Dodgers is a shortened form of Trolley Dodgers what fans of the Dodgers were called because they had to Dodge the trolleys that crisscrossed Brooklyn in the early 20th century.
Don Mattingly 2011-
Dodger Stadium 1962-
First Game Played April 15, 1958
1000 Elysian Park Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90012-1199
Phone: (323) 224-1500
Walter Alston 1958-1976
Tommy Lasorda 1976-1996
Bill Russell 1996-1998
Glenn Hoffman 1998
Davey Johnson 1999-2000
Jim Tracy 2001-2005
Grady Little 2006-2007
Joe Torre 2008-2010
Don Mattingly 2011-Present
LA Memorial Coliseum 1958-1961
Dodger Stadium 1962-Present
World Champions: (5)
1959, 1963, 1965, 1981, 1988
World Series Appearances: (9)
1959, 1963, 1965, 1966, 1974, 1977, 1978, 1981, 1988
LCS Appearances: (10)
1974, 1977, 1978, 1981, 1983, 1985, 1988, 2008, 2009, 2013
Division Champions: (15)
1974, 1977, 1978, 1981*, 1983, 1985, 1988, 1994!,1995, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2013, 2014, 2015
*-Split Season won 2nd half
!-Strike ended season on Aug. 12th
Wild Card: (2)
Hall of Famers: (14)
Walter Alston MGR 1958-1976
Jim Bunning RHP 1969
Gary Carter C 1991
Don Drysdale RHP 1958-1969
Greg Maddux RHP 2006, 2008
Rickey Henderson OF 2003
Sandy Koufax LHP 1958-1966
Tommy Lasorda MGR 1976-1996
Juan Marichal RHP 1975
Eddie Murray 1B 1989-1991, 1997
Walter O'Malley 1958-1979
Pee Wee Reese SS 1958
Frank Robinson OF 1972
Duke Snider OF 1958-1962
Don Sutton RHP 1966-1980, 1988
Joe Torre MGR 2008-2010
Hoyt Wilhelm RHP 1971-1972
Retired Numbers: (10)
1 Pee Wee Reese SS 1940-42, 47-58
2 Tommy Lasorda MGR 1976-1996
4 Duke Snider OF 1947-1962
19 Jim Gilliam 2B 1953-1966
20 Don Sutton RHP 1966-1980, 1988
24 Walter Alston MGR 1954-1976
32 Sandy Koufax LHP 1955-1966
39 Roy Campanella C 1948-1957
42 Jackie Robinson 2B 1947-1956*
53 Don Drysdale RHP 1956-1969
*-Also retired by MLB
All-Star Games Hosted: (2)
All-Star Game MVP: (5)
1962 Maury Wills SS
1974 Steve Garvey 1B
1977 Don Sutton RHP
1978 Steve Garvey 1B
1996 Mike Piazza C
Triple Crown Winners: (4)
1963 Sandy Koufax LHP
1965 Sandy Koufax LHP
1966 Sandy Koufax LHP
2011 Clayton Kershaw LHP
Manager of the Year: (2)
1983 Tommy Lasorda
1988 Tommy Lasorda
Rookie of the Year: (12)
1960 Frank Howard OF
1965 Jim Lefebvre 2B
1969 Ted Sizemore 2B
1979 Rick Sutcliffe RHP
1980 Steve Howe LHRP
1981 Fernado Valenzuela LHP
1982 Steve Sax 2B
1992 Eric Karros 1B
1993 Mike Piazza C
1994 Raul Mondes OF
1995 Hideo Nomo RHP
1996 Todd Hollandsworth OF
Fireman Award: (2)
2003 Eric Gagne RHP
2004 Eric Gagne RHP
Hank Aaron Award: (1)
2011 Matt Kemp OF
Cy Young: (11)
1962 Don Drysdale RHP
1963 Sandy Koufax LHP
1965 Sandy Koufax LHP
1966 Sandy Koufax LHP
1974 Mike Marshall RHP
1981 Fernando Valenzuela LHP
1988 Orel Hershiser RHP
2003 Eric Gagne RHP
2011 Clayton Kershaw LHP
2013 Clayton Kershaw LHP
2014 Clayton Kershaw LHP
1962 Maury Wills SS
1963 Sandy Koufax LHP
1974 Steve Garvey 1B
1988 Kirk Gibson OF
2014 Clayton Kershaw LHP
LCS MVP: (3)
1977 Dusty Baker OF
1978 Steve Garvey 1B
1981 Burt Hooton RHP
1988 Orel Hershiser RHP
World Series MVP: (7)
1959 Larry Sherry RHP
1963 Sandy Koufax LHP
1965 Sandy Koufax LHP
1981 Ron Cey 3B
1981 Pedro Guerrero OF
1981 Steve Yeager C
1988 Orel Hershiser RHP
No Hitters: (12)
6/30/1962 Sandy Koufax
5/11/1963 Sandy Koufax
6/4/1964 Sandy Koufax
9/9/1965 Sandy Koufax (Perfect)
7/20/1970 Bill Singer
6/27/1980 Jerry Reuss
6/29/1990 Fernando Valenzuela
4/17/1992 Kevin Gross
7/14/1995 Ramón Martinez
9/17/1996 Hideo Nomo
5/25/2014 Josh Beckett
6/18/2014 Clayton Kershaw
Cycle Hitters: (2)
5/7/1970 Wes Parker
4/13/2009 Orlando Hudson
Four HR Games: (1)
5/23/2002 Shawn Green
On the Air:
KLAC (570 AM); KTNQ (1020 AM) -Spanish; MBC-Korean
Orel Hershiser, Vin Scully and Charlie Steiner-TV; Nomar Garciaparra, Rick Monday, Vin Scully and Charlie Steine Radio; Jaime Jarrin, Manny Mota, Fernando Valenzuela and Pepe Yniguez- Spanish; Heo Gu-yeon and Min Hoon-ji-Korean
Ford C. Frick Recipients: (2)
Jamie Jarrin 1959-Present
Vin Scully 1958-Present
Spring Training History: (2)
Vero Beach, FL 1958-2008
Glendale, AZ 2009-Present
©MMXV Tank Productions. Stats researched by Frank Fleming, all information, statistics, logos, and team names are property of Major League Baseball. This site is not affiliated with the Los Angeles Dodgers or Major League Baseball. This site is maintained for research purposes only. All logos used on this page were from Chris Creamer's Sports Logos Page.
Page created on March 15, 2001. Last updated on October 4, 2015 at 11:15 pm ET.
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Brooklyn Trolley Dodgers
Los Angeles Dodgers
1958: The Dodgers play their first game in Los Angeles on April 18th, defeating the newly the also relocated San Francisco Giants 6-5 before 78,672 fans at the LA Memorial Coliseum (a converted football stadium). However the Dodgers first season in LA would end up in a 7th place disappointment with a 71-83 record.
1959: With the reawakened bats of Duke Snider and Gil Hodges along with the fiery pitching of Don Drysdale, the Dodgers are in the thick of the Pennant Race all season long. The late-season pitching heroics of Roger Craig would help the dodgers in key games down the stretch as the Dodgers ended up with an 86-68 record good enough to earn a 1st Place tie with Milwaukee Braves. The Dodgers won the first playoff game in Milwaukee and captured big league baseball's their first West Coast pennant at home two days later, in the 12th inning. In the World Series the Dodgers are matched up with Chicago White Sox. After being white washed 11-0 in Game 1 the Dodgers faced a 0-2 series deficit down 2-1 in the 7th Inning of Game 2. The Dodgers would rally thanks to homers from Chuck Essegian, and Charlie Neal to take a lead. Larry Sherry would come on hold the lead to send the series tied one game apiece heading to LA. In Game 3 a record crowd of 92,394 was in attendance at the Coliseum, as the Dodgers won 3-1. The Dodgers would win Game 4 in front of another large crowd with an 8th Inning HR by Gil Hodges. Trying to close things out at home Sandy Koufax was out dueled 1-0. With the series returning to Chicago the Dodgers would not be denied winning 9-3, as Larry Sherry was named World Series MVP.
