Neither the Los Angeles Dodgers or Colorado Rockies had anything to play for in Sunday’s season finale at Coors Field. The Dodgers clinched a fifth consecutive National League West title more than a week ago, and as of Saturday secured home-field advantage through the World Series.
That was also the same day the Rockies clinched the second spot in the NL Wild Card Game, by way of the Milwaukee Brewers losing to the St. Louis Cardinals. It set off a modest celebration in the Rockies clubhouse, which may have led to first pitch being delayed 20 minutes.
Despite a lack of incentive, the Dodgers and Rockies had several regular starters in their respective lineups. Among those for Los Angeles was Cody Bellinger, who hit in his usual cleanup spot.
Bellinger made an immediate impact, granted one that came with some good fortune, as his drive to center field in the first inning dropped for an RBI sun double. The Dodgers extended their lead by scoring a run in each the third and fourth innings.
Both teams began to empty their benches as the game reached the midway point. Joc Pederson, who entered as a defensive replacement in the bottom of the fourth, ripped a two-out RBI double down the right-field line in the fifth.
Then in the seventh, his groundball got by a diving Tony Wolters. Although Raimel Tapia managed to cut it off in the gap, Austin Barnes raced around to score from first base. Pederson finished 2-for-3 with a game-high two RBI.
The Dodgers will now face the winner of the NL Wild Card Game. First pitch for Game 1 of the NLDS is scheduled for 7:31 p.m. PT at Dodger Stadium on Friday, with Game 2 beginning at 6:08 p.m. on Saturday.