With New Year’s Eve tomorrow, it’s time to reflect on the previous new year and the Los Angeles Dodgers 2013 season. Opening Day was yet another reminder how great Clayton Kershaw was, but injuries and a lack of hitting with runners in scoring position had Don Mattingly on the cusp of getting fired in May.
At 30-42 and 9.5 games behind the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Dodgers caught fire, which coincided with the promotion of Yasiel Puig and health of Zack Greinke, Hanley Ramirez and Carl Crawford. A 42-8 stretch helped the Dodgers complete a historic turnaround as they wound up winning 92 games and the NL West by 11 games.
While the season ended in disappointment, a 9-0 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 6 of the NLCS with Clayton Kershaw on the mound, it was definitely a successful 2013 for the Dodgers.
As he does prior to every New Year, ESPN.com baseball analyst Jayson Stark compiles a strange list of facts and feats from the 2013 season. Here are the four strange facts from the Dodgers 2013 season according to Stark:
My Five Favorite Strangest But Truest Feats of the Year (non-Jean Segura Division)
So what were the odds that the first team in baseball to clinch its division would be a team that was in LAST place on the morning of July 1? Well, that actually happened, courtesy of your Strange But True Dodgers — 30-42 in their first 72 games, 62-28 in their last 90.
Strangest But Truest Cy Young Feats of the Year
And if you’re ever looking for a lovely set of bookends, you might want to ask Kershaw to carve them for you. He finished the season by winning the Cy Young. He started it by hitting the Dodgers’ first home run of the season (a tiebreaking, eighth-inning bomb on Opening Day). And bookends don’t get much lovelier than that. Do they?
Strangest But Truest Pitching Feats of the Year
The Astros played three games in five days in April in which their starter didn’t make it through the first inning. Just to put that in perfect Strange But True perspective, the Dodgers have played one game like that in the last seven seasons.
10 More Strange But True Postseason Classics
The Dodgers lost an NLCS start by Kershaw by the score of 9 to zip. How many times do you think they’ve lost by nine runs or more in any game Kershaw started over the past five seasons combined? Yessiree. Nada.
Which did you think was the strangest?
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