The Los Angeles Dodgers ended the regular season with a 10-3 win to complete a sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers, but it wasn’t enough to force a potential tie-breaking Game 163 as the San Francisco Giants also defeated the San Diego Padres to clinch their first National League West title since 2012.
The Dodgers are now set to meet the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Wild Card Game on Wednesday, with first pitch set for 5:10 p.m. PT at Dodger Stadium. It marks L.A.’s first appearance in the one-game playoff, which was introduced during the 2012 season.
Despite having their streak of consecutive division crowns snapped at eight, the Dodgers still enjoyed an outstanding regular season, tying a franchise record with 106 wins and posting an MLB-best run differential of +269.
“For the regular season, I’m really proud of our guys,” manager Dave Roberts said. “To go through what we went through and win a lot of ballgames, it was a great regular season. You have to give credit to the Giants. They had an even better regular season.
“As perennial, annual National League West champions as we are, they took it from us. I don’t think we just gave it away. Our guys didn’t waver all year. It’s not the path we planned out, but now our focus turns to Wednesday and winning a ballgame.”
While the Dodgers would have preferred to win the NL West, Roberts does not consider the 2021 season a disappointment. “The regular season is fulfilling. It’s absolutely fulfilling,” he began.
“Obviously the ultimate goal is to win a championship, but I will say the people that don’t appreciate what an organization does over the course of six months and thinks it’s a waste, they have no clue.
“It discredits everyone putting a lot of time into this whole operation, the day to day. I say that still expecting to win a championship this year. But to discredit in any way the regular season is very, very shortsighted and very ignorant.”
Roberts: Dodgers ‘having a lot of fun’
The Dodgers head into the postseason as one of the hottest teams in baseball, having won seven consecutive games and 15 straight at Dodger Stadium. “We’re having a lot of fun. We’re certainly winning, but I think a lot of it is we’re playing good baseball,” Roberts said late last week.
“I think this is collectively the best baseball we’ve played; pitching, catching the baseball, the at-bats and team offense. I think for me, that’s what’s most exciting. I think when you have guys playing better, certainly they feel better about themselves.
“Finishing out a season and going through the postseason, it’s about who’s playing their best baseball. The trend we’re on right now is reflecting the joy guys are having.”
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