contract is worth $13.5 million for next season. Muncy struggled most of the year after an elbow injury that kept him off last year’s postseason.

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