After months of agonizing waiting and speculation, the Los Angeles Dodgers have finally clinched the National League West. How fitting, the Dodgers successfully clinch their fourth straight division title on Vin Scully’s last home game ending Vin Scully Weekend on the highest of notes.
Who would’ve thought former San Francisco Giant and Colorado Rocky Charlie Culberson would be the hero and capture the division title for his team. Earlier in the telecast, Scully acknowledged that Culberson may have been the forgotten one in the Dodgers lineup but he came into the game batting .306 against left-handed pitching.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) September 25, 2016
And that little friendly reminder would, in Vin Scully fashion, prove to be the statistic that would win the game and the NL West crown for the Dodgers after Culberson clubbed his first home run of the season off left-handed pitcher Boone Logan.
Here is Vin Scully's final call as the voice of the Dodgers, a walk off HR by Charlie Culberson to clinch division
— Rob Perez (@World_Wide_Wob) September 25, 2016
Rookie of the Year favorite Corey Seager tied the game for the Dodgers twice. Once in the seventh inning with a triple tying the game at two and a ninth inning bomb to tie the game at three.
— Chavez Ravine Fiends (@RavineFiends) September 25, 2016
One a more touching note, “Wind Beneath My Wings” blared through the stadium as Scully played it as one last reminder to the home fans that he needed them much more than they needed him.
Dave Roberts: "Vin, we love you and this is for you."
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) September 25, 2016
In addition to winning the division, the Dodgers are now 90-66 making it four straight seasons with 90-plus wins. It is the first time its happened in LA for the team and the first time for the organization since the Brooklyn Dodgers did it six straight seasons. (1951-56).
Win for Vin
As mentioned before, the capturing of the NL West crown brought a fairytale ending to Vin Scully Weekend. All season long the Dodgers and their fans have been pushing the hashtag of #Win4Vin.
Vin announced that he would not be broadcasting any of the Dodgers’ playoff games Sept. 13. This means that the final game for him will be Oct. 2 in San Francisco.
Fans, the Dodgers and even the visiting Rockies took the time during this last home stand for Vin, to express their gratitude for his 67 years of service. The time Scully has put in isn’t just meaningful to the Dodgers or the city of Los Angeles, but to the entire world of baseball.
Even though, his career is set to come to an end in one week’s time, the Dodgers will continue to try and #Win4Vin all the way until deep October.
First-year manager Dave Roberts has successfully added his name to a list that only very few people have. In fact, only two men can say they led the LA Dodgers to a division title in their first year with the team. Those two men are Tommy Lasorda and Joe Torre.
The accomplishment may surprise some people because of the hardships the Dodgers have dealt with all season long. From the loss of Zack Greinke to the Arizona Diamondbacks to the eventual demotion and recall of Yasiel Puig, Roberts has manned the ship and kept the locker room under his control.
He has even made some moves that were questionable to many fans, such as pulling Ross Stripling and Rich Hill from a no-hitter and perfect game opportunity respectively. Both of which ended with hits being surrendered.
One of the reasons why many people feel Roberts has been the answer for this particular team is because he’s a former player himself. Roberts who played 10 seasons in the majors had a career batting average of .266, drawing 307 walks and scoring 437 runs. That has helped him maintain the level-headedness of the locker room, by truly being a player’s coach and adapting to each player’s strengths and weakness.
Despite all of the outside talk Roberts has been firm in his decision making and it has finally paid off with a fourth straight NL West title.
Potential Postseason Matchup
Right now, the most likely playoff matchup for the Dodgers will be the NL East champion Washington Nationals. Currently the Nationals hold a one-game lead over the Dodgers for home-field advantage during the playoff series.
The Blue Crew is on the road for the remainder of the season starting with a three-game series against the San Diego Padres beginning Tuesday. Once concluded, the Dodgers will head to San Francisco to play the Giants in the season-finale series.
For the Nationals, they are at home for the rest of the season with two three-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Miami Marlins.
While the champagne will be popped tonight and continue all night long, this is only the beginning of what the Dodgers hope will be a long run deep into October.