The Los Angeles Dodgers have lost eight of their last 10 games, their magic number sits at two and they need just one win in their next three games to clinch their third straight NL West title.
This comes after their fourth straight loss; however, the team remains confident in their ability to finish the job. Manager Don Mattingly has continued to say that it’s tough to win this time of year and the Dodgers are showing that may be true. After an extra-innings loss on Monday against the second place San Francisco Giants, the team seems to have come away with a better feeling than they did after a sweep by the Colorado Rockies.
According to JP Hoornstra of the LA Daily News, outfielder Andre Ethier believes the Dodgers learned something from the loss on Monday:
You can see how guys got that edge, that feeling back at the end of the game there,” Ethier said. “Maybe we can get that focus back — not worrying about the outcome, the what-ifs. … Before that, maybe it was too much looking forward.”
While the team wouldn’t be blamed too much for looking ahead to a potential NLDS showdown with the New York Mets, they do still have to make it official and clinch the West. Ethier knows the Dodgers are right there:
We know what we have,” Ethier continued. “It’s right there at our fingertips.”
A win over the next three games would give make franchise history, giving them an unprecedented third straight division title. Also, the Dodgers currently sit two games behind the Mets for home-field advantage in the first round. The importance of that remains to be seen as the Dodgers lost with the “advantage” last season and won without the “advantage” in the 2013 NLDS.