Everyone's Relieved That The Dodgers Finally End 11-Game Skid, Clinch Playoff Spot
Remember when Sports Illustrated had the Dodgers on the cover, with the headline screaming “Best. Team. Ever?” A bit hyperbolic, perhaps. But it wasn’t exactly unwarranted, as they were on pace to possibly match the most number of wins in a single season in club history (the 1953 Dodgers bagged 105 wins). Furthermore, ESPN noted that they could tie the wins record for all teams:
While that SI cover was published in August, it seems like a small lifetime away, because the Dodgers suddenly became the worst club in the majors. Starting on August 26, they would go on to lose 16 of their next 17 games. In the process, they’d get swept by division neighbors the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Colorado Rockies.
Entering Tuesday’s game against the rival San Francisco Giants, the Dodgers were stuck in the morass of a 11-game losing streak. Then, in a small miracle, they won, feeding off a just-OK start by pitcher Clayton Kershaw, and sparked by a homer from Chase “Silver Fox” Utley. Not only did they snap the dry spell; they also clinched a spot in the post-season with the win.
Everyone on social media was relieved, and the appropriate memes followed in wake:
This is great, but it’s also a measure of how far the team has dropped when everyone’s excited over a single win, especially in a season where the Dodgers were supposed to be the best ever. And it's not like Tuesday's performance was all that reassuring. Kershaw wasn't always dominant, and Justin Turner could have missed the Wilshire Grand with the way he was throwing to first.
The team didn't celebrate after Tuesday's win. But it wasn't because of lingering doubts over their ability; rather, they just didn't know they'd clinched, reports the L.A. Times. The league was going some byzantine analysis and had told the Dodgers earlier in the day that they'd need either the Chicago Cubs or the Milwaukee Brewers to drop their respective games in order to clinch a spot. The Cubs and the Brewers would win, but then the league did a ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ later in the night and said the Dodgers had actually clinched a spot with Tuesday's win. “We’re in the postseason? Really?” said manager Dave Roberts, when a reported informed him about it. “That’s great.”
Anyway, here's to October.