SAN FRANCISCO — The Dodgers ended the season on a high note in San Francisco, notching win #100 behind Bobby Miller and a 5 run sixth by the offense.
Miller looked elite again on Sunday, even though he had a much shorter leash than the rest of the regular season. He went only four innings, giving up one hit and striking out four. He had his changeup working, and his fastball pumping up to 100 MPH while also navigating the Giants lineup with ease. Ryan Pepiot then went three innings, giving up the Giants only two runs in a sort of long relief role.
The lineup was held dormant for a good portion of the game, but in the sixth they exploded for five runs. Amed Rosario got the scoring started with an RBI single that scored Will Smith (who had 2 hits to break out of a slump) and then the floodgates opened. James Outman followed it up with an RBI single of his own and then Kiké Hernandez crushed a three-run home run to break the game wide open.
That was actually all the Dodgers needed to secure the victory as Evan Phillips came in to get some work and shut the door on the Giants and the 2023 regular season.
The Dodgers finish the season with a record of 100-62.
Here are my three takeaways:
Clayton Kershaw Lining Up To Start Game 1
In what was a bit of a shock, Dave Roberts all but confirmed that Clayton Kershaw would take the mound in game one of the NLDS in a little over a week. Kershaw’s velocity has been down, but his command has actually improved a bit. With his experience in the playoffs for many years, I can see why he will be taking the mound, but I can’t help but think that Bobby Miller and Ryan Pepiot throwing at home would’ve been the safer call. All in all, Kershaw has earned that game one start based off of his reputation alone…
Dodgers Get Win #100
“I couldn’t be more proud of these guys,” said Dave Roberts to Kirsten Watson postgame. After a tumultuous and injury-filled season full of surprises and setbacks, this Dodger team brought the fans and organization their third straight 100 win season. They are now the first team in MLB history with 100 wins in four consecutive full seasons (due to the 2020 shortened season).
This team has continued to defy odds, through the loss of players to injuries, slumps, and naysayers to get to this mark and win a division title. Even if the Dodgers fall short of a World Series title this year, we should consider it a success due to those factors. Now, it’s time to finish the job.
When I started doing the takeaways after Dodger games in June, I never thought I’d be able to build such a portfolio and catalog to connect with the readers and Dodger fans alike. I was nervous to take the task due to my inexperience in writing at this scale. Because of the support of the readers and Dodger fans, I learned, grew and continued to enjoy this more and more.
I was always the guy to be more comfortable in front of a camera and microphone in a studio, but writing about the Dodgers for a proper company always felt like a fever dream. Through the ups and downs of this team, I felt I was right there with them every step of the way during this season. While the Dodgers grew into a contender, I grew into a better writer and journalist, with my knowledge about the team being as crisp and as complete as I have ever had in my life.
My point in all of this is to just say “thank you.” Thank you for reading these pieces as I grew as a writer and as I navigated this fun, successful and incredible 2023 Dodger regular season. I also have to give thanks to all of the wonderful folks here at The Sporting Tribune for giving me this opportunity and for trusting me to do these pieces for you. I don’t know if I will be assigned for the playoffs, but I can assure you I will be watching and listening if not. Hopefully I can write about something special that this team has the ability to accomplish in the playoffs, but until then… Go Dodgers!