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Dodgers extend NL West | MLB.com



It has become as much a part of the Dodgers’ schedule as the opening day, losing a National League West title on Tuesday night for the eighth year in a row with a 7-2 victory over Oakland – even if this one was like no other in a year like no other Other. Cardboard cutouts instead

It has become as much a part of the Dodgers’ schedule as the opening day, losing a National League West title Tuesday night for the eighth year in a row with a 7-2 victory over Oakland – even though this one was like no other in a year like no Other.

Cardboard cutouts instead of fans. Champagne bowls instead of showers. No dogpiles. A pandemic pennant.

• Box points

“Truth be told, there were some guys who did not even know we had a chance to step tonight,”

; said Dave Roberts, director of the last five editions of this dynasty.

“It has been really bizarre. I remember a time a few months ago I did not know if we would have a season. Now fast forward, to be crowned NL West champion again, it is something that many expect, but it should never be taken for granted. This must be appreciated. It’s not easy.”

• What comes next? Frequently Asked Questions about Dodgers by season

They have the best record in baseball, number one seed through the NL Championship Series – including in the best of three Wild Card series that open next Wednesday at Dodger Stadium – and they have only lost one series all year. Only the Braves (14) and Yankees (9) have won more division titles in a row.

Although the Dodgers were heavy favorites all along to do so, as Roberts suggested, seven consecutive early eliminations and a 32-year famine since the franchise last won the World Series say there is a long way to go.

• How they got there: LA’s eighth shave

“They all feel good, but this one is a little different,” he said Chris Taylor, who hit one of four Dodgers home runs. “This is probably the most complete team I have ever been on. It’s just easy to play with these guys. We know we have more in store. We will enjoy this, but this is not for us. We have some work to do. ”

Roberts said that this section title is special because of the broader context of the season – issues of pandemic and social justice, above all. He said that the muted celebration when the game ended was partly because it was an expected step, and partly tried to be responsible and “not go too crazy.”

“But there is a lot to be proud of. Guys continued to win baseball games and stayed together, he said. “Ironically, it has brought our group even closer.”

• Justin Turner scratched from discomfort in the hoarding

While the Dodgers became overwhelming favorites when they acquired Mookie Betts and David Price, the latter decision not to play was a blow to a rotation that had allowed veterans Hyun-Jin Ryu, Kenta Maeda and Rich Hill to leave. Beginners Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler and Alex Wood spent time on the injury list; ruling MVP Cody Bellinger, Max Muncy and Pederson games has undergone seasonal strokes; and top prospects Gavin Lux has been a disappointment.

“It’s been a rough ride,” said Muncy, who homered against his former team. “But it’s not about me, it’s about this team and that we can manage only magnifies it. Baseball is a tough sport and 2020 is a tough year. Both of these things collided together, it’s been weird and weird, but thankfully I’m on the best team in baseball and the funniest team on top of that. ”

Betts responded by signing an $ 365 million extension with MVP production, which he naturally downplayed.

“They won seven times before me,” Betts said. “I just come in here and do my part. This is step one. ”

A fresh Corey Seager, who homered Tuesday, was just behind Betts as an MVP runner-up.

“We never stop, we never give up,” says Seager. “We’re talking about being in the moment, and this team has done an incredible job of being in the moment, and it shows, only losing one series, even during a 60-game season. It has been quite fun to see this team play. ”

Kershaw healed quickly and regained the Cy Young form with increasing speed. Rookies Tony Gonsolin and Dustin May (Tuesday’s winner) entered the rotation. Will Smith maturation overnight, AJ Pollock recovered from COVID-19 to win an everyday job and Taylor continued to be one of the most underrated stars in the game.

• Playoff plans for Pederson, Taylor, Pollock, Lux, Urías

Pollock, who also went home on Tuesday, repeated the theme of aftermath for a team bound by the unusual circumstances of 2020.

“We are in the field and [piped in] the audience becomes nuts and you look at each other and it’s like we’re the only ones here, he said. “By going through something so bizarre, you really have to like the guys next to you.”

Ken Gurnick has been covering Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.


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