After Wednesday’s win, the Los Angeles Dodgers became the first team to clinch a spot in the 2020 MLB Postseason.
Wednesday night looked like an ordinary night for the Los Angeles Dodgers. The budding star, pitcher Dustin May, threw 5.1 solid innings of three-run baseball. Possible NL MVP Mookie Betts had two hits and three stolen bases. AJ Pollock homered while Max Muncy and Cody Bellinger knocked in runs.
And, the Dodgers recorded a 7-5 victory over the division rival and second-place San Diego Padres. So, what was special about Wednesday night?
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The best team in baseball, the World Series favorites Dodgers clinched their eight-straight postseason appearance. And, they became the first team in baseball in the pandemic-shortened season to clinch a postseason berth.
With this victory, the Dodgers moved their record 20 games above .500 at 35-15. While this season has been unlike any other in MLB history, there has been at least one constant. The exceptional play of the Dodgers.
As Los Angeles fans will acutely remember, the 2019 Dodgers finished with 106 wins, the second-best mark in the league. After dominating the 2019 regular season, Los Angeles was shocked by the eventual-champion Washington Nationals in the divisional round.
Left with a serious need for vindication, the Dodgers traded for Betts, the 2018 MVP.
The result? The Dodgers have continued to dominate. Los Angeles owns the best pitching staff in baseball with a 2.98 team ERA and 1.07 team WHIP.
The offense, with the addition of Betts, has also been in peak form. This lineup, which possesses no easy outs, ranks top-5 in almost every statistical category.
The Dodgers rank third in runs scored with 279, first in home runs with 93, fifth in OPS with .802, and third in RBIs with 264.
Despite this dominance, Wednesday night was just another ordinary night for Los Angeles. According to ESPN staff writer Alden Gonzalez, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts wasn’t even aware the team had clinched a postseason berth until after the game.
Roberts said clinching was just “a first step.”
Gonzalez also detailed that as part of COVID-19 protocols, the league had prohibited clubhouse celebrations following postseason clinching. There were no wild celebrations. There were no champagne showers. Simply put, for the Dodgers, Wednesday night was just business as usual.