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The Dodgers had everything in place to clinch the division on Sunday, with a three-run lead in Pittsburgh in the ninth inning, but couldn't hold on, losing and putting the champagne on ice for at least one more day. However, rather than focus on what didn't happen this week, let's review what was accomplished.
The Dodgers clinched a playoff spot by winning on Saturday, for their third playoff appearance in four seasons. It is Joe Torre's 14th straight postseason, tying a major league record.
Clayton Kershaw is back, healthy and pitching again. He'll have one more tuneup start this week to get ready for the playoffs.
The Dodgers enter the season's final week on the verge of the division title, and in good shape to clinch home field in the National League playoffs, holding a 2½-game lead over Philadelphia and a 3-game lead over St. Louis.
Dodger Batter of the Week: If the top of the lineup needs a spark, Rafael Furcal provided a blowtorch this week, pounding out 13 hits while hitting .464/.483/.679 for the week. He scored five runs and had a team-leading seven runs batted in, and hit the game-winning home run on Thursday night in Washington.
Dodger Pitcher of the Week: Hiroki Kuroda was stellar this week, as he has been since his return from injury. He beat the Nationals on Tuesday, allowing just two unearned runs in six innings. Kuroda will get the chance to clinch the division as he gets the start on Monday morning in the finale in Pittsburgh.
Week 25 Record: 3-3
39 runs scored (6.50 per game)
26 runs allowed (4.33 per game)
.677 pythagorean winning percentage
Overall Seasonal Record: 93-63 (.596)
765 runs scored (4.90 per game)
585 runs allowed (3.75 per game)
.620 pythagorean winning percentage (97-59)
Blazing Hot: Rafael Furcal had a pair of four-hit games in the Washington series, finishing with 10 hits overall. Furcal was 10 for 14, and his .714 batting average was the second-highest in Los Angeles Dodger history for one series. Per the Dodger game notes, Elias tells the only Dodger with a better series was the Toy Cannon, Jimmy Wynn, who hit .722 (13 for 18) in a four-game series against the Padres in 1974.
Older Legs, Faster Legs: On Saturday in Pittsburgh, 40-year old Brad Ausmus pinch ran for 39-year old Jim Thome. The last time a Dodger that old pinch-ran for another player that old was July 6, 1978, when 41-year old Vic Davalillo pinch ran for 40-yeard old Manny Mota.
Worth The Wait: Jason Repko hit a sacrifice fly during the Dodgers' 14-2 rout in Washington on Tuesday, his first RBI since September 28, 2006.
Hu Are You?: Chin-Lung Hu, who got 129 plate appearances with the big club last year, made his first appearance of 2009, entering Tuesday's blowout in Washington. Hu struck out in his only plate appearance.
52 For 22: George Sherrill got the win in relief on Saturday, making him the 22nd Dodger to get a win this season. No Dodger team had ever had that many pitchers get wins in a season, and in major league history only a pair of Padres teams have had more (24 this season, 23 in 2002).
Transactions: There were no transactions this week.
Game By Game Results:
- Tuesday - Dodgers 14, Nationals 2
- Wednesday - Nationals 5, Dodgers 4
- Thursday - Dodgers 7, Nationals 6
- Friday - Pirates 3, Dodgers 1
- Saturday - Dodgers 8, Pirates 4
- Sunday - Pirates 6, Dodgers 5
Upcoming Week: The Dodgers' magic number to clinch the division is still just one, so that will happen at some point this week. The Dodgers finish in Pittsburgh Monday morning, followed by a quick two-gamer in San Diego, before coming home to play the Rockies, who may or may not be fighting for their playoff lives. Saturday is True Blue LA day at the stadium.
Week 25 Stats