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Dodgers first team to win playoff spot in 2020



Here’s one thing that hasn’t changed in 2020: The Dodgers will play in the mail season. The Dodgers won an eighth in a row playoff berth Wednesday with a 7-5 victory over the Padres at Petco Park, combined with losses from Colorado and Milwaukee. Box score The Dodgers just did not know.

Here’s one thing that hasn’t changed in 2020: The Dodgers will play in the mail season.

The Dodgers won an eighth in a row playoff berth Wednesday with a 7-5 victory over the Padres at Petco Park, combined with losses from Colorado and Milwaukee.

• Box score

The Dodgers just did not know. Los Angeles is proud to think through all the scenarios, but it claimed to have overlooked this.

“I think it took us all by surprise – we were so focused on winning the series,” said manager Dave Roberts, who has insisted that any match is worth celebrating, even eight in a row, like the Dodgers’ string continues. “I think the word will travel by plane. But it should definitely be celebrated.”

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That said, Roberts admitted that this klinning is “different” from all the others.

“I found out just five minutes ago,” Roberts said. “We still have a lot of baseball to play, but it’s an honor for the guys in the clubhouse.”

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With home runs from AJ Pollock and Chris Taylor, a two-run double by Will Smith and the other three-steal game of Mookie Betts‘career, Dodgers’ magic number to win the National League West is six because they own the first tiebreaker for the division, after going 6-4 head to head against the Padres this year.

While clinching was an overarching goal, the series of rubber fights were also doubled as a laboratory experiment as the Dodgers pulled a switch for late pitching. Instead of starting Dustin May as announced, they were about a modified bullpen game opened by Brusdar Graterol, who was charged with a 1 1/3 innings run. May, healed from a bruised left foot joint in his final start, hit the bulk of the game, allowing home runs for Jurickson Profar and Manny Machado with six strikes in 5 1/3 innings.

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“I had a lot of experience [relieving] last year, “said May. I got out of the gate and shot just by having to be ready on the court one. “

After losing the chippy series opener to the booted Padres, the Dodgers looked more like themselves in the following two wins. And their pitchers held NL MVP Award nominee Fernando Tatis Jr. to a 1-for-12 nightmare.

“We’re just attacking, let them make the mistakes,” May said. “We find a place and we just take advantage of it and I feel like we did a very good job with it in this series.”

It was the Dodgers’ second bullpen game in their last four competitions, third in the last five, and there is another on tap for Friday. It’s no coincidence in an age of post season openers and bulk jugs and the exploitation of matchups and game crews. Last week, starts Tony Gonsolin allowed three runs on five innings of relief. Prior to this game, Roberts said he sought information, either to prepare for using unconventional tactics or to plant a seed in the heads of opponents he might face in the post season.

“I thought Graterol threw the baseball well as a starter and opener,” Roberts said. “For Dustin to take on that role in one day, running that game was good for him and for us to review. We learned a lot.”

Among them is the likelihood of going through the mail season without a left-handed reliever Caleb Ferguson, who has a marked tear in the UCL at the elbow and is faced with a decision between throwing himself with it or having another surgery. He underwent surgery at Tommy John’s as a senior in 2014.

Never good news, but a hitless, one-run excursion by rookie Victor Gonzalez provides at least an effective alternative (3-0, 1.59 ERA).

Roberts also reported that Pollock left the game in the sixth inning with a hoarding spasm, which he said was not serious, but he also said he was unsure if Pollock would play Thursday in Denver. Zach McKinstry knife-hit for Justin Turner with two outs in the ninth and struck out in his debut. Roberts said Turner did not renew his left hamstring, which put him on the injured list for three weeks, and Roberts wanted to keep it that way.

Ken Gurnick has been covering Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.


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