Posts Tagged ‘Los Angeles Dodgers’

After winning 106 games in each of the last two full seasons, the Los Angeles Dodgers have set a new franchise best with their 107th victory of the 2022 season. The record-breaking victory was a 1-0 extra-innings win over the San Diego Padres.

“That’s a lot of wins if you really think about it,” Freddie Freeman said, according to The Associated Press. “A lot of good things have to happen from a lot of guys. Not just 26 guys, but 40-to-45 guys have to contribute to be able to do that.”

Freeman cashed in Mookie Betts with a single in the 10th inning for the only run of the contest.

With the Dodgers operating with a closer-by-committee approach after Craig Kimbrel‘s recent troubles, Tommy Kahnle recorded the save.

L.A. has seven games remaining in the season to continue padding its new record. With a win percentage now at .690, the Dodgers still trail their club-best mark of .717 set during the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign with a 43-17 record. Prorated over a full 162-game season, the Dodgers were on pace to win 116 games that year.

The club already locked up its ninth division title in the last 10 seasons while also securing the top record in the National League, ensuring home-field advantage through at least the NLCS.

“Once Oct. 11 hits, no one’s going to care how many wins you had in the regular season,” Freeman said. “That’s the big thing. We’re here, we’re in the regular season, we might as well get as many wins as we possibly can. You’ve got to play good baseball from start to finish to be able to accomplish something like this, and we’ve been doing it.”

Since the beginning of 2019, the Dodgers now possess an incredible plus-1,000 run differential, the best in the majors over that span, according to Alden Gonzalez of ESPN. The Houston Astros are second at plus-701.

Incidentally, the Astros are also the only threat to overtake the Dodgers for the best overall record in MLB this year, sitting at 102-54 with six games remaining. Any combination of two Dodgers wins or Astros losses will clinch home-field advantage through the World Series for L.A.

Los Angeles Dodgers icon Maury Wills, the first player in modern major-league history to steal 100 bases in a season, died Monday at age 89.

Wills electrified baseball when he stole a then-unheard of 104 bases in 1962, breaking Ty Cobb’s modern-era record that had stood for nearly a half-century. The feat earned Wills 1962 National League MVP honors in a very close vote over Willie Mays. Though his record’s since been surpassed several times, Wills remains one of just four players to record a 100-steal season since the modern stolen-base rules were established.

A native of Washington, D.C., Wills toiled in the minors for a decade before finally getting his shot with the Dodgers in 1959. He made his mark as a defensive wizard and elite base-stealer, winning two Gold Gloves while leading the NL in steals for six consecutive seasons.

Wills, who also spent time with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Montreal Expos, made seven All-Star appearances during his 12 seasons with the Dodgers. He was the starting shortstop on four Dodgers pennant winners between 1959 and ’66 and helped them to three World Series titles.

Following his playing career, Wills had a brief, ill-fated stint managing the Seattle Mariners. He then spent several decades as a Dodgers spring-training instructor, tutoring many of the team’s players in the art of base-stealing, including current Dodgers manager Dave Roberts.

“Maury was very impactful to me, personally, professionally. He’s going to be missed,” Roberts – who wears No. 30 in Wills’ honor – said Tuesday, according to Eric Stephen of True Blue LA. “He was a friend, a father, a mentor, all of the above for me. This one is a tough one.”

Earlier this year, the team honored Wills as the fourth inductee in its “Legends of Dodger Baseball” program.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are the first team in Major League Baseball to clinch a playoff berth and will compete in the postseason for the 10th consecutive season after beating the San Diego Padres 11-2 on Sunday.

At 96-43, the Dodgers hold a colossal 20-game lead over the second-place Padres and an eight-game lead over the New York Mets, who own the second-best overall record in the National League.

If the season ended Sunday, the Dodgers would have a first-round bye. After that, they’d face the winner of a three-game series between the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies played entirely at Truist Park. The Braves are currently mired in a dogfight for NL East supremacy, though, sitting 1 1/2 games back of the Mets.

“I don’t think it’s anything you can take for granted,” said Justin Turner, who hit a grand slam and a solo homer in the rout, according to The Associated Press. “I’ve been on some teams early in my career that didn’t have this opportunity, so I definitely feel fortunate to be a part of an organization that cares about winning and puts winning first.”

Turner began his career with the Baltimore Orioles in 2009 before joining the Mets the following season. The two-time All-Star was then infamously non-tendered by the Mets prior to the 2014 campaign.

