The Dodgers She seemed aghast, if not upset at the thought.
Didn’t they worry at all — now that they’ve snatched the division, all locked up baseball’s best record, and did so with two weeks left in the regular season — about the complacency situation between now and the start of the playoffs?
No, they emphatically claimed. Not at all.
“This question doesn’t even register with me,” First Policeman Freddy Freeman He said last week, in the midst of a celebration for his club team that decided his teams.
“I mean, if you don’t want to win the game, you shouldn’t play,” Gary Andrew Heaney Sunday echoed.
“If you start seeing our guys drooling, come and talk to me,” Director Dave Roberts He added that his tone grew sharper as he sat in the visiting leader’s office in Oracle Park. “Our guys are smart enough to know, that’s important.”
In fact, as promised, the Dodgers’ intensity did not diminish during their first series after their victory in the Western National League.
Instead, on the last leg of a three-city, 10-day road trip, the club completed three games, setting a record with the San Francisco Giants. 4-3 win in 10 games Sunday night.
It was the Dodgers’ 15th victory over the Giants this season, the biggest victory in which they had defeated rivals in a single campaign since the two franchises moved to California in 1958.
And it took them to grind during a rainy evening in the Bay Area, one that ended with an almost hour-long epic in the dramatic tenth inning.
After playing in wet conditions and delaying a rain 20 minutes early, then squandering an eighth inning lead that left the score 2-2 in 10th place, the Dodgers made two runs into the overtime frame.
Austin Barnes set the tone for sacrifice. Muki Bates broke the tie weakly on the line. Then, the Dodgers put together three walks (the first was intentional) to force the house to run insurance.
They needed it.
In the lower half of the tenth, the Redeemer Andre Jackson He gave up one inning and carried the bases with two outs before the left hand Justin Broil He replaced it and got LaMonte Wade Jr. to save his first career.
“Beer shower!” The Dodgers players shouted on their return to the club, excited to commemorate Bruel with celebration.
“There was beer, ketchup, milk, a bunch of other things lying around on me,” Bruel said with a smile.
“I took a nice, hot shower after that.”
Every little moment – playing in the rain, scoring two goals in the 10th minute, celebrating Bruel’s achievement – was evidence for Roberts that his players had not held back from their level of intensity in recent days, and that they had not lost their edge despite their place in the standings.
“There was no lack of focus or play,” Roberts said. “It was the same intensity that I saw last year, when we were racing with these guys. So credit to our players.”
Before the game, the manager said he struggled to convince his biggest star — namely Freeman, who only missed one game — to take more days as the season drew to a close.
“I’m not giving up,” Roberts joked. “But I also know the battles I will lose.”
The Dodgers (101-44) are still cautious in other ways.
Heaney was lifted from his start on Sunday after just four rounds and 65 throws, with his drop in execution after a fourth rain delay factored in Roberts’ decision.
The team also carefully managed its bulls as usual, switching to less experienced arms of Jackson and Broyle on the 10th in order to prevent higher leverage options like Tommy Kannell and Chris Martin from playing in back-to-back matches.
He nearly allowed the Giants (69-77) — who stole twice from a potential run earlier in the night in the doubles ground base that forced a sprinter to stop at third — to steal Sunday’s game late.
Jackson gave up on a deep flight for Joc Pederson which might have been the ride home had it not been for the heavy winds. Bruihl gave a foul long ball to Wade which drifted away from the right field pole.
In the end, however, the Dodgers triumphed again.
“If you ask anyone here, they probably won’t be able to tell you how many times we’ve beaten the Giants,” Heaney said. “We just go out and play.”
This story originally appeared Los Angeles Times.