1960: The Dodgers follow up their first California Championship with a 4th Place finish and an 82-72 record, leaving them 13 games out of the top spot.
1961: The Dodgers fall just four games short of the NL Pennant with a solid 89-65 record.
1962: Jackie Robinson makes history again becoming the first black player inducted into the Hall of Fame. Walter O'Malley finally had the stadium he had been seeking for so many years. After four seasons at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the Dodgers moved into their new home, Dodger Stadium. The 56,000-seat stadium opened on April 10th against the Cincinnati Reds. The sparkling new venue did wonders for the Dodgers led by Maury Wills MVP season, and Cy Young Don Drysdale. Wills became the first player of the 20th century to steal 100 bases in a season. The Dodgers won 102 games and tied the San Francisco Giants for 1st Place forcing a playoff for the pennant. The playoff must have reminded fans of 1951. As they had then, the Giants and Dodgers split the first two games, and the Dodgers once again brought a 4-2 lead into the ninth inning of Game 3. This time, though, it was not a home run that undid them, but a bases-loaded walk, as the Giants advanced to thee World Series.
1963: The Dodgers won the National League pennant by 6 games helped out by winning 19 games in the final month of the season to post a 99-63 record. Sandy Koufax was the key to the Dodgers championship year. The overpowering left-hander, who was later named Player of the Decade, was 25-5 with a 1.88 ERA and 306 strikeouts. He was selected Most Valuable Player and Cy Young winner, while also garnering World Series MVP honors and was named to the All-Star team. Once again the Dodgers had to face the mighty New York Yankees in the World Series. This time it was no contest as the boys in blue swept the Bronx Bombers, holding the potent Yankee offense to just four runs in four games.
1964: Sandy Koufax tosses a No Hitter for the third season in a row, but the Dodgers struggled all season, and finished with a disappointing 80-82, which landed them in a tie for 6th Place.
1965: Cy Young Award winner Sandy Koufax won 26 games, including a then record breaking 4th No Hitter that was also a Perfect Game. With Don Drysdale winning 23 games of his own the Dodgers found themselves in a tight 4-team race that saw them fall behind the San Francisco Giants in early September. However, The Dodgers would take the lead for good h with 13-game winning streak, as the Dodgers won their third Pennant in LA with a 97-65 record. The Dodgers faced the upstart Minnesota Twins in the World Series. After losing the first 2 in Minnesota, the Dodgers returned home for Game 3 desperately needing a win. Claude Osteen provided the boost the Dodgers needed by pitching a complete game shut out. The Dodgers would than go on to win the next two in Dodgers Stadium to head back to Minnesota with a 3-2 lead. However the Dodgers were stunned again in Game 6 by Mudcat Grant's superior pitching, and 3 run Homer that forced a 7th Game. The Dodgers would send Sandy Koufax to the mound for Game 7. Koufax pitched one of the best games of his career pitching a Complete game three hit shut out while Striking out 10, as the Dodgers won their second World Championship in three years.
1966: The pennant race was just as close as the year before, with 3 teams switching leads throughout the season. However it was the Dodgers again who emerged victorious, putting together winning streaks of five and seven in September to move to the top of the league with a 95-67 record. Sandy Koufax, who won his 3rd Cy Young, clinched the pennant on the final day with his 27th victory. The Dodgers would than go on to face the Baltimore Orioles in the World Series. The Dodgers would score a run in the second and the third of Game 1, but managed to lose the game 5-2. The Dodgers would not score another run in the series, encompassing 33 innings of frustration, while losing the final three games for the sweep. The Dodgers would be stunned again a few weeks later when 30-year-old Sandy Koufax retired because of early stage arthritis in his pitching elbow.
1967: Without Sandy Koufax the Dodgers struggled all year, and finish in 8th Place with a disappointing 73-89 record.
1968: In a year of spectacular pitching all throughout baseball, Don Drysdale pitches 58 and two-thirds consecutive scoreless innings establishing a new record that would stand for 20 years. However, the Dodgers can only mage a 76-86 season that lands them in a 7th Place tie. Following the season Drysdale, would follow Sandy Koufax's footsteps, by retiring in the prime of his career.
1969: With 2B Ted Sizemore earning Rookie of the Year honors the Dodgers show significant improvement, finishing in 4th Place in the newly formed NL West with an 85-77 record.
1970: The Dodgers finish a distant second to the Cincinnati Reds while posting a solid 87-74 record.
1971: The Dodgers battle the hated San Francisco Giants down to the bitter end of the season before falling one game short of the division championship with an 89-73 record.
1972: The Dodgers continue to battle for the NL West but fall ten and half games short while landing in third place with a record of 85-70.
1973: The Dodgers battle the powerful Cincinnati Reds all season for the top spot in the NL West, but finish in 2nd Place with a solid 95-66 record, that is 13 games better then the New York Mets, Champions in the Eastern Division, who end up battling to Game 7 of the World Series.
1974: The Dodgers, battle the Cincinnati Reds again for the top spot, this time emerging victorious, by four games with a 102-60 record. The Dodgers are led by newly acquired veteran OF Jimmy Wynn and 1B Steve Garvey, who in his first full Major League season, led the club offensively winning the NL MVP. Meanwhile, pitcher Mike Marshall set a modern major league record with 106 appearances (which earned him the Cy Young Award) in relief of a staff that was the league's best bullpen. The Dodgers would get past the Pittsburgh Pirates in 4 games of the NLCS to earn their 5th World Series appearance since moving to Los Angeles. In the World Series the Dodgers were the only thing standing in the way of a 3rd Straight World Championship for the Oakland Athletics. After losing Game 1 the Dodgers won Game 2 on a Joe Ferguson's 2-run sixth Inning HR. However, once the series got to Oakland the Dodgers were swept in the final free games losing the series in five games to dominant A's team.
1975: The Dodgers finish in 2nd Place with an 88-74 record, but finish a full 20 games behind the Cincinnati Reds.
1976: After 23 years at helm, Manager Walter Alston retires with four games remaining in the season. He would be replaced by Tommy Lasorda, who himself would manager the Dodgers for 20 seasons. The Dodgers would finish a distant second again to the Cincinnati Reds, with a 92-70 record.
1977: In Tommy Lasorda's first full year at helm, the Dodgers make history when four members of the team hit 30 or more home runs: Steve Garvey (33), Reggie Smith (32), Ron Cey (30) and Dusty Baker (30). This would spur the Dodgers 98 wins and the Division title. The Dodgers would then go on to beat the Philadelphia Phillies in four games of the NLCS to earn a trip to the World Series. In the World Series the Dodgers met up with a failure foe in the New York Yankees. Down 3 games to 1 and facing elimination at home the Dodgers roughed up the Yankees for a 10-4 win to send the series back to New York. However, the Dodgers would fall to Reggie Jackson and the Yanks in Game 6, as Mr. October blasted three HRs on three pitches off three pitchers.
