The Los Angeles Dodgers officially punched their ticket to the postseason on Tuesday with a 7-3 victory over the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards, clinching an unprecedented seventh consecutive National League West title in the process.
In what has been a dominating season from the start, the 2019 Dodgers became the fastest team in L.A. franchise history to clinch the division by both date (Sept. 10) and games played (146). The club additionally wrapped up the NL West with a whopping 18-game advantage over the second-place Arizona Diamondbacks, which represents the largest margin in franchise history.
As soon as Caleb Ferguson struck out Orioles slugger Mark Trumbo to end the game, a celebration ensued on the field. The festivities later picked up in the clubhouse, which has become standard for a multitude of players on the Dodgers roster.
Corey Seager is one of the many holdovers who have experienced similar celebrations in the past. Being able to participate in the fun on Tuesday meant a lot to him, considering he was recovering from separate Tommy John and hip operations at this time last year, per Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
“I think I was still on crutches, to be honest with you,” Seager said when asked to recall last year’s division-clinching win. “It’s always fun but it’s definitely a little more fun and kind of throw it around and join in with your buddies and reflect on a good year. Enjoy tonight and look forward tomorrow.”
Since debuting in September 2015, Seager has been part of four Dodgers’ division-clinching wins — the lone exception being last year. Perhaps fittingly, he played a huge part in the club’s champagne-popping victory on Tuesday.
Seager began his night with a three-run home run, which extended the Dodgers’ lead to 4-0 in the first inning. It was all the run support Walker Buehler needed, who tossed another gem behind seven shutout innings and 11 strikeouts.
In Seager’s next at-bat, he further padded L.A.’s advantage with a two-run shot — giving the club a comfortable 6-0 lead.
It marked the second consecutive game in which Seager mashed a three-run home run. During the span, he has accumulated three homers while driving in a team-high eight RBI.
In 119 overall games this season, Seager is batting .263/.329/.463 (107 OPS+) with 39 doubles, 16 home runs and 74 RBI across 483 plate appearances. Despite battling inconsistencies, he has still reached the three-WAR threshold, per Baseball-Reference’s calculations, for a third time in his young career.