After putting together a regular season that saw the most wins in franchise history since relocating from Brooklyn, the Los Angeles Dodgers began their postseason journey in emphatic fashion by sweeping the Arizona Diamondbacks in the National League Division Series.
Erased was the Diamondbacks 11-8 head-to-head record against the Dodgers during the regular season, which included consecutive three-game series sweeps late in the year. Los Angeles once again looked the part of a team that won 43 of 50 games.
It was the first such stretch in MLB history since the 1912 New York Giants also went on a 43-7 run. While impressive, the Dodgers’ sweep of the Diamondbacks is merely viewed within the organization as the first step toward their ultimate goal.
There was a celebration inside the visiting clubhouse at Chase Field, but it was more subdued compared to others who also let the champagne fly after advancing out of the first round.
Dodgers players — past and present — reveled in the series win while also stressing the fact the journey was hardly over. Among those representing the franchise’s lore was Sandy Koufax, who attended all three NLDS games.
Impressed by what he’s witnessed, Koufax predicted the Dodgers would reach the World Series, via Bill Plaschke of the L.A. Times:
“I’ll be be back Oct. 24,” said Koufax Monday, standing outside a visiting clubhouse filled with champagne showers and bear hugs. “I really believe they’re going to get there,” said Koufax. “Why not? This is a very impressive team.”
Tuesday, Oct. 24, is the date of Game 1 of the World Series. Should the Dodgers turn Koufax’s prediction into reality, that would be played at Dodger Stadium. Along with Game 2, and if necessary, Games 6 and 7.
Koufax joins former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda in making a blue-hearted prediction for the Fall Classic. After the team the San Francisco Giants to clinch a fifth consecutive NL West title, Lasorda said there was “no doubt in his mind” the Dodgers would win the World Series.
The Dodgers must first get through the NL Championship Series, which they’ve now reached for a second consecutive year and fifth time in the past decade.
They were eliminated by the Philadelphia Phillies in 2008 and 2009, ousted by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2013, and fell to the eventual champion Chicago Cubs last season.
The Dodgers are in line for either an NLCS rematch with the Cubs, or a meeting with their 2016 NLDS opponent, Washington Nationals.