Looking to return to the World Series for a third consecutive year, the Los Angeles Dodgers cleared many checkpoints in record time, including clinching a seventh straight National League West title at the earliest point since the franchise relocated from Brooklyn.
The Dodgers finished the regular season with a franchise record 106 wins and solidified home-field advantage throughout the NL portion of the playoffs — paving the way for another potential deep October run.
While the blueprint for success was laid out, the Dodgers ultimately suffered a stunning NL Division Series Game 5 loss to the Washington Nationals at Dodger Stadium. It was the club’s first loss in the opening round of the postseason since 2015.
The earlier-than-anticipated playoff exit ensured the Dodgers’ World Series championship drought being extended to 31 years. “I get it,” president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman began at his end of the year press conference.
“I think everybody was extremely upset. I can’t remember being around a group that was as committed to doing everything that they could to win a World Series. Obviously we did not do that, but from Spring Training into the season, throughout the season, it was a singular focus virtually for everybody in our clubhouse.”
The Dodgers’ elimination added to frustration that’s mounted within the fanbase, which Friedman was sympathetic to.
“It was as good of a group as I’ve ever been around. Obviously it wasn’t enough, but we share in that disappointment and frustration,” he said.
“It was heartwrenching in a lot of ways. I think it’s something for us, as we sit here and look forward to the offseason, we have to focus on things that will help us in our quest to deliver a World Series championship to Los Angeles.
“A big part of the reason why we are as motivated as we are to do it is because of our great fans. You look at the passion and energy that they bring. Look at our home record this year. It’s not an accident we played as well as we did at home. Just the passion, energy and volume of people we got in here throughout the year, that’s part of what makes this so heartbreaking.”
Among the many records the Dodgers set during the 2019 season included a franchise best 59 wins at Dodger Stadium. It was the second-most wins at home for any team this season, trailing only the Houston Astros’ 60 victories at Minute Maid Park.
Furthermore, the Dodgersbroke a franchise record for Dodger Stadium attendance this season. In 81 games — 28 of which were sellouts — the club drew 3,974,309 fans (49,066 average) to the ballpark.