1978: The Dodgers become the first team ever to draw 3 million fans for a season, and would once again win the division with a 95-67 record. In the NLCS the Dodgers would beat the Philadelphia Phillies again in four games to earn a trip to the World Series. In the World Series the Dodgers continued the trend of repeat performances by facing the New York Yankees. The Dodgers won the first two games at Dodger Stadium, highlighted by Rookie Bob Welch's 9th inning strike out of Reggie Jackson in Game 2. In Game 3 the Dodgers hammered the ball all day off Yankee ace Ron Guidry however most of the balls were hit in the direction of 3B Craig Nettles, who brought the Yankees back into the series with his glove. In Game 4 the Dodgers held a 3-0 lead in the sixth inning, but the Yankees would comeback thanks to a controversial play in which a ball that would have been a sure Double Play hit Reggie Jackson in the backside, and allowed the Yankees to pull with in one run. The Yankees would later tie the game and win in ten innings. From there the Yanks would not look back they would go on to take the next two and once again the Dodgers lost in six games.
1979: The Dodgers suffer through a disappointing season finishing in 3rd Place with a 79-83 record. Despite the struggles, pitcher Rick Sutcliffe earns Rookie of the Year honors.
1980: With Reliever Steve Howe, becoming the second straight Dodger to capture Rookie of the Year honors, the Dodgers, battle the Houston Astros all season for the NL West Title. The two teams went, back-and-forth battle, before ending the season tied for first with a 92-70 record. This was the fifth first place tie for the Dodgers, three more than any other club. In the playoff, which was now just one game the Dodgers, were blown out by the Astros at Dodger Stadium.
1981: On Opening Day, Rookie pitcher Fernando Valenzuela is forced to start because of an injury to Jerry Reuss; the Mexican import would shut out the Houston Astros 2-0 and sparked the craze known as "Fernandomania", which would take the baseball world by storm. The exciting young left-hander won both Cy Young and Rookie of the Year honors. One June 15th a player's strike hit while the Dodgers were in first place. After the 2-month strike ended it was determined that the team in first place before the strike would face the team in the division with best record after the strike in a special 5 game playoff at the end of the season. In that playoff the Dodgers would overcome a 2-0 deficit to beat the Houston Astros in five games. The Dodgers would then go on to the NLCS to face the Montreal Expos. The Dodgers were staring death in the face again after falling behind 2 games to 1. The Dodgers would win Game 4 to force a fifth and deciding game north of the border. The game would be delayed one day because of rain and would wind up becoming a pitcher's duel between Valenzuela, and Montreal's Ray Burris. With the score tied 1-1 in the 9th Inning, Steve Rogers was brought in to pitch for the Expos. After Rogers retired the first 2 Rick Monday would step to the plate and put the Dodgers up for good with a HR. The Dodgers would face the New York Yankees again in the World Series, the 3rd time in 5 years and 11th time since 1941. The Dodgers had only won twice in the previous 10 series, and it looked no different, as the Yankees won the first 2 games, and held a 4-3 lead in the fifth inning of Game 3. The Dodgers would comeback scoring two runs in the 5th inning off Reliever George Frazier. The Yankees would take a 6-3 lead in Game 4 but the Dodgers would comeback again off Frazier to knot the series at two games apiece. Game 5 would be a classic pitcher's duel between Jerry Reuss and the Yankees Ron Guidry. The Dodgers were trailing 1-0 in the 7th, but won the game with back-to-back homers by Pedro Guerrero and Steve Yeager. The Dodgers would than go on to win the series in six games hanging another loss on Frazier thanks to Guerrero's five RBI performance to win the World Series. The Dodgers who had battled back all year made history by having three players (Ron Cey, Pedro Guerrero, and Steve Yeager) named tri-MVP of the series.
1982: Secondbaseman Steve Sax becomes the 4th consecutive Dodger to walk away with the NL Rookie of the Year. It would also be the 11th Dodger (Over-all between Brooklyn, and LA) to win the award since Jackie Robinson first won the first award in 1947. The Dodgers quest for a repeat ended on the final day of the season as the Dodgers finished one game out of first place with an 88-74 record.
1983: Without long-time Dodgers Steve Garvey and Ron Cey, who both left for free agent deals, a younger Dodger team won the division, posting a strong 91-71 record. However the Dodgers would go on to lose the NLCS in four games to the Philadelphia Phillies, a team they beat 11 out of 12 times during the regular season.
1984: The Dodgers struggle most of the season, and finish with a disappointing fourth Place 79-83 record.
1985: On April 25th, Fernando Valenzuela set a major league record for consecutive innings at the start of the season without allowing an earned run with 41 before the San Diego Padres ended the streak. The Dodgers would go on to win 95 games en-route to the division title. In the NLCS the Dodgers would face the St. Louis Cardinals in the first NLCS that would be a best of 7 series. The Dodgers and Cardinals split the first four games, with Dodgers winning the first two in LA and the Cardinals rebounding to take the next two in St. Louis. In Game 5 the Dodgers would be stunned as Tom Niedenfuer gave up a Walk Off ninth Inning Homer to light hitting SS Ozzie Smith. The Dodgers would seem set to rebound in Game 6 as they lead the Cardinals by a score of 5-4, when Niedenfuer ended up being the goat again giving up a three-run homer to Jack Clark in the top of the ninth that gave the Cards the lead for good.
1986: The Dodgers struggle with injuries all season long, starting with a knee injury to Pedro Guerrero in Spring Training, and narrowly avoid finishing in last place with a 73-89 record.
1987: The Dodgers struggle again and finish with 73-89 for the second season in a row this time landing in fourth Place. Following the season the Dodgers would make a big splash by signing Free Agent OF Kirk Gibson.
1988: The signing of Kirk Gibson would prove to be key, as the Dodgers were in first Place much of the season. Down the stretch the team seemed to get stronger as Pitcher Orel Hershiser broke Don Drysdale's 20-year old record by recording 59 consecutive scoreless innings. The Dodgers would go on to claim the NL West tile with a 95-67 record, as Gibson won the NL MVP, and Hershiser won the Cy Young. In the NLCS the Dodgers would face the New York Mets, who they beat only once during the regular season. Trailing 4-2 in the ninth Inning of Game 4 the Dodgers stared a 3-1 series deficit in the face. However, thanks to a two-run HR from Mike Scioscia the Dodgers took the game into extra inning where Orel Hershiser nailed down the win after Kirk Gibson hit a game winning HR in the 12th. Gibson would provide more thunder in Game 5 to send the series back to LA with the boys in blue up 3-2. After the Mets won Game 6, Orel Hershiser blanked the Mets 6-0 to win NLCS MVP honors, and send the Dodgers on to the World Series. The Dodgers would face the Oakland Athletics in the World Series, and would be heavy underdogs yet again. If the Dodgers were to win the World Series they were going to have to do it without Kirk Gibson who could barely walk, let alone run. In the ninth Inning of Game 1 the A's held a 4-3 lead with 2 outs and had ace closer Dennis Eckersly on the mound. He would have the Dodgers down to their last out with one on, when Kirk Gibson was brought off to bench to hit. Gibson limped, to the plate after he convinced Tommy Lasorda that he could handle the Pinch Hitting. After every painful swing it was clear that Gibson was over matched, and in too much pain to help the Dodgers. After each painful swing he would grimace in pain. Eckersly appeared ready to put him away and give the A's the first game of the series, when the unexpected happened. Gibson was able to get just enough power on his swing to hit the ball over the Right Field wall and give the Dodgers a 5-4 win. In perhaps one of the most dramatic moments Gibson won the game despite playing on two bad knees and limped slowly around the bases. It would be Gibson's only World Series at-bat, and he would not be needed again. The Dodgers would use this game and the superior pitching of World Series MVP Orel Hershiser who won two games to win the series in five games.
