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The Dodgers Win the National League West

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It's over. The Dodgers are 2013 National League West champions.

Hanley Ramirez was not in the Dodger lineup on Wednesday night. The Dodgers lost the game 9-4 for the Diamondbacks. Hanley Ramirez was in the Dodger lineup Thursday afternoon. The Dodgers won 7-6.

All Hanley did was go 4-for-5 with two home runs including the game-tying blast in the seventh inning, yet he was only part of the story.

The big story was the second consecutive struggle for Ricky Nolasco. On Saturday he lasted for only four outs against the Giants. He gave up seven runs on seven hits. Things didn't look any hopeful in the third inning when he also gave up seven hits but only six runs. Add the fact he lasted five innings this time around, I guess this could be categorized as an improvement.

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That third inning completely turned around the Dodgers who led 3-0 in the top of the third on a Hanley three-run homer. After the Dodgers scored twice thanks to doubles by Juan Uribe and Scott Van Slyke, Hanley did it again in the seventh inning to tie the game.

A.J. Ellis quietly got the Dodgers the lead again with a solo shot to lead off the eighth.

It really is amazing. In late June I was preparing a story burying the Dodgers for the season when they were in last place and 9 1/2 games out of first place. Then they kept winning at a historic pace. They've since slowed down as injuries have crept back into the equation.

But we have plenty of time to dwell on what ails the Dodgers.

Today, the Dodgers should celebrate making the playoffs. Despite where they were three months ago. Despite that they are a little more than a year removed from Frank McCourt and the bankruptcy nightmare. Despite that the farm and scouting system were in shambles. The Dodgers are going to play October baseball.

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