Jim Alexander of the Orange County Register writes about the highly anticipated series and and the implications for both teams at the series’ conclusion:
“And while this four-game set might seem like a novelty series for two teams that have healthy leads in their divisions, there are stakes involved, mainly best record and home-field advantage in the postseason. While both managers tried to make it seem like just another game or just another series when they spoke before Thursday’s game, there are tells.”
- The Dodgers have relied on star talent to propel them into the playoffs over the past ten seasons, yet the results have equated to just one championship in that span. Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times writes about how the Dodgers’ platoon depth and variety of lineup options to supplement their superstars might be the key ingredient to another Dodgers’ title run:
“The Dodgers have a couple of legitimate MVP candidates in Betts and Freddie Freeman but Roberts said it’s the variety of offensive options on the roster that will allow the team to create favorable matchups and ultimately advance to the later stages of the postseason.”
- Friday night’s game between the Braves and the Dodgers featured a special edition Kobe Bryant jersey in honor of Lakers night, and Natalia Bryant was honored by throwing out the first pitch prior to the start of the game. Chuck Schilken of the Los Angeles Times writes about what it means to Natalia to be the daughter of the late NBA icon, who followed in her father’s footsteps by throwing out the first pitch 23 years after he did the same:
“‘Being his daughter is one of the greatest joys of my life, and I hope to continue to embody and cherish the many lessons he has taught me,’ Natalia Bryant said during a ceremony honoring her father at TCL Chinese Theatre in May.”
- Mookie Betts already made history in August by becoming the first player to record two consecutive 30 home run seasons at the leadoff spot since Alfonso Soriano 20 years prior. Betts continued to cement his name in the annals of baseball history, as he became the first player in 93 years to record a .450 batting average, 50 hits, and 10 home runs in a single month, joining Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig as the only players to accomplish that feat, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
Mookie Betts finished August batting .455 with 51 hits and 11 home runs.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 1, 2023
He's the 3rd player since 1900 to have a .450 average with 50 hits and 10 HR in a single month, joining Babe Ruth (July 1923-24) and Lou Gehrig (June 1930). pic.twitter.com/86RPz4oclY
- Ronald Acuña Jr. became the first player in AL/NL history to record 30 home runs and 60 stolen bases in a single season, however, Freddie Freeman has the chance to create his own 30/60 list. Jayson Stark of The Athletic writes about key storylines to watch out for in September, including the chance of Freeman becoming the first player in baseball history to record 30 home runs and 60 doubles in a single season. Out of all players in baseball history with 60 doubles in a single season, Hank Greenberg was the closest to 30 home runs, with 26 home runs set back in 1934.