1989: Orel Hershiser, whose 15-15 record belied another strong season on the mound, led a Dodgers pitching staff that yielded the fewest runs in the majors; but with an offense last among major league clubs in scoring runs, the Dodgers could finish no better than fourth in the West with a 77-83 record.
1990: Orel Hershiser's season ended almost as soon as it began when he underwent shoulder surgery in late April, but young Ramon Martinez took up the slack, winning 20 games. With a revived offense that topped the NL West in runs scored, the Dodgers bounded back from a slow first half to draw within three and half games of the Cincinnati Reds in late September. The Dodgers would finish second, five games out with an 86-76 record. "Fernandomania" also had one last hurrah as Fernando Valenzuela pitched his first career no-hitter on June 29th vs. the St. Louis Cardinals, just hours after Oakland A's ace Dave Stewart No Hit the Toronto Blue Jays this was the first time in the 20th Century two No Hitter were thrown on the same day.
1991: From early May to late August, the Dodgers occupied first place in the NL West, paced by the majors' stingiest pitching staff and the hot bats of free-agent acquisitions Brett Butler and Darryl Strawberry. However, the team never enjoyed more than a six game lead, and with seven straight losses after the All-Star break; the Dodgers began their descent. From August 21st through season's end the Dodgers and Atlanta Braves stayed within two games of each other. With four games to go, Los Angeles held a one-game lead, but after they lost their next three games, the Dodgers had to settle for second Place with a 93-69 record.
1992: Unable to parry the twin blows of injury and inexperience, the Dodgers stumbled to the worst record in the majors with 99 loses and finished last for the first time in 87 years. A loan bright spot for the Dodgers was Eric Karros, who won the Rookie of the Year beginning a five year-run of Dodger rookies receiving the award.
1993: Mike Piazza, a 62nd round pick in 1988, set multitudes of new Dodger records in his rookie year as he batted .318, with 35 HR and 112 RBI. His 35 home runs were the most ever by a rookie catcher in the major leagues, breaking the old mark of Matt Nokes. As a tribute to how dynamic his rookie season was, the NL voted him player of the week three times, which led the NL. He became the fourth rookie catcher to be named to an All-Star Game, and his last two home runs disintegrated the Dodgers' arch rival San Francisco Giants' hopes of winning the National League West. Meanwhile, with Piazza winning Rookie of the Year the Dodgers finished in 4th Place with an 81-81 record.
1994: Raul Mondesi became the 3rd straight Dodger to win the Rookie of the Year by batting .306 with 63 runs, 16 home runs, 56 RBI, and a 16 outfield assists that led the majors. He also led the team with 27 doubles, 224 total bases, and 133 hits. The Dodgers struggled to keep their record above .500, but their 58-56 record, while only the league's fifth best, was good enough for a three and half game lead over runner-up San Francisco in the weakened NL West when the strike ended the season August 12th.
1995: The Dodgers 4th straight rookie of the year was Japanese sensation Hideo Nomo. Nicknamed "The Tornado", Nomo paced the NL with 236 strikeouts and led the Dodgers to the NL West division title by just one game over the power-hitting Colorado Rockies with a 78-66 record. However, in the NLDS, the Dodgers are swept by the Cincinnati Reds in three straight games.
1996: In a year that will be remembered as a year of great change Tommy Lasorda retired as Dodger manager after 20 years, after suffering a mild heart attack on June 23rd. Bill Russell took over for the remainder of the season leading the team into the post-season for the second consecutive year, as the NL's Wild Card with a 90-72 record. Meanwhile, Todd Hollandsworth became the unprecedented 5 straight Rookie Of The Year, capping an amazing streak begun in 1992. However, the Dodgers would be swept again in the NLDS this time by the Atlanta Braves.
1997: Mike Piazza continued to rewrite the record books with new career highs in batting average (.362) and home runs (40), both Los Angeles records, while Chan Ho Park emerged as a star winning a then-career high 14 games. The Dodgers and San Francisco Giants battled it out throughout the summer with the Giants edging the Dodgers, who finished with an 88-74 record, for first place by two games. At season's end there would be even more change as the Dodgers would no longer be owned by an O'Malley. Peter O'Malley the son of Walter would sell the team in the off-season to Communications Magnate Rupert Murdoch, whose many holdings include the Fox Network.
1998: Rupert Murdoch did not make many fans in his first season as Dodgers owner trading fan Favorite Mike Piazza along with Todd Zeile were traded to the Florida Marlins for Gary Sheffield, Bobby Bonilla, Jim Eisenreich and Charles Johnson. Piazza a Free Agent at season's end was begging to appear to be too expensive to keep. To make matters worse for LA Piazza was shipped to the Mets a week later. The trade made the Mets one of the top teams in the NL while the Dodgers were stuck n the middle of the pack despite having one of the highest payrolls. The Dodgers who would fire Bill Russell in the middle of the season would end up in 3rd Place with an 83-79 record.
1999: The Dodgers bring in Davey Johnson to manage the club, and trade for catcher Todd Hundley. Neither deal works out as the Dodgers struggle all season and finish in third Place with a disappointing 77-85 record.
2000: Gary Sheffield put together one of the best offensive performances in Dodger history, batting .325 and leading the Major Leagues in home runs through much of the summer. For the second straight season, Sheffield batted over .300 with at least 30 home runs, 100 runs batted in, 100 walks and 100 runs, becoming the first Dodger ever to do so twice. He established a new Los Angeles team benchmark for home runs in a season and tied Duke Snider's franchise record of 43 home runs, making the All-Star Team for the third time in as many years as a Dodger. However, the Dodgers would finish no better then 2nd Place with an 86-76 record. Following the season Manager Davey Johnson is dismissed, along with Catcher Todd Hundley, who failed miserably in his attempt to replace Mike Piazza. While the season was wrapping up a familiar face was in Sydney, Australia for the Olympics Leading a team of Minor League Prospects, and castoffs, Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda wins the Olympic Gold Medal in Baseball, at Olympics in Sydney, Australia. A Gold Medal Game upset over the powerful Cuban National Team highlights the run.
2001: Despite demanding a trade and sulking all season Gary Sheffield has another spectacular season with 36 HR, and 100 RBI. Meanwhile Shawn Green, who struggled in his first season in LA, came up big in year two with 49 HR, and 125 RBI. With the power of Sheffield, and Green the Dodgers remain in the race until September before fading and finishing in third Place with an 86-76 record. Following the season the Dodgers would give Sheffield his wish trading him to the Atlanta Braves for OF Brain Jordan, and pitcher Odalis Perez.
2002: Despite early offensive struggles and a various string of injuries to Kevin Brown the Dodgers are in contention all season for both the NL West and Wild Card finishing just three games short of the playoffs while finishing in 3rd place with a solid 92-70 record. Along the way Eric Gagne became one of the most dominant closers in baseball while Kazuisha Ishii and Odalis Perez led one of the strongest starting staffs in the NL. Starring on offense was Shawn Green who broke out of an early season slump by smashing four HR in a May 23rd games against the Brewers in Milwaukee adding a double and a single to set the single game total bases record of 19.
