After the Los Angeles Dodgers lost a fifth consecutive game on Aug. 23, Clayton Kershaw called for more urgency and a sense of panic to set in. The club responded by winning their five games, and 13 of 15.
The Dodgers recently finished a modest 5-5 on a 10-game homestand and departed for their final road trip of the season with their magic number to clinch the National League West down to three.
Los Angeles was swept in the three-game series by the Colorado Rockies over the weekend and made minimal progress toward a division title only due to the San Francisco Giants dropping one game to the Oakland Athletics.
A win Monday night over the Giants would’ve been enough for the Dodgers to earn a third straight NL West title, but they instead remained winless at AT&T Park this season, dropping to 0-7. While they weren’t able to reach one of their goals, Andre Ethier saw some positives in the loss, via J.P. Hoornstra of the LA Daily News:
“You can see how guys got that edge, that feeling back at the end of the game there,” Ethier said. “Maybe we can get that focus back — not worrying about the outcome, the what-ifs. … Before that, maybe it was too much looking forward. We know what we have,” Ethier continued. “It’s right there at our fingertips.”
A win in any of the next three games against the Giants will suffice for the Dodgers at this point. Though if they fail to clinch with Clayton Kershaw on the mound Tuesday night, they’ll be relying on Mike Bolsinger and Brett Anderson in the next two games.
On top of working to be crowned NL West champions, the Dodgers must also remain in the win column as it pertains to home-field advantage in the expected NL Division Series matchup with the New York Mets.