The wait is finally over. The Los Angeles Dodgers clinched the NL West Thursday with a 7-6 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
With the win, the Dodgers became the first team this season to punch their playoff ticket. All it took was 88 wins and a little bit of patience. Not easy for a city known for its quick pace.
The patience of Los Angeles was rewarded thanks to a monster performance by shortstop Hanley Ramirez. Ramirez had four hits in five at bats and four rbi’s. Two of those hits were home runs.
Ramirez looks nothing like the player who was considered damaged goods when the Dodgers traded for him last season. More than Hanley’s bat was needed though, as the Diamondbacks packed on six runs in the third inning.
Scott Van Slyke and Michael Young both added rbi’s of their own, and AJ Ellis had the big hit of the day. With the score tied in the eighth, Ellis launched a home run to take the lead.
Newly acquired set up man Brian Wilson pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning and closer Kenley Jansen saved the game. With the final out the Dodgers clinched the playoffs for the first time since 2009. They won 95 games that season and lost the ALCS to the Philadelphia Phillies.
In the three seasons since Los Angeles made it to October the San Francisco Giants, their arch rivals, won the World Series twice. San Francisco was a non-factor this year and currently sit near the bottom of the division.
The Dodgers main competition this year was the Arizona Diamondbacks, the same team they beat to clinch. The Diamondback led the division until the Dodgers promoted Yasiel Puig from the minors. Since Puig made his debut the Dodgers have been nearly unbeatable.
Will you be rooting for the Dodgers in the playoffs?
[image via Wikimedia Commons]