BALTIMORE — The Los Angeles Dodgers are dancing. Once more.
Los Angeles beat the Baltimore Orioles 7-Three on Tuesday night time at Camden Yards to clinch their seventh straight Nationwide League West pennant.
Within the divisional period (since 1969), solely the Atlanta Braves and New York Yankees have strung collectively extra consecutive crowns. The Braves received 14 straight NL East titles, from 1991 to 2005 (there was no postseason within the strike-shortened 1994 marketing campaign). The Yankees had been AL East champs 9 years operating, from 1998 by 2006.
Apart from constructing on their spectacular streak of pennants on Tuesday, the Dodgers additionally turned the primary MLB group to safe a spot within the 2019 postseason.
In contrast to final yr, once they beat the Colorado Rockies in a Recreation 163 tiebreaker to earn a sixth straight division title, the Dodgers bought it carried out early this time round. By nabbing the crown of their 146th contest of the season, they tied the 2016 Chicago Cubs for the fourth-fastest clincher this century. The three groups forward Los Angeles — the 2002 Braves, the 2017 Nationals and the 2008 Angels — all didn’t advance within the playoffs, although the ’16 Cubs went on to win the World Sequence. Regardless of that current historical past, supervisor Dave Roberts is a fan of front-loading.
“I’d somewhat the early one versus the late one,” mentioned Roberts, who has guided Los Angeles in every of the previous 4 seasons, previous to Tuesday’s win. “We did the late one final yr, and 163 was aggressive. I like this one, simply so you’ll be able to actually get it previous you, get guys relaxation, put guys into rolls and positions you may face within the postseason.”
Previous to this yr, the earliest clinch through the Dodgers’ present string got here in 2013, once they claimed the division of their 153rd recreation. From a calendar perspective, L.A.’s clincher is tied for the sixth soonest within the wild-card period, in response to Elias Sports activities Bureau analysis. The 2008 Angels and 2017 Nationals additionally clinched on Sept. 10. The 1998 Yankees, who did it on Aug. 30, had been the earliest.
As little suspense as there was within the NL West this yr, there was simply as little on Tuesday night time at Camden Yards. The visiting Dodgers jumped out to an early lead, scoring 4 runs within the high of the primary, three of which got here courtesy of shortstop Corey Seager’s 15th residence run of the season. Seager additionally hit a two-run blast within the third, whereas extremely touted rookie Gavin Lux launched a towering solo shot within the fifth, the primary round-tripper of his profession.
Proper-hander Walker Buehler picked up the win, pitching seven scoreless frames to enhance to 13-Three on the season. He walked none and fanned 11, within the course of reaching 200 strikeouts for the primary time in his profession. With the division already determined, Los Angeles will now flip its consideration towards gaining home-field benefit all through the playoffs.
“It is definitely crucial contemplating how we have performed at residence,” mentioned Roberts, whose membership has a .737 residence successful proportion (56-20) that ranks second within the majors behind the Houston Astros. “However there’s nonetheless a price with every part, and I feel the primary factor is retaining guys wholesome, retaining guys sharp, and never making an attempt to redline simply to win by any means crucial. If we play to our potential and play the best way we’re able to, that ought to deal with itself.”
With the victory over Baltimore, the Dodgers moved to 94-52. They started the day with a three-game lead over Atlanta for the perfect document within the Nationwide League, and had been two video games behind the Yankees and Astros for baseball’s finest mark. They had been 17.5 video games forward of the second-place Arizona Diamondbacks, and have held a minimum of a share of first for all however six days this yr.