LOS ANGELES – The Dodgers beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 8-4 on Tuesday night before their magic numbers lacked the usual magic to secure a playoff berth.
It’s zero, for the record. The Dodgers’ victory, combined with the San Diego Padres’ loss at the hands of the San Francisco Giants, ensured that they would reach the playoffs for their ninth consecutive season. When asked if this year’s team reminds him of any predecessors, third baseman Justin Turner declined.
“We’re on our way now,” Turner said, “and playing really good baseball.”
The Dodgers (93-53) are on pace to 103 wins. Yet so far they are heading straight for wild card berths – a special path indeed. Only twice in franchise history, and not since 2006, have the Dodgers entered the post season as a wild-card team.
With the best record in baseball, the Giants (95–50) have a chance to halt the Dodgers’ streak of eight consecutive National League West titles. They lead the division by 2½ games with 17 regular-season games remaining; The Dodgers have 16 games left.
Turner may have been caught off-guard before Tuesday’s game when asked about the Dodgers’ plan to celebrate if they win.
“Although you don’t want to take those things lightly,” he said, “I don’t know whether we’ll celebrate it or not.”
The Dodgers are a perfect 5-0 at their current homestand, which ends with a rematch against Arizona on Wednesday night. The Dodgers have won 13 of 15 one-on-one meetings with the basement-dwelling Diamondbacks (47–98).
The Dodgers have never been far behind on Tuesday. Max Muncie, Will Smith and Tree Turner each hit home runs. Munsi and Turner each scored 2 for 3 with two RBIs. Munsi has 33 home runs, ranking third in the National League.
Dodgers starter Tony Gonsolin (3-1) did not allow a hit until Ketel Marte led the fourth inning with a single. The right-handed batsman allowed only two hits and two walks while hitting a six – the third time in 11 he has bowled at least five innings without conceding a run earlier this season.
Marte also hit a three-run home run against reliever Justin Bruehl in the seventh inning, bringing Arizona to within 6-4.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Dodgers loaded bases against right-hander Brett de Geus, who the Dodgers lost in the Rule 5 draft last December. Sacrifice flies by Smith and Justin Turner provided the final score.
There is much more to come on this story.