2003: The Dodgers had the top pitching staff in all of baseball with an impressive team ERA of 3.16. However at the plate the Dodgers had perhaps the worst hitting team in all of baseball scoring a Major League worse 574 runs on the season. The Dodgers hitting woes would land them quickly in a hole in the NL West, as they were ten games out of first by the end of April. However the Dodgers would make a run and would catch the San Francisco Giants in time for a three-game series on June 23rd. However the Dodgers would lose two out of three games as the Giants pulled out to a double-digit lead again, as the Dodgers hitting continued to struggle. Among the biggest disappointments was Shawn Green who only had 19 homers. Despite the power outage the Dodgers would stay in the race for the Wild Card until the end of the season as their bullpen led by Eric Gagne who was a perfect 55 for 55 in save opportunities made sure every late inning lead held up. However, the Dodgers would not be able to catch the Florida Marlins for the wild card as they ended the season in second place with an 85-77 record.
2004: Eric Gagne was dominant out of the bullpen again as he continued his save streak into July before blowing a two-run 9th inning lead against the Arizona Diamondbacks on July 5th totaling 84 straight saves over nearly a two year period. Gagne would go on to win the Fireman again with 45 saves in 47 opportunities. July would be a big month for the Dodgers as they won 21 of 28 games to take the lead in the NL West, battling the San Francisco Giants and San Diego Padres the rest of the way. With the hopes of bolstering the team the Dodgers added Steve Finley at the trade deadline, but in a move that seemed questionable they would deal Paul LoDuca and Juan Encarnacion to the Florida Marlins for Hee Seop Choi and Brad Penny. Benny would suffer an arm injury in just his second start with the Dodgers and would go on to make just one appearance the rest of the way. However the Dodgers were able to stay in the race thanks to Adrian Beltre who finally delivered the numbers the Dodgers expected out of him leading the NL in homers with 48. As September wore on the Padres would fall off and the race would come down between the Dodgers and the Giants. On the next to last week of the season the Dodgers went into San Francisco and took two out of three games and went into the final week holding their own destiny as the Giants need to sweep the Dodgers in Los Angeles just to force a playoff. After losing the first game the Dodgers won the Western Division in dramatic fashion as Steve Finley capped a seven-run 9th inning rally with a Grand Slam to give the Dodgers a 7-3, as the Dodgers posted a solid 93-69 record. In the playoffs the Dodgers would face the St. Louis Cardinals and would get off to a rocky start as they dropped the first two games by identical 8-3 scores continuing their postseason losing streak to eight games. The Dodgers would finally break through in Game 3 as the series shifted to Los Angeles as Jose Lima blanked the Cardinals 4-0. However it was too little too late as the Cardinals wrapped up the series in 4 games with a 6-2 win. Following the season the Dodgers would go through several changes as they lost Adrian Beltre to Free Agency, while trading away Shawn Green to the Diamondbacks. While signing J.D. Drew, Jeff Kent and Derek Lowe to big Free Agent Deals.
2005: Despite a division championship in 2004 the Dodgers were a radically different team when they took the field in 2005, and it appeared to be a good mix at the start of the season as the Dodgers won 12 of their first 14 games, on the way to a terrific 15-8 record for April. However, as May began the Dodgers began to show cracks as Eric Gagne was lost to an elbow injury, while Duaner Sanchez and Yhency Brazoban filled the closer role solidly. However, the Dodgers offense would begin to sputter as J.D. Drew who had a history of injuries before the Dodgers signed him played in just 72 games, while Jeff Kent was seemingly the Dodgers only source of offense as his 105 RBI was 42 better than Omedo Saenz who had the second highest total on the team, as the Dodgers posted a losing record for the month. In June things only got worse as the Dodgers slipped below .500, and slid down the Western Division standings, leading Dodgers fans to vocally call for the firing of GM Paul DePodesta. After entering the All-Star Break with a 40-48 record the Dodgers continued to struggle in the second half as they lost 4 of their first 5 games as they were never a factor in the chase for the NL Western Division Title despite all five teams being below .500 much of the season, The Dodgers would eventually finish the season in fourth Place with a terrible record of 71-91. Following the disappointing season Dodgers fans would get their wish as GM DePodesta was fired and replaced Nick Colleti, while Manager Jim Tracy was also shown the door being replaced by former Boston Red Sox Manager Grady Little.
2006: Coming off their disappointing season the Dodgers completely retooled as they focused more on team speed as they signed free agent SS Rafael Furcal away from the Atlanta Braves, while young prospects like Andre Eithier, Matt Kemp and Russell Martin were given plenty of playing time. With Eric Gagne starting the season on the Disabled List the Dodgers experienced an early blow as Yhency Brazoban was lost early to an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery. Gagne would return in May, but continued elbow pain forced him to the sidelines again after just two games. Meanwhile Danys Baez acquired from the Tampa Bay Devil Rays to provide back up for a recovering Gagne struggled blowing 7-of-16 save opportunities with a 4.35 ERA. Despite all the troubles with the pen, and their youthful lineup the Dodgers stayed in the NL West race as they entered the All-Star Break with a 46-42 record. Coming out of the All-Star Break the Dodgers struggled badly losing 13-of-14 games as they landed in last place. However, just as suddenly as the losing streak began the Dodgers reversed course and caught fire as they acquired 300-game winner Greg Maddux from the Chicago Cubs for Cesar Izturis to anchor the starting rotation, winning 11 in a row and 17-of-18 as they climbed from last place all they way to first place in the tightly bunched NL West. The Dodgers would play well the rest of the season partly thanks to Takashi Saito a 36-year old from Japan who in his first season in America notched 24 saves in 26 opportunities with a 2.07 ERA, as Manager Grady Little labeled him a "God Send". The Dodgers would stay in the race for the NL West until the end of the season as they battled the San Diego Padres a team struggled against all season winning just 5 of 19 match ups. However, one September win over the Padres was extra memorable as they trailed 9-5 entering the 9th Inning, when Jeff Kent, J.D. Drew, Russell Martin, and Marlon Anderson hit four consecutive home runs to tie the game. After the Padres re-took the lead in the 10th Normar Garciaparra the NL Comeback Player of the year won the game 11-10 with a two run homer. The Dodgers would end the season hot winning their last seven games to finish with an 88-74 record, but their 5-14 record against the Padres cost them the division title as they settled for the Wild Card. In the NLDS against the New York Mets the Dodgers stumbled early as Kent and Drew were thrown out at home on the same play, short-circuiting a potential big inning, as the Mets took the opener 6-5. In Game 2 Dodgers bats were silenced by Tom Glavine as the Dodgers managed just four hits in six innings, while the Mets bullpen took over and continued to dominate as the Mets won 4-1. Needing a win as the series shifted to LA the Dodgers found themselves in an early hole trailing 4-0 after three innings. The Dodgers would erase the deficit on a fifth Inning homer by Jeff Kent, as they rallied to take a 5-4 lead. However it would be a short-lived lead as the Mets offense came roaring back with three runs in the 7th on the way to completing the sweep with a 9-5 win.
2007: Coming off their division championship the Dodgers entered the season hoping they could take a step further in the postseason. For much of the first half things looked good for the Dodgers as they were in first place or near first place much of the first half, while holding the best record in NL at 54-41 on July 18th, having sent three players Brad Penny, Takashi Saito, and Russell Martin to the All-Star Game. However, a weekend in which they lost three of four to the New York Mets seemed to be the turning point of the season as the Dodgers went into a prolonged slump losing 18 of their next 25 games, falling seven games out of first. The Dodgers would rebound as August came to close; crawling back with in a game and half of the top spot, but September would bring more pain as the Dodgers squabbled amongst themselves and fell out of the race landing in fourth place with a mediocre record of 82-80. Following the season the Dodgers would openly court the possibility of a managerial change as they expressed an interest in Joe Torre, who was ending a highly successful tenure with the New York Yankees. Eventually Manager Grady Little would see the writing on the wall and resign, as Torre signed a three-year contract worth $13 million.
