This Day In Dodgers History: Earliest NL West Clinch By L.A. Team
Evan Habeeb/USA TODAY Sports

On Sept. 10, 2019, the Los Angeles Dodgers officially clinched a seventh consecutive National League West title with a 7-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles.

Walker Buehler led the way on the mound by tossing seven shutout innings, striking out 11. Corey Seager was a catalyst for the Dodgers offensively, homering twice and driving in five runs, while Gavin Lux hit the first home run of his Major League career to put the game on ice.

By defeating the Orioles and clinching the NL West, the Dodgers became the fastest team in L.A. franchise history to wrap up the division by both date and games played.

The 2019 Dodgers wrapped up the NL West in the 146th game of the season, which bested the 1977 club that did so in their 151st game. The previous earliest clinch date came on Sept. 19, 2013, when the Dodgers memorably defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field and decided to take a dip in the pool afterward.

While there have been some impressive regular-season Dodgers teams in recent years, the 2019 version was undoubtedly the best as they won a franchise-record 106 games, winning the division by 21 games over the second-place Arizona Diamondbacks.

Prior to that, the largest all-time final margin by an NL West champion was 20 games, set by the 1975 Cincinnati Reds.

Before 2015, the Dodgers had never won three straight division titles in franchise history. The following year they became the first team to win the NL West in four consecutive seasons since the Divisional Era began in 1969, and that record will soon be extended to eight years once they clinch in 2020.

Overall, the Dodgers’ stretch trails only the Atlanta Braves (14) and New York Yankees (nine) for most consecutive division titles since 1969.

Despite the regular-season success in 2019, the Dodgers fell short of their ultimate goal of winning the World Series when they were defeated by the Washington Nationals in five games in the NL Division Series.

During this run of division championships, the Dodgers have not been able to win a World Series, although they have twice reached the Fall Classic (2017 and 2018).

With so much young talent still on the roster, the Dodgers will be a forced to be reckoned with in the NL West for years to come. They still need to find a way to replicate that success in October though, and will once again get that opportunity in 2020.

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