That the Dodgers are limping to the finish line — in some cases, literally — only adds to the bizarre nature of their 2017 season. It has been a year with so many extremes that it might as well be sponsored by Mountain Dew.
One more game remains on this 10-game road trip, a morning game — on the west coast, at least — to finish off a frustrating four-game series against the Phillies.
After dropping the series finale on Sunday night in Washington D.C., the Dodgers have lost the first three games at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. They have had leads in all four games.
The Dodgers have now lost 20 of their last 25 games. Only the White Sox (4-21) have had a been worse in MLB this season. It matches the worst 25-game stretch for the Dodgers since they moved to Los Angeles in 1958 (they haven’t been worse since 1944 in Brooklyn). The 1968 team also went 5-20, en route to 76 wins. In 1979, the Dodgers also lost 20 of 25 at one point, and finished with 79 wins.
The 2017 Dodgers have 96 wins, and 10 games still on the docket.
The first five of those 20 losses for the Dodgers came in August, giving them a putrid 5-15 record in September. That’s a .250 winning percentage.
Since the World Series began in 1903, no playoff team has ever finished the season with a record that bad in the season’s final month (note: this includes regular season October games in September; for instance, Sept./Oct. 2017 includes 29 games in September plus the season finale on Oct. 1).
Worst September finishes by playoff teams
|1998 Padres||9-15 (.375)||lost World Series|
|2008 Brewers||10-16 (.385)||lost NLDS|
|2014 A's||10-16 (.385)||lost wild card game|
|1976 Royals||12-19 (.387)||lost ALCS|
|1980 Royals||12-19 (.387)||lost World Series|
|1971 Giants||11-16 (.407)||lost NLCS|
|2006 Cardinals||12-17 (.414)||won World Series|
|2000 Yankees||13-18 (.419)||won World Series|
|1944 Cardinals||14-19 (.424)||won World Series|
|2006 Tigers||12-16 (.429)||lost World Series|
To date, the worst September finish for a team that made the postseason is 9-15 (.375) by the 1998 Padres.
The Dodgers need to finish 7-3 to avoid setting a new September low for playoff team.
That Padres team in 1998, by the way, won 98 games and made it to the World Series. In fact, of the 10 playoff teams with the worst September finishes, six made the World Series. The 1944 Cardinals (14-19 in September), the 2000 Yankees (13-18) and 2006 Cardinals (12-17) all won titles.
This Dodgers team is already the first ever with two double-digit winning streaks and a double-digit losing streak. They are the only team ever to win 15 out of 16 games and lost 15 of 16 in the same season.
They have already broken the mold on both ends of the spectrum, so adding another dubious record would only be fitting in this crazy season.
Kenta Maeda starts the series finale for the Dodgers, with a streak of 14 consecutive starts with two or fewer walks. In those games, Maeda has 14 total walks to go with 74 strikeouts in 71 innings, with a 3.68 ERA.
Mark Leiter Jr. gets the call for the Phillies, looking to continue the strong pitching from his rotation mates. So far in this series, Philadelphia starters have allowed just five runs on 12 hits in 18 innings — a 2.50 ERA — with 19 strikeouts and five walks.
Time: 10:05 a.m. PT
TV: SportsNet LA, MLB Network