2008: The Joe Torre era got off to a slow start as the Dodgers found themselves as many as seven games out of first place in April, as the Dodgers stumbled out of the gate. One early disappointment was the play of free agent acquisition Andruw Jones, who became one of the biggest bust in baseball history as the former Atlanta Braves All-Star looked lost at the plate all season after signing a two year deal worth $36.2 Million. Jones, would finish the season with a pitcher like .158 average with 3 home runs, and just 15 RBI, before injuries shut him down for the season. Despite posting a mediocre record in May and June, the Dodgers stayed in the race as the entire NL Western Division struggled, with the Arizona Diamondbacks, who got off to a fast start themselves coming back to the pack. At the All-Star Break, despite a 46-49 record, the Dodgers were just one game out of first place. With injuries to key hitters like Nomar Garciaparra and Rafael Furcal the Dodgers had already landed Casey Blake from the Cleveland Indians, but the biggest deal would come on July 31st when the Dodgers acquired Manny Ramirez in a three team deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates, and Manny Ramirez. Due to reports he was faking an injury to force a trade from the Red Sox, the Dodgers did not have to give up much to land the upcoming free agent, as they sent Adam LaRoche and single-A prospect pitcher Bryan Morris to the Pirates for OF Jason Bay, who was sent on to Boston to complete the deal. Landing in Los Angeles and wearing #99, Manny Ramirez focused on finishing the season as strong as possible for the biggest contract and the Dodgers would be the beneficiary. In his first game with the Dodgers, Manny Ramirez hit a home run, the 527th of his brilliant career, as he was named NL Player of the Month for August, with an incredible .415 average, with 9 HR, and 25 RBI, as the Dodgers battled the D-Backs for first place. In September he was just as good as the Dodgers posted a 17-8 record down the stretch to win the NL Western Division with a record of 84-78. Despite just playing with the Dodgers for two months, Manny Ramirez was given serious MVP consideration finishing fourth in the voting, as he posted a .396 average, with 17 HR 53 RBI. In the NLDS the Dodgers faced the Chicago Cubs, who all season held the best record in the National League. However, a Grand Slam by James Loney lifted the Dodgers to a stunning 7-2 victory in Game 1. In Game 2 it was more of the same as the Dodgers took advantage of four Cubs errors, to take a 2-0 series lead grabbing a 10-2 victory over Cubs ace Carlos Zambrano. As the series shifted to Dodger Stadium, it was the Dodgers pitching what took over as Hiroki Kuroda blanked the Cubs into the seventh inning, as LA completed the sweep with a 3-1 win. In the NLCS against the Philadelphia Phillies the Dodgers grabbed an early lead in Game 1 on the road. However, Derek Lowe gave up two costly homers in the sixth inning as the Phillies took the opener 3-2. After an 8-5 loss in Game 2, the Dodgers found themselves facing a must win situation in Game 3 at Dodger Stadium. With five runs in the first inning the Dodgers would get back into the series as Kuroda won his second game of the postseason 7-2. Game 4 would go back and forth as the Dodgers held 5-3 lead going into the eighth inning. However, the Dodgers bullpen faltered giving up to two run homers, as the Phillies took a commanding 3-1 series lead with a 7-5 win. The Phillies would go on to close the series out in five games, ending the Dodgers season with a 5-1 win in Game 5, as they went on to win the World Series.
2009: Following the season the Dodgers would see more changes, as Derek Lowe left to sign a deal with the Atlanta Braves, while 2B Jeff Kent announced his retirement, and Free Agent bust Andruw Jones was released, as the Dodgers spent the entire off-season trying to re-sign Manny Ramirez, which they would finally accomplish just as spring training was beginning. A spring training that was different than any other spring the Dodgers have had, as they moved to their new spring home at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Arizona after 60 years at Dodger Town in Vero Beach, Florida. Despite waiting all off season to sign, Manny Ramirez played well from the start of the season as he posted a .348 average with six home runs and 20 RBI in the first month of the season. After starting the season on the road with a 4-3 record in the first week of the season, the Dodgers came home and won their Dodger Stadium season opener 11-1 over the San Francisco Giants, with 2B Orlando Hudson hitting for the cycle. The Dodgers would quickly grab control of the NL West, as they won their first 13 games at home. However, on May 7th the Dodgers hit their first bump in the road, as Manny Ramirez became the biggest star to date to receive a 50 game suspension for performance enhancing drugs, after a test revealed a banned substance in his system. The day of the suspension would see the Dodgers home winning streak come to an end as the Dodgers bullpen imploded in an 11-9 loss to the Washington Nationals. However, the Dodgers would still go on to post a solid 20-9 record in May, as they built a nine game lead over their division rivals. Manny would return in July, and would end the season hitting .290 with 19 homers and 63 RBI. The Dodgers strong start would hold up as they held on to first place the remainder of the season, as the Colorado Rockies made it close at the end, as they posted a NL best 95-67 record. In the NLDS, the Dodgers got off to a quick start against the St. Louis Cardinals, winning the opener 5-2 as five relievers combined to shutdown the Cardinals after starter Randy Wolf struggled to get out of the 4th Inning. In Game 2, the Dodgers used the late afternoon California sun to their advantage as they scored two runs in the 9th Inning, after Cardinals LF Matt Holiday dropped a fly ball off that bat of James Loney, that would have ended the game with a 2-1 victory for the Cardinals instead Ronnie Belliard singled in Juan Pierre, who pinch ran for Loney with the tying run. He was followed by Mark Loretta, who singled home Casey Blake with the winning run to give the Dodgers a 3-2 win. With Vicente Padilla pitching seven strong innings, and a homers from Manny Ramirez and Andre Ethier the Dodgers would complete the sweep with a 5-1 win in St. Louis in Game 3. In the NLCS the Dodgers would once again face the Philadelphia Phillies and found themselves in an early hole as Clayton Kershaw struggled in the opener, with the Phillies winning 8-6. With Padilla on the hill in Game 2, the Dodgers would win a pitcher's duel 2-1 as Chan Ho Park bases loaded walk of Andre Ethier gave the Dodgers the lead in the 8th Inning. After an ugly 11-0 loss in Game 3, the Dodgers appeared to be on the way to evening the series as they held a 4-3 lead in the 9th Inning. However, Closer Jonathan Broxton gave up a two run double to Jimmy Rollins, with two outs to give the Phillies a 5-4 win that gave them a 3-1 stranglehold in the series. The Phillies would go on to eliminate the Dodgers in five games with a 10-4 win in Game 5.
