Coming off a National League Championship Series loss to the Chicago Cubs, the Los Angeles Dodgers entered the 2017 season with a reloaded roster and increased expectations of finally getting over the hump themselves.
In what marked manager Dave Roberts’ second year at the helm, the Dodgers cruised to a fifth consecutive National League West title and franchise-record 104 wins during the regular season.
After acquiring the summer’s biggest prize in Yu Darvish at the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, the Dodgers made it clear to the rest of the league they were serious in their pursuit of a World Series championship.
The club took care of business in the first two rounds of the postseason, sweeping the Arizona Diamondbacks in the National League Division Series and knocking off the Cubs in a rematch of the 2016 NLCS.
It set the stage for a World Series showdown against the Houston Astros, who were one of three teams to reach the 100-win threshold during the regular season.
In a matchup that is now marred by one of the biggest sign-stealing scandals in MLB history, the Astros defeated the Dodgers in seven games to capture their first World Series championship in franchise history.
Similar to their first game of the season in 2016, the Dodgers picked up a lopsided 14-3 victory over the San Diego Padres on Opening Day. L.A. won two out of three matchups against their NL West rival, but could not capitalize and jumped out to a somewhat disappointing 9-12 start.
The Dodgers improved in the second half of the month and finished April with a 14-3 record. They were able to build off that, posting a 19-9 record in May and pulling to within a half-game out of first place in the NL West.
By the start of summer, the Dodgers were on cruise control. They went 21-7 in June and followed up that performance with a 20-3 record in July. L.A. held a commanding 7.5-game advantage in the standings at the All-Star break, and that lead would only grow during the second half of play.
The Dodgers continued to thrive in August and posted a 17-10 record for the month. Though they finished seven games above .500, the club dropped their final five contests going into September.
L.A. snapped their skid on the first day of September but went on to lose an unprecedented 10 consecutive games after that. The Dodgers would eventually bounce back and clinched the NL West for a fifth consecutive season on Sept. 22 against the San Francisco Giants.
After getting over that hurdle, the club concluded the regular season with wins in six of their last seven contests.
Despite their late-season slumber, the Dodgers dominated the Diamondbacks in the NLDS, sweeping their divisional foe in three games. The deciding victory came against none other than Zack Greinke, who departed L.A. the previous offseason.
By defeating the Diamondbacks, the Dodgers set a postseason matchup against the Cubs for a second straight year. Looking to avenge themselves, L.A. jumped out to a 2-0 series lead over Chicago, propelled by Justin Turner’s walk-off home run in Game 2.
With the series shifting to Wrigley Field, the Dodgers took a commanding 3-0 lead over the Cubs by taking Game 3. Kyle Hendricks, who was the winning pitcher in the clinching matchup against L.A. in 2016, took the loss.
After a Game 4 defeat, the Dodgers answered back with an 11-1 blowout victory over the Cubs in Game 5, punching their tickets to the World Series for the first time since 1988.
L.A. hosted the Astros in Games 1 and 2 at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers pulled out a 3-1 win in the opening contest and nearly came away with another victory in Game 2 before Marwin Gonzalez evened up the score for Houston in the ninth.
The rest of the matchup was an up-and-down affair; the Dodgers and Astros each split the next four games, setting up a winner-take-all Game 7 at Dodger Stadium.
The highly anticipated contest was rather one-sided, as the Astros got to Darvish early and secured a 5-0 lead after two innings. Andre Ethier provided the only run for the Dodgers with an RBI single in the sixth inning — the last of his MLB career.
The Dodgers were defeated, 5-1, and saw their World Series drought extend to 29 years.