“It’s a very smart group; it’s a very focused group,” added manager Dave Roberts, who has now led the club to the playoffs in all seven of his seasons as skipper. “We have a long way to go to accomplish our goal. We kind of understand that if you look at yourself as a ball club and set a certain standard of play, then it allows you to kind of reach that and realize those goals. It’s pretty easy for us, and we don’t care about the standings. We just want to play good baseball.”

Los Angeles will now focus on officially wrapping up its 20th NL West title. In their current streak of playoff berths, the Dodgers won eight division titles – coming every year between 2013 and 2020.

The San Francisco Giants were the lone interrupter, claiming the 2021 division crown with a franchise-record 107 wins. The Dodgers finished one game back with 106 wins.

With a win percentage of .691 this season, the Dodgers are on pace to win 112 games. That would be the storied club’s most wins in franchise history and its second-best win percentage, behind only the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign, in which it went 43-17 en route to a World Series championship.

The 2001 Seattle Mariners and 1906 Chicago Cubs share the MLB record for most wins in a single season with 116. The Cubs boasted a .763 win percentage, playing 152 games and losing 36.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are keeping Max Muncy in the fold as they signed the two-time All-Star infielder to a one-year, $13.5-million contract extension Monday.

The deal also contains a club option for 2024 worth $10 million. Muncy can increase the option to $14 million through incentive clauses based on plate appearances, according to Ronald Blum of The Associated Press.

“This place means everything to me and my family. There’s not anywhere else that I’d rather play,” he told reporters, according to Sarah Wexler of MLB.com. “A chance to come back for another year was a no-brainer. I hope that there’s more after that, but I try not to look too far ahead.”

Muncy was in the final guaranteed season of a three-year, $26-million contract. The Dodgers held a $13-million club option as part of his old deal, which the club essentially picked up once he agreed to the extension.

The 31-year-old is experiencing a bit of a down campaign, sporting a .711 OPS with 16 homers and 47 RBIs in 2022. However, he’s looked more like his old self in the season’s second half, hitting .255/.343/.553 with seven homers, 14 extra-base hits, and 17 RBIs in 26 games since the All-Star break.

Muncy joined Los Angeles on a minor-league deal in 2017 following two underwhelming campaigns in Oakland. He’s been a critical component of the recent successful Dodgers clubs, hitting 134 homers with a .859 OPS since 2018 while bouncing between three infield positions defensively.

Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Walker Buehler will undergo season-ending elbow surgery Aug. 23, the club announced Monday.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Buehler felt elbow discomfort after playing catch last week, according to Jack Harris of the Los Angeles Times. However, Roberts said he doesn’t believe Tommy John surgery is a possibility, although he added that the team will know more after the scheduled procedure.

Roberts added the decision to get surgery was made after Buehler had an MRI last week, per Harris. Roberts also said there is no timetable for recovery yet.

Buehler was shut down with a ligament strain in his right elbow in mid-June. The Dodgers initially expected him to pitch again in 2022 as that injury didn’t require surgery at the time.

The 28-year-old then had bone spurs removed from his right elbow a few days after the strain was diagnosed. The procedure was unrelated to the first injury.

The two-time All-Star ends the year with a 4.02 ERA and 58 strikeouts over 65 innings (12 starts). He finished fourth in NL Cy Young voting in 2021.

The Toronto Blue Jays acquired right-hander Mitch White and infielder Alex De Jesus from the Los Angeles Dodgers for right-hander Nick Frasso and left-hander Moises Brito, the clubs announced Tuesday.

White, 27, made 15 appearances (10 starts) for the Dodgers this season. He owns a 3.70 ERA, 3.95 FIP, and 7.55 K/9 in 56 innings.

De Jesus owns an .833 OPS with 11 home runs and 48 RBIs in 338 at-bats for the Dodgers’ Single-A affiliate this season.

The Blue Jays drafted Frasso in the fourth round in 2020. The 23-year-old has been sensational this season, posting a 0.74 ERA with 57 strikeouts in 36 2/3 innings at Single-A.

Brito owns a 1.86 ERA in 29 innings in rookie ball this season. The 20-year-old has also racked up 32 strikeouts in 29 innings.

The New York Yankees traded outfielder Joey Gallo to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for right-handed pitching prospect Clayton Beeter, the teams announced.

Los Angeles will pay the close to $4 million left on Gallo’s contract, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network.

Gallo, who’s a two-time All-Star, struggled immensely after getting dealt to the Yankees at last year’s deadline. The 28-year-old owns a .159/.291/.368 slash line with 25 homers over 140 games with New York. He accrued an .833 OPS with 145 round-trippers over 568 contests with the Texas Rangers to begin his career.