2010: The off-season following their second straight trip to the NLCS proved to be a tough one for the Dodgers, as an ugly divorce battle between Owner Frank McCourt and his wife Jamie hamstrung the team from re-signing several key free agents, including Randy Wolf, Orlando Hudson, Juan Pierre and Jon Garland. The battling McCourts became the sensational story surrounding the Dodgers, as Jamie McCourt wanted to be paid for her share of the Dodgers, while Frank refused in what was quickly turning into one of the more ugly public divorces in a state know for ugly divorce battle over California's community property laws. The Dodgers became like the young child caught in a tug of war in custody battle, as their fans bear the emotional scars. April would be a month of struggles for the Dodgers, as they ended the first month in last place with a record of 9-14. However, they would get things turned around in May, posting a 20-8 record, briefly holding first place after a stretch where they won 15 of 17 games. The Dodgers continued to play strong baseball as they won none of their first 11 games as June began. However, things began to go in the wrong direction as the Dodgers as their schedule got tougher, with five losses in six games against their American League rivals down the California Turnpike in Anaheim, the Los Angeles Angels. They also suffered a three game sweep at the hand of the Boston Red Sox, while losing two of three games to the New York Yankees at Dodger Stadium. In July, the Dodgers went into a hitting slump, scoring just 92 runs, as they posted an 11-15 record. Hoping to address some team needs, the Dodgers picked up Ryan Theriot in a trade with the Chicago Cubs for Blake Dewitt. However, it did little to help the Dodgers slumbering bats, as they posted a mediocre 14-15 record in August. As September drew near the Dodgers made an addition by subtraction as they released Manny Ramirez who spent most of the season on the disabled list, as he continued to struggle after returning from his 50 game suspension for Performance Enhancing Drugs in 2009. The Dodgers who were stuck in fourth place were playing out the string in September, as Manager Joe Torre announced his plans to retire following the season, as the Dodgers posted a disappointing record of 80-82. Following the season, Don Mattingly a long time protégé of Torre, would become the new Manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, who had another off-season that would be highlighted by the continuing battle of the McCourts.
2011: As the season began under new Manager Don Mattingly, the Dodgers were a mess due to the continued divorce battle between Owners Frank and Jaime McCourt. The Dodgers would start the season with a 2-1 win against the World Champion San Francisco Giants, as Clayton Kershaw out dueled Tim Lincecum. However, any joy from the win was erased when a Giants fan was beaten into a coma by a pair of men wearing Dodgers shirts. The Dodgers were accused of having a lack of security at Dodger Stadium on opening day. It was one of a number of corners that the McCourts had cut in order to keep his finances afloat. However, McCourts options began running out as he had trouble making the team's payroll. On the outside MLB Commissioner Bud Selig was trying to have the league take control of the team, a move that Frank McCourt heavily resisted. Despite the trouble off the field there were some bright spots on the field as Andre Either began the season with a 30 game hitting streak, the second longest streak in Dodgers history. The Dodgers also were getting great pitching from Clayton Kershaw who was among league leaders in ERA, Wins and Strikeouts, while Matt Kemp was among league leaders in Home Runs, RBI and average. Despite the great individual seasons of Kemp and Kershaw the Dodgers were below .500 with a record of 40-51 at the All-Star Break. Meanwhile, the league and the McCourts continued to battle as the commissioner blocked the Dodgers from taking out a loan on the television deal. Frank McCourt had already given away the land and the stadium and now with this loan the Dodgers were quickly losing value. After much bickering, the team was forced to declare Chapter 11 bankruptcy on June 27th. With the declaration of bankruptcy, Fran McCourt agreed to put the Dodgers up for sale. In the second half the Dodgers played better baseball, despite dealing away Rafael Furcal to the St. Louis Cardinals for prospects at the trade deadline. This was due to the continued success of Clayton Kershaw and Matt Kemp, who continued to be among the league leaders in all Triple Crown categories for pitching and hitting. Kemp would end the season with league best 39 homers and 121 RBI, and finished third with a .324 average. Kemp also had 40 steal, coming with in one home run of joining the exclusive 40-40 club as he finished second in MVP voting while, winning the Hank Aaron Award. Meanwhile Clayton Kershaw led the National League in all three Triple Crown categories with a 21-6 record and a ERA of 2.28 as he struck out 248 to win the Cy Young Award. The Dodgers despite never being in the pennant race, finished the season strong, posting a record of 17-9 in September to finish the season above .500 at 82-80.
2012: Before the season began the Dodgers finally got their ownership settled as the McCourts settled their divorce case and as the team was sold to Guggenheim Baseball Management LLC, a group of investors fronted by Guggenheim CEO Mark Walter and including former Los Angeles Lakers player Magic Johnson, baseball executive Stan Kasten and film mogul Peter Guber. The total sale price for the Dodgers (which includes Dodgers Stadium) exceeded $2 billion, making the sale the largest for a professional sports team in history. The Dodgers started the season strong, winning nine of their first ten games as they finished April in first place with a record of 16-7. Helping to pace the Dodgers early was Matt Kemp, who had 12 home runs in April. However, in May Kemp would suffer a hamstring injury that would sideline him over the next two months. Despite the loss of Kemp the Dodgers continued to lead the National League West as they held a record of 32-15 with a seven and half game lead on Memorial Day. Injuries would take a toll on the Dodgers over the next two months as their lead quickly vanished while the team went into a deep slump, as they went 33 innings without scoring and had a no hitter tossed against them on June 8th when playing the Seattle Mariners on the road in Safeco Field. After the All-Star Break, the Dodgers looked to get a boost to their lineup as they picked up Hanley Ramirez in a trade with the Miami Marlins on July 25th. Early on Ramirez had a big boost for the Dodgers, as he hit a home run in the 10th inning on July 27th as the Dodgers beat the San Francisco Giants 5-3 in the first game of a three game sweep at AT&T Park, which allowed the Dodgers to move back into a first place tie. The Dodgers would add speedster Shane Victorino in a deadline deal with the Philadelphia Phillies. However, the momentum gained in San Francisco would be lost when the Dodgers came home and were swept by the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Dodgers and Giants would battle for first place over the next few weeks, as they went into a three game series at Dodger Stadium with their longtime rival holding a half game lead. The Giants would sweep the series, taking over first place for the remainder of the season. Looking to stay in the race the Dodgers made one of the biggest waiver deals in baseball history, picking up Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto from the Boston Red Sox for James Loney, Iván DeJesús, Jr., Allen Webster and two players to be named later (Jerry Sands and Rubby De La Rosa). Beckett, Gonzalez and Crawford all had All-Star pedigrees but had gotten in Red Sox Manager Bobby Valentine's dog house. The Dodgers would have to wait until 2013 for Crawford, who already had elbow surgery, but Beckett was strong in the final month, posting a 2-3 record with a solid 2.99 ERA in seven starts. However, Matt Kemp once again was dealing with injuries this time to his knee and shoulder. Though he continued to play it was clear Kemp was not himself as the Dodgers not only slipped out of the race for the division title, they slipped in the Wild Card race as they finished the season with a record of 86-76, falling two games short of the Wild Card spot. The Dodgers pitching wa once again led by Clayton Kershaw who finished second in the voting for Cy Young, with a 14-9 ERA and a league best 2.53 ERA. Following the season, the Dodgers added strength to their rotation, as they signed Free Agent Zack Greinke to a six year contract worth $147 million.
