Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers celebrated winning their 10th National League West division title in the last 11 seasons on Saturday despite a more improbable path to the World Series than their previous ones due to the various injuries they faced in a transition year.
Although they have been consistently atop the NL West, the celebration presented a first time for many to enjoy a division title with the team. An unaggressive free agency period and various injuries throughout the season led to a multitude of new faces in the Dodgers clubhouse.
Among the veterans in their first season with the club are Jason Heyward, Ryan Brasier, Lance Lynn, David Peralta, Shelby Miller, Kolten Wong, Amed Rosario, Ryan Yarbrough and J.D. Martinez, while Miguel Rojas, Joe Kelly and Kiké Hernández returned after stints with other organizations. Rookies include Bobby Miller, James Outman, Emmet Sheehan, Ryan Pepiot and Gavin Stone.
While Martinez enjoyed getting to be part of a division-winning celebration, he was among multiple Dodgers who noted the team is focused on the World Series, via Doug Miller of MLB.com:
“It’s a great team, a very talented team, and we have a tough road ahead of us,” Martinez said. “Obviously we’re not thinking about this. We’re thinking about the future. We’re trying to get to the World Series.”
The Dodgers still face a long and challenging road to the World Series, and as previous seasons have shown, almost nothing is predictable in the postseason, regardless of how talented the club is.
L.A. has all but officially locked up the No. 2 seed in the NL behind the Atlanta Braves, which means they would face either the likely NL Central division champion Milwaukee Brewers or the final Wild Card winner in the Division Series.
They also need to figure out how to utilize their rotation, with only Bobby Miller locked into a spot as it stands.
Still, all they need is a ticket to the postseason to have a chance at winning the World Series, and they completed that first step.
Dodgers playoff run
The Dodgers have now reached the postseason for the 11th consecutive season. Prior to their current stretch, they had not reached the playoffs more than two years in a row.
The Dodgers’ only season not winning the division over the last decade was in 2021, when they won a then-franchise record 106 games.
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