Meanwhile, Beeter is the No.15 prospect in the Dodgers’ minor-league system, according to Baseball America. The 23-year-old has recorded a 5.75 ERA with 88 strikeouts over 51 2/3 innings in Double-A this season.

Legendary Los Angeles Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully died Tuesday at the age of 94, the club announced.

“We have lost an icon,” Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten said.

“The Dodgers’ Vin Scully was one of the greatest voices in all of sports. He was a giant of a man not only as a broadcaster, but as a humanitarian. He loved people. He loved life. He loved baseball and the Dodgers. And he loved his family.”

Scully received the Ford C. Frick Award from the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982. He began calling Dodgers games in 1950 in Brooklyn and stayed with the club through its move to Los Angeles before retiring from the booth in 2016.

Scully’s 67-year career with the Dodgers is the longest run for any broadcaster with a single team in sports history.

Scully called numerous World Series on both radio and television. One of his most memorable calls came when Bill Buckner committed his infamous error during Game 6 of the 1986 Fall Classic between the Boston Red Sox and New York Mets.

https://streamable.com/m/it-gets-by-buckner-c13062925

Scully also delivered an epic moment during the 1988 World Series when a hobbled Kirk Gibson crushed a pinch-hit home run in Game 1 between the Dodgers and Oakland Athletics.

https://streamable.com/m/must-c-gibson-s-1988-ws-homer-c1864676883

Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti announced City Hall will be lit up Wednesday in honor of Scully.

“We lost the greatest to ever do it,” current Dodgers play-by-play man Joe Davis said during Tuesday’s broadcast.

Getting traded is a tough pill to swallow. But when you’re moved for one of the best in the league, as Boston Red Sox outfielder Alex Verdugo was, it certainly makes it slightly easier.

“Honestly, I was upset about the trade,” Verdugo told MassLive’s Chris Cotillo. “I didn’t think I was going to get traded from the Dodgers, and I didn’t feel like I should have been the guy to get traded. Obviously, being traded, you do sit back and say, ‘At least, I got traded for fucking Mookie Betts.'”

Verdugo was the key piece in a three-player haul with Jeter Downs and Connor Wong that sent Betts and David Price to the Dodgers prior to the 2020 season.

“But yeah, I never had that ‘Holy shit!’ moment,” the outfielder added. “I just figured, shit, I got traded, man, this sucks. Then I came over here and was like, ‘Holy shit, this was a blessing.’ I love it over here. The Red Sox have been nothing but great to me, have taken care of me. From the teammates to the staff to the coaching, it has been amazing.”

The 26-year-old has become a crucial member of a Red Sox club that improbably made it to the American League Championship Series last year. After a rough start to the 2022 campaign, Boston now sits atop the AL wild-card standings at 41-31, 11 games back of the division-leading New York Yankees.

Verdugo, who earned down-ballot MVP consideration in 2020, has somewhat struggled this season, hitting .251/.293/.373 – all career lows – with five homers over 66 contests.

Betts, meanwhile, looked to be headed toward MVP consideration in 2022, authoring a .884 OPS in 60 games before landing on the injured list with a fractured rib. The five-time All-Star won an MVP as a member of the Red Sox in 2018 and finished as the runner-up for the award in 2016.

Gil Hodges, one of the newest members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, will finally be honored by the team that made him a star.

The Los Angeles Dodgers will retire Hodges’ No. 14 before their game against the New York Mets on June 4, they announced Thursday. This honor will precede the iconic first baseman’s induction into Cooperstown on July 24.

Hodges was the heartbeat of the famed “Boys of Summer” Brooklyn Dodgers clubs in the 1950s. Over his 16 seasons with the organization, he hit 361 homers – a mark that still ranks second in franchise history – while making eight All-Star appearances and winning three Gold Gloves at first base. He helped the Dodgers to seven National League pennants and two World Series titles, winning one each in Brooklyn and Los Angeles.

Following his playing career, Hodges achieved more fame as a manager, leading the Mets to their miraculous 1969 World Series title. He died suddenly just three years later at age 47.

One of the most respected players of his time, Hodges’ Cooperstown case as both a player and manager became one of the most polarizing Hall of Fame arguments during his wait of over five decades. The Hall’s Golden Days committee finally elected him this past December, making him an eligible honoree for the Dodgers, who (with one exception) only retire numbers for Hall of Famers.

Hodges is the 11th person to have the Dodgers retire his number and the 13th in MLB history to have multiple teams retire his number. The Mets – L.A.’s opponent next weekend – retired his No. 14 in 1973.