2013: There was renewed excitement in Los Angeles as the Dodgers new owners showed a commitment to building a winner by re-signing closer Brandon League to a three-year deal worth $22.5 million. In addition the were active on the Free Agent market picking up star players like RHP Zack Greinke who inked a six-year contract worth $147 million. The Dodgers took their search for top notch players global as they signed Korean pitcher Hyun-jin Ryu to a six year contract worth $36 million. When the season began with an air of optimism, as the Dodgers beat the San Francisco Giants 4-0 on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium, with Clayton Kershaw earning the win and hitting his first career home run. April would be an up and down month for the Dodgers as they posted a record of 13-13. Kershaw posted a 3-2 record in April, with three shutouts. However, Josh Beckett struggled, posting a 0-5 record with a 5.19 ERA in eight starts, before being shut down for the season with a variety of injuries. Zack Grienke was also on the Disabled List early in the season suffering a fractured collarbone when Carlos Quentin of the San Diego Padres charged the mound on April 11th setting off a bench clearing brawl. Grienke was expected to miss as much as eight weeks, but returned in May as the Dodgers began the month with an eight game losing streak. One Dodger who was having a particularly hard time was Matt Kemp, who coming off shoulder surgery could not find his groove and spent the entire season coming on and off the disabled list with a series of injuries. Kemp was booed at home, as he appeared in just 73 games with a .270 average with 6 home runs and 33 RBI. As May dragged on the Dodgers season appeared to be unraveling as they found themselves in last place 23-30, as rumors began to swirl that Manager Don Mattingly was on the verge of being replaced. The only bright spot during the first two months was the pitching of Kershaw who was 5-3, and Hyun-jin Ryu who started 6-2 and combined to have nearly half of the Dodgers wins. Looking for a spark the Dodgers called up Cuban Defector Yasiel Puig from AA Chattanooga. Puig hit .436 with seven home runs as he was named Player of the Month for June. However, the Dodgers continued to struggle as held a record of 31-42 and were nine and half games behind the first place Arizona Diamondbacks on June 21st. With the axe ready to fall on Mattingly the Dodgers suddenly became the team that was expected to contend for the pennant as they ended the month winning eight of their last nine games. The Dodgers stayed hot in July, and made it back to .500 at 47-47 at the All-Star Break. The Dodgers would start the season's second half on the road, sweeping the Washington Nationals and Toronto Blue Jays as they climbed for last to first place in the National League West. Coming home the Dodgers would win four of their next six games as they posted a record of 19-6 in July. However, on the road is where they trully excelled with a franchise record 15 straight road wins, that ended on August 6th with a 5-1 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals. However, the Dodgers surge continued as they won three of four in Busch Stadium. The Dodgers would start August by winning 15 of 16 games as their incredible turnaround continued. Between June 22n and August 17th the Dodgers did not lose more than one game in a row as they completed the best 50 game stretch in baseball history in 101 years at 42-8. The Dodgers would go on to easily win the division title with a record of 92-70, finishing 11 games ahead of the Diamondbacks. Clayton Kershaw would win his second Cy Young Award in three years with a record of 16-9 with an ERA of 1.83 and 232 strikeouts. Yasiel Puig's whose arrival helped signal the Dodgers turnaround finished second in Rookie of the Year balloting 19 homers, 42 RBI and a .319 average in 104 games, while Hyun-jin Ryu finished fourth with a 14-8 record and an ERA of 3.00.
2013 Postseason: In the NLDS the Dodgers would face the Atlanta Braves, with Clayton Kershaw coming up big in Game 1, striking out 12 batters over seven innings as the Dodgers took the opener at Turner Field 6-1. The Braves would rebound to win the following day 4-3, despite a home run and two doubles by Hanley Ramirez as the series shifted to Dodger Stadium even at a game apiece. The Braves jumped out early in Game 3, as Hyun-jim Ryu struggled, but with Ramirez leading the way with a double and a triple, and homers from Carl Crawford and Juan Uribe the Dodgers won the game 13-6. Looking to finish the Braves the Dodgers started Kershaw on three days' rest, and led early 2-0 on a pair of Crawford home runs but a pair of Adrian Gonzalez errors saw the Braves spring back and take a 3-2 lead into the eighth inning. However, a two run blast by Juan Uribe put the Dodgers in front to stay as they won the series in four games with a 4-3 win. Facing the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 1, the Braves got a solid start from Zack Grienke but ended up being done in Carlos Beltran who drove in all three runs as the Cards won 3-2 in 13 innings. In addition Beltran threw out Mark Ellis trying to score the go ahead run in the top of the 13th. Game 2 would bring more frustration for the Dodgers as Clayton Kershaw allowed just one run on two hits but lost the game as the Dodgers could not score of Cardinals rookie Michael Wacha. Yasiel Puig who had gone hitless in his first 11 at bats in the NLCS triple in Game 3 as the Dodgers won 3-0 behind a strong out from Hyun-jin Ryu. The Cardinals would bounce back to double up the Dodgers 4-2 in Game 4 to take a commanding 3-1 series lead. The Dodgers would keep their hopes alive with a 6-4 win in Game 5, as Adrian Gonzalez led a four home run attack with two long balls. However, Clayton Kershaw would suffer his worst outing of the season in Game 6 as the Cardinals blanked the Dodgers 9-0 to advance to the World Series.
2014: The Los Angeles Dodgers made history starting the season against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Sydney, Australia becoming the first teams to play down under. The Dodgers would win both games played at the Sydney Cricket Grounds, but coming home the trip would take a toll as Clayton Kershaw came up with a sore back and missed all of April. While Kershaw was out the Dodgers avoided building an early hole, thanks to solid pitching from Zack Greinke who won five games in the season's first month as the Dodgers posted a record of 15-12. Kershaw returned in May, but the Dodgers struggled for most of the month, losing three of four to the San Francisco Giants as they eventually fell ten games back by the start of June. Kershaw won three of five decisions, but the highlight of the month was a No Hitter by Josh Beckett against the Philadelphia Phillies on May 25th. Josh Beckett was good early on, but a reoccurrence of his left hip impingement an injury that would eventually force him to retire. Meanwhile, Kershaw found his grove in June, winning six games, and posting a 0.82 ERA, highlighted by a No Hitter against the Colorado Rockies at Dodger Stadium on June 18th, striking out 15 with the only base runner reaching on an error in the seventh inning. Clayton Kershaw continued to dominate in July, extending his scoreless innings streak to 41 innings. The Dodgers meanwhile erased the ten game deficit and took over first place. Clayton Kershaw went on to post one of the most dominant years in the history of baseball, posting a record of 21-3 with an ERA of 1.77 and 239 strikeouts as he won his third Cy Young Award in four years. Not only was Kershaw a unanimous choice for the Cy Young, but he became the first National League Pitcher to win the MVP since Bob Gibson in 1968. The Dodgers would go on to win the National League West, posting a record of 94-68. While Clayton Kershaw got all the headlines, Zack Greinke was nearly as good, posting a record of 17-8 with an ERA of 2.71, striking out 207. Another pitcher who had strong season in Los Angeles was Hyun-jin Ryu who won 14 games. The Dodgers offense meanwhile was led by Adrian Gonzalez who led the team with 27 home runs and 116 RBI, meanwhile Matt Kemp who struggled early in the season had a second half resurgence hitting 25 long balls, with 89 RBI.
2014 NLDS: The Dodgers would face the St. Louis Cardinals in Division Series, as Clayton Kershaw opposed Adam Wainwright in the battle of 20 game winners. The Dodgers and Kershaw appeared to be cruising early, building a 6-1 lead behind homer from A.J. Ellis. However, after a Matt Carpenter home in the sixth the Cardinals would erupt for eight runs in the seventh inning to take the opener 10-9, as a late rally led by Adrian Gonzalez fell short. In Game 2, Zack Greinke who struck out seven while allowing zero runs and two hits in seven innings. The Cardinals would rally to tie the game off the Dodgers bullpen in the eighth, as Carpenter hit another back break home run. The Dodgers would answer with Matt Kemp home run in the bottom of the eighth to win the game 3-2. As the series shifted to St. Louis, the Dodgers got a strong game from Hyun-jin Ryun but once again Carpenter would hammer the Dodgers with a seventh inning home run that enabled the Cardinals to win the game 3-1. Desperate to get back in the series, the Dodgers turned to Clayton Kershaw on short rest in Game 4. After scratching out two runs in the sixth inning, the Dodgers had a chance to even the series leading 2-0 in the seventh inning. However, once again the Cardinals rallied late with Matt Adams touching Kershaw for a three run homer to put the Red Birds in front. The Cardinals would win the game 3-2 to finish the series off in four games, beating Kershaw four times in two postseason series.
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