The Dodgers have bigger goals in mind, but for now they know they will play at least one postseason game in 2021. On Tuesday they clinched a playoff berth with a win over the Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium.
That gave the Dodgers 93 wins on a night the Reds and Padres — the next-best teams on the outside of playoff position — each picked up their 70th loss.
It’s the ninth consecutive season the Dodgers are in the playoffs.
Los Angeles trails the Giants by 2½ games in the National League West, and is currently in position to host the National League wild card game, which will be held on Wednesday, October 6 at the site of the wild card team with the best record.
The Dodgers have a 17-game lead over the Cardinals, currently in second wild card position.
“It’s part of a step toward accomplishing our goal for 2021, to win the World Series. To get an invitation to the dance, to the postseason, that’s the start of it,” manager Dave Roberts said Tuesday. “It’s quite the accomplishment.”
Making nine straight postseasons is the third-longest streak in major league history, trailing only 14 by the Braves from 1991-2005 — a streak interrupted by the 1994 strike-shortened year during which Atlanta was in wild card position when the season was halted — and 13 by the Yankees from 1995-2007.
Should the Dodgers win the NL West, they’d match the Yankees (1998-2006) for the second-longest division-winning streak, behind 11 straight for the Braves (1995-2005).
The possibility of making the playoffs increased during the wild card era, going on 27 years and counting. But that the Dodgers have won eight straight division titles and are in contention for a ninth this year is remarkable in itself.
Only six other teams have made the postseason even five straight seasons. The most impressive of the group are the Yankees, who won five consecutive championships from 1949-53, then made five straight World Series from 1960-64 (winning two) back when only one team in each league made the postseason.
Longest MLB streaks of making the postseason
Since 2013, the Dodgers lead the majors with 807 wins, 59 more than any other team. Their .602 win percentage is a 97-win pace over 162 games.
No other MLB team has played in more than five of the last eight postseasons, though the Astros, A’s, Cardinals, and Yankees have a chance to make it six out of nine this year.
The Dodgers celebrated their win subtly in the clubhouse.
“We did a little champagne toast, said a few words, and acknowledged the fact that it’s a big accomplishment,” Roberts said. “You don’t ever want to get jaded and not appreciate getting to the postseason. It’s not a rite of passage.”
“We enjoyed the moment,” said Justin Turner, who addressed the team during the toast. “At the same time, we still know there’s a lot of work ahead of us and a lot to be accomplished.”