On Tuesday, the 2019 Los Angeles accomplished the first part of their ultimate goal by winning their seventh consecutive National League West division title.
By winning the division on September 10th and in their 146th game, this Dodger team clinched a division at earliest point in their history. The Dodgers moved into first place for good on Wednesday April 17th and have maintained a double-digit lead since Sunday June 16th.
With all of this winning, you might wonder where was the drama this regular season, well, here are my choices for seven regular season games that tell the tale of this 2019 Los Angeles Dodger team so far.
- Opening Day March 28, 2019 - Dodgers 12, Diamondbacks 5 - This game foreshadowed the 2019 season as the Dodgers hit eight home runs to tie their franchise high for most in a game. Hyun-Jin Ryu had the first of his solid starts this season.
- Tuesday May 7, 2019 - Dodgers 9, Braves 0 - The Dodgers had not had a complete game shutout since Clayton Kershaw pitched on May 23, 2016. That changed this day when Hyun-Jin Ryu pitched his second career complete game shutout against the Braves. Justin Turner entered the game with one home run in 2019 and finished this game with four home runs.
- Sunday June 9, 2019 - Dodgers 1, Giants 0 - Walker Buehler and Max Muncy beat Madison Bumgarner and the Giants plus created the best t-shirt of the season.
- Sunday June 23, 2019 - Dodgers 6, Rockies 3 - The Dodgers had already won the previous two games in this series on walk-off home runs. Both of those home runs were hit by rookies, Matt Beaty and Alex Verdugo.
After watching rookie teammate Matt Beaty hit a walk-off HR for @Dodgers last night, fellow rookie Alex Verdugo decided to hit one of his own tonight.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 23, 2019
Beaty & Verdugo are the first set of rookie teammates with walk-off HR in back-to-back games in MLB history. (h/t @EliasSports) pic.twitter.com/OA0xY8FwGv
So on Sunday, the Dodgers and Rockies were tied 3-3 going to the bottom of the ninth inning. In a move that certainly surprised this writer, the Rockies intentionally walked Russell Martin to face pinch-hitter Will Smith.
- July 14, 2019 - Dodgers 7, Red Sox 4 (12) - The Dodgers had entered the 2019 All-Star break by losing three straight to the Padres and then they lost the first game of their series against the Red Sox at Fenway Park. It was a weekend that saw them play two games on national television, they had a big 11-2 win on Saturday and were leading 4-2 in the eighth inning. Pedro Baez gave up back-to-back home runs to Xander Bogaerts and J.D. Martinez to tie the game. The Dodgers held off the Red Sox and scored three runs in the top of the 12th inning. Then former Red Sox Joe Kelly entered the game with a chance to save one against his former World Series champion teammates.
- Saturday August 3, 2019 - Dodgers 4, Padres 1 - There are few pitchers in baseball that are as dominant as Walker Buehler is when he has his great stuff and command. He just joined Clayton Kershaw as being the only Dodgers to record 200 or more strikeouts while walking 30 or less in a season. Buehler had pitched one complete game with 16 strikeouts in June, on this night he struck out 15 while giving up one run in his second complete game win.
- Sunday September 8, 2019 - Dodgers 5, Giants 0 - The Dodgers had lost two straight to the Giants, they were somewhat running in place as they were headed to their National League West division title. But with a six-pitcher shutout, highlighted by Kenta Maeda’s six strikeouts in four innings and then two home runs, one by Matt Beaty and the second from Corey Seager, the Dodgers were able to get closer to winning their seventh straight division.
How do these rank as your choices for key games this season for the Dodgers? Hopefully, there will be a lot more memorable moments in store for the Dodgers and their fans this season.