Thursday, September 19, 2013

Dodgers clinch NL West title with 7-6 victory, plus 'Zona reaction to 'Poolgate'

It wasn't pretty, but the Dodgers clinched their first National League West title for the first time since 2009 with a 7-6 win in Arizona on Thursday.

The Dodgers didn't start Adrian Gonzalez because of a lingering quad problem. No worries because Hanley Ramirez picked up the slack by going 4-for-5 with two home runs and four RBI. A.J. Ellis put the Dodgers ahead with a first-pitch home run in the top of the eighth. He finished with three hits.

Ricky Nolasco, coming off his worst start as a Dodger, was bad on Thursday, allowing six runs (all in the third inning) in five innings pitched.

The Dodgers were able to overcome a 6-3 deficit in the middle- and late-innings.

Now that the Dodgers have officially clinched a playoff berth, expect a lot of Jim Tracy Sunday Special lineups for the remainder of the season. Guys like Ramirez, Gonzalez and Carl Crawford should get ample rest in preparation for October.

The Dodgers will also be able to line up their rotation whatever way they see fit. It'll be Clayton Kershaw in Game 1 on Oct. 3 and Zack Greinke Oct. 4. Before Nolasco's last two starts, he looked to have the inside track on the No. 3 spot. Now, it looks like it could be Hyun-Jin Ryu's spot to lose.


Now onto the "fun" stuff.

The Diamondbacks had asked the Dodgers not to celebrate on the field until after the fans left the stadium. Well, the Dodgers adhered to that request. Instead, Skip Schumaker and Nick Punto led a group of Dodgers to the (ridiculous) swimming pool in right-center field.

This pissed off almost any and everyone associated with the Diamondbacks (fans, media, players, executives, etc.).
And this from the Arizona Republic.
"Congratulations are in order. Even to a bunch as classless as the Los Angeles Dodgers, the first players not wearing Diamondbacks uniforms to celebrate a championship by diving into the Chase Field pool."
A nice 5-graf editorial. Keep up the hard-hitting opinion and analysis.

And you want to talk about class? What about this classless act from earlier this year. Check and mate.

You know what prevents other teams from celebrating in your pool, Arizona?
  1. Don't let the other team clinch in your park
  2. Don't have a SWIMMING POOL at a baseball stadium
That's it.

But thank goodness for Brandon McCarthy. If the Dodgers need a No. 5 starter in 2015, I'd be more than happy if the Dodgers signed him (provided he were still effective).
I'm sure this will spill over into next season, even if guys like Schumaker and Punto aren't with the Dodgers anymore.

Enjoy, Dodger fans. In two weeks, the real fun begins. Eleven wins to go.

Graphic credit: Courtesy of the Los Angeles Dodgers

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