The Dodgers finished off the regular season on Sunday with 100 wins on the dot, their third straight season winning in triple digits. Going back to 2019, they’ve won at least 100 games in each of the last four seasons that weren’t cut short.
To do so this year, when only one of their planned opening five starting pitchers survived the season, and even Clayton Kershaw missed six weeks with shoulder inflammation. Rookies were heavily involved to pick up the slack, combining for 52 starts, nearly one-third of the 2023 season.
The best of the rookies was Bobby Miller, who pitched four scoreless innings on Sunday and is in line to start Game 2 of the National League Division Series, which will be against either the Brewers or Diamondbacks.
Miller talked to reporters at Oracle Park in San Francisco after Sunday’s win.
“We were just reflecting on the season, how much we overcame this year. We got to 100 wins when not a lot of people expected us to,” Miller said, per SportsNet LA. “We had a lot of injuries this year. Not everyone expected us to get to 100, but everyone in this clubhouse knew we could do it.”
It’s hard to blame Miller or any of the Dodgers for playing some form of the “nobody believed in us” card, at least in a relative sense. They were projected before the season to finish behind the Padres by both FanGraphs and Baseball Prospectus.
I picked the Padres to win the National League West in February, though I did think the Dodgers would win a lot of games. Just, in the 90s like a normal very good team. But nothing about the last half-decade in Los Angeles has been normal.
“From start to finish, I feel like a lot of the outside noise was doubting us this year — not inside,” Freddie Freeman said. “I don’t think winning 100 games surprises anybody in this clubhouse. But to do it when – I mean we have one guy in the starting rotation that was in spring training coming out of it that is in there now. We’ve faced a lot of ups and downs and we rose above it and got 100 wins.
“Baseball is played on the diamond, out on the field. It’s not on paper or who spends the most money and blah blah blah. Outside noise is outside noise. It’s very easy to shut it off and go out and play the game when you know you’re a good team.”
Manager Dave Roberts was more subdued, though still with a slight chip on the shoulder. From Fabian Ardaya at The Athletic:
“From outside the organization, I don’t think people expected that,” manager Dave Roberts said. “To go through a season with all that we went through and still come out with 100 wins, that’s very commendable.”
Now the Dodgers have a new challenge ahead of them — winning 11 more games. Their first chance comes next Saturday with Game 1 of the NLDS at home.