Rich Hill takes the mound Saturday against the Padres trying to give the Dodgers their first 10-game winner of 2018. Time is running out for that mark to become a reality for a team who has never gone a season without it.
The great Jon Weisman addressed the possibility back in August, noting how strange it would be if it didn’t happen this season. Hill sits just one win shy, while Clayton Kershaw, Alex Wood, Kenta Maeda and Ross Stripling all have eight.
Unless Wood or Maeda pick up two random wins out of the bullpen over the next eight games, Hill and Kershaw are all that remain as options. Both will get two opportunities over the final nine days.
It was also uncovered that no team in baseball history had ever made the postseason without having a pitcher that won ten games for them. One win seems like such a small task but with Hill lasting just five innings in three of his last four starts and giving up four runs in three straight, it’s still reasonable that it won't happen.
Speaking of wins, the Dodgers have only 42 wins at home this season after a record 57 wins last season. Even if they sweep the final two games this weekend, 44 would be the lowest total of home wins for a Dodgers club that made the postseason after playing a full schedule, barring a collapse that keeps them out of course.
The 1981 (33) and 1995 (39) teams won less games but the seasons were shortened. The 2014 team won 45 games, winning the division by six games over the Giants.
The Dodgers are only two home runs shy of tying their franchise record for home runs, just one year after setting it. The 2017 group hit 221 long balls to pass the previous record of 211, set back in 2000.
With eight games to go, it certainly seems safe to say that they will be breaking the record for the second consecutive season.
Another record they could set with homers is for those they’ve hit at home. Since moving west, the Dodgers record is 115 at home. You would be correct by assuming it was last season’s team as well.
This year’s team has only two games to hit four more to tie and five to break it for a second consecutive year.