Nobody is going to look back on the Los Angeles Dodgers’ road to clinching a 2017 postseason spot and remember what an enjoyable time it was to be a Dodgers fan. The last two and half weeks have been ugly. Eleven-straight-losses ugly. One-win-in-17-games ugly.
Make that two. The Dodgers, finally, won again, beating the San Francisco Giants 5-3 Tuesday night at AT&T Park. By doing so, they clinched a postseason spot. Their magic number to clinch the NL West is still eight. But on this night, after this week, a win and a guaranteed spot in the postseason is enough.
It wasn’t exactly easy. The Dodgers used a four-run fourth inning to gain an early lead. They minimized Giants rallies in the sixth and seventh, then added an insurance run in the eighth. Still, the Giants were able to load the bases in the ninth with one out against L.A. closer Kenley Jansen. It looked like fate just wasn’t on the Dodgers’ side, but Jansen got Buster Posey and Nick Hundley to strike out swinging and away went the streak.
This picture Clayton Kershaw and manager Dave Roberts about sums up the relief in the Dodgers clubhouse, don’t you think?
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) September 13, 2017
The Dodgers didn’t even have a playoff spot at the top of their minds, apparently. They just wanted to win. And understandably so. After the game, Roberts was met with the news of their postseason berth and, per Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times, responded:
“We’re in the postseason?”
That seems like the right amount of excitement for this team in this moment. The champagne celebration will presumably wait until the Dodgers clinch the NL West, where despite their recent skid they still have a 10-game lead in the division.
This assumes Tuesday’s win represents the Dodgers hitting the reset button and that they’ll win again. For now, let’s just focus on one thing. The Dodgers are currently on a one-game winning streak and they’ve got a postseason spot waiting for them come October.
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