I just saw the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the San Francisco Giants 9-1 to earn their second straight NL West title.
Clayton Kershaw threw eight innings, struck out 11 and didn’t walk anybody en route to his major league leading 21st win of the season. He now has a miniscule ERA of 1.77. For good measure, Kershaw even tripled to tie the game in the fifth. Kershaw is a shoo-in to win his third NL Cy Young in four years and might become the first NL pitcher to win the MVP since Bob Gibson did it in 1968. That’s some pretty darn good company.
The Dodgers scored four runs in the sixth on a solo HR by Yasiel Puig, a two-run double by Carl Crawford and a single by Juan Uribe. The ex-Giant would single in two more runs in the eighth. Catcher A.J. Ellis joined the party by driving in a run on a fielder’s choice. Puig drove in another run with a bases loaded walk.
The Giants tried to rally in the seventh, but Puig threw out Gregor Blanco as he tried to run from first to third.
The bearded ex-Giant Brian Wilson recorded the final three outs to cap off the night.
Like last year, the Dodgers started off slow. On June 8th, the Dodgers were treading water at 33-31 and were 10 games back of the Giants. By the Fourth of July, the Dodgers were in first place and on July 27th they would stay there for good. The Dodgers are 58-37 since June 8th.
But don’t feel too badly for the Giants. They need only more win (or a loss by the Milwaukee Brewers) to clinch one of the two NL Wild Card spots. On the other hand, the Giants did get swept by the San Diego Padres last weekend and have to face them in their final four games of the seasons. Meanwhile, the Brewers square off against the Cubs. Stranger things have happened.
The Dodgers will likely face the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLDS. However, the Pittsburgh Pirates are only 1 1/2 games back of the Cards and still have a chance to win the NL Central. Whether they face the Cards or Bucs, the Dodgers will be heavily favored to advance to the NLCS. Although I’m not sure how even Kershaw will do on 9 days rest.
Somewhere Wlady is absolutely stoked.