THERE are 23 games remaining in the regular season for the Los Angeles Dodgers and they have already clinched their 10th consecutive National League playoff spot.
The Dodgers (96-43) clinched their latest berth with Sunday’s 11-2 romp over the host San Diego Padres. They are just the third team in the division era to make at least 10 straight playoff appearances, joining the Atlanta Braves (14 from 1991-2005) and New York Yankees (13 from 1995-2007).
“It’s a big accomplishment,” Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts said after Sunday’s game. “For me, it’s just making sure guys appreciate that it’s not a right of passage to get into the postseason every year and there’s still a lot of work to be done. I feel our best baseball is yet to be played and just continue to stay focused.”
The Dodgers lead the Padres in the NL West by 20 games and are also on verge of clinching the division crown.
Justin Turner, who had two homers and five RBIs on Sunday, certainly appreciates clinching. This season will mark his ninth straight playoff appearance.
“I don’t think it’s anything you can take for granted,” Turner said. “I’ve been on some teams early in my career that didn’t have this opportunity, so I definitely feel fortunate to be a part of an organization that cares about winning and puts winning first.”
Freddie Freeman is in his first season with the Dodgers after being a key cog on Atlanta’s World Series-winning team last year. He is amazed that the clinching occurred on Sept. 11.
“To do it this quick is pretty amazing,” Freeman said. “Just all around, just been playing really good baseball for a long time now as a group and hopefully we can get this division wrapped up here shortly, too.”
Los Angeles has won just one World Series title during the streak and it came in the COVID-19 shortened 60-game season of 2020 when they beat the Tampa Bay Rays in six games. The Dodgers last won a title in a full season in 1988. — Reuters