The Dodgers clinched their tenth National League West Division title in eleven seasons with their 6-2 win in eleven innings at Seattle tonight. Run-scoring hits from Max Muncy, Chris Taylor and Kiké Hernández gave the Dodgers a five-run lead and Joe Kelly was able to close it out without too much trouble.
And that all came after it seemed like the Dodgers were going to clinch when they had two outs in the bottom of the tenth with a one-run lead or Arizona was going to lose their game to the Cubs. But then the Diamondbacks rallied to get a walk-off win and the Mariners tied the game to send to the eleventh inning.
Key hits for the win
With runners on first and second and one out in the eleventh inning, Max Muncy dug out a pitch and served it into the left-center to give the Dodgers the lead again. It also was Muncy’s 100th RBI this season.
With the bases loaded, Chris Taylor drove in two more to make it a three-run lead for the Dodgers.
And then with two outs, Kiké Hernández made it a five-run lead for Joe Kelly to protect in the bottom of the inning.
Dodger pitchers shut down the Mariners
Seven pitchers took the mound for the Dodgers on Saturday and they were able to pitch well in a playoff atmosphere in Seattle.
Clayton Kershaw returned to mound and while his velocity was still down, he was able to pitch four scoreless innings to kick start the strong game for the Dodger pitchers.
Also, it seems having Kershaw start a potential division title clinching game is a good thing.
Clayton Kershaw limited to 4 innings after 10 days off, but he got through without allowing a run— Eric Stephen (@ericstephen) September 17, 2023
5 times he's started when the Dodgers had a chance to clinch the division (2009, 2014, 2015, 2022, tonight). 34 IP, 15 H, 1 R, 43 K, 7 BB
Dodgers won those first 4 starts
Emmet Sheehan was overpowering at times when he struck out five in his three scoreless innings outing.
And Ryan Brasier was nasty with his two strikeouts to strand two inherited runners.
Brusdar Graterol retired the side in order in the bottom of the ninth to send the game to extra-innings.
What is left for the Dodgers to do in the regular season
The Dodgers are trying to secure at least the second seed in the National League to give them a first-round bye. Their magic number is any combination eight Dodger wins or Brewer losses to give them that spot.
WP — Evan Phillips (2-4): 1 IP, 2 hits, 1 run, 1 walks
LP — Gabe Speier (2-2): ⅓ IP, 1 hit, 3 runs (2 earned), 1 walks, 1 strikeout
The Dodgers will put out some sort of team tomorrow but it will be after celebrating winning the division tonight. In any event, the game against the Mariners is scheduled to start at 1:10 p.m. PDT and will be on SportsNet LA.