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Dodgers Riding Regular Season Momentum in Postseason

The team is striding at the right time for once.

Dodgers
Gavin Lux greets Will Smith after home run at Oracle Park in San Francisco.

The dog days of Summer and the slow games of September have passed. October baseball is here, and the Los Angeles Dodgers now begin the sprint toward their highly anticipated 3rd consecutive World Series appearance. So far, this 2019 Dodgers team has played the season like a veteran runner tackles a marathon, with poise and strategy.

Looking back on this season, it seemed as though the Dodgers had a plan from the get go. They established control of 1st place in April, grew that lead to 8.5-games by the end of May, 12 by the end of June, 15 by the end of July, and then managed to maintain a 21-game lead from August 24th until the end of the season.

Pace By-The-Numbers

Like a marathoner sets a consistent pace, the Dodgers did the same. They opened up March/April baseball with a 20-12 record (.625 W-L%) before hitting a good stride in May, going 19-7 (.731).  The Dodgers hit a lull in June going 18-10 (.643) and then a more significant drop in July going 14-10 (.583). After the All-Star break hang over wore off though, the Dodgers began ramping up their play again going 17-11 (.607) in August and 18-6 (.750) in September.

Across the regular season the Dodgers went 55-26 (.679) in the first half and 51-30 (.629) in the second half. They had sole possession of 1st place in their division since April 17th, were 10-10 in Interleague play, and were 27-22 in one-run games.

Their largest losing streak? 6 games.

Their largest winning streak? 7 games… twice.

They didn’t get too high, nor did they get too low, they just played consistently good baseball.

Strong Finish

After clinching the division on September 10th, the Dodgers did exactly what fans would like to see. They charged to the finish line, finishing the remaining 16 games going 12-4. They won their last 7 games which included sweeping their final road trip of the regular season. That sweep gave the Dodgers a franchise record, 106-win season.

This proved to be a stark contrast to seasons past. In 2018, it took the club 163 games to punch its ticket to postseason play. In 2017 they famously lost 11 games in a row from August into September before rebounding to finish the campaign going 12-6. Of course, that team went on immediately heat up in October before falling in 7 games to Houston.

Final Thoughts

If the regular season is a marathon, the Dodgers paced themselves well and gained a gradual, comfortable lead. With that comfortable lead they used the 26th mile to fine-tune technique while holding pace. They closed the season strong, beating the bad teams to cruise into October with some momentum. Tomorrow the Dodgers will put that momentum to use as they prepare to take on red-hot Washington Nationals fresh off of their Wild Card comeback win against the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Dodgers are no doubt marathoners. Tomorrow we get to see what kind of sprinters they are.

Written by Jason McClure

Technically a Dodgers bandwagon fan. At 5 years old, I decided they were my favorite team after hearing they won the World Series on my mom’s car radio in 1988. My father (technically my stepfather) watered that seed, teaching me the game and introducing me to the beauty of Dodger Stadium. We got to know each other and bonded over games. Even when we couldn’t get along during my teenage years, we could come together over Vin Scully’s voice and a game. Dodger baseball is, and will always be, so much more than just a game.

2 Comments

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    • it didn’t any genius to figure the Nats would start a LHP in Corbin and I can guarantee ya that there will also be some LH relievers as well. it was a no brainer to figure Roberts would sit 36 HR’s on the bench with Joc in Game 1. Honestly I see the Nationals winning game 1 and Corbin having about 12 to 13 K’s.

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