The Dodgers’ final three games won’t count for much in the standings. That doesn’t mean the series is void of statistical or emotional significance.
In an 6-2 win over the San Francisco Giants on Friday, the Dodgers got a little closer to a milestone victory. By improving to 99-61, they are on the verge of becoming only the seventh team with three consecutive 100-win campaigns.
First baseman Freddie Freeman also moved closer to making history, hitting his 59th double and 29th home run in pursuit of baseball’s first 60-homer, 30-double season.
And in a contentious sequence during the sixth and seventh innings, tempers flared between the longtime rivals.
The Giants, who were being managed by base coach Kai Correa after firing manager Gabe Kapler before the game, successfully challenged a groundout to the Dodgers’ chagrin, getting the out negated after a review showed Dodgers shortstop Miguel Rojas had his heels in the outfield grass at the time of the pitch, a violation of MLB’s new infield shift rules.
Then, after Dodgers pitcher Lance Lynn appeared to gesture toward the Giants dugout between innings, Rojas was hit in the left hand by a pitch in the seventh, forcing him to exit the game. The Dodgers said Rojas had a contusion, the severity not immediately known.
The hit batter didn’t seem intentional. But that didn’t stop some in the Dodgers dugout — including Lynn, who angrily stationed himself near the foot of the stairs — from glaring across the diamond.
There were several other notable storylines.
By legging out his 59th double with typical hustle, racing to second on a weakly hit grounder to right-center field, Freeman needs just one more to have the first 60-double season since 1936.
His hit — one of three on a night he finished just a triple shy of the cycle — set up J.D. Martinez for a statistically-significant three-run homer later in the inning, one that pushed Martinez past the 1,000-RBI mark for his career and gave the Dodgers 900 runs this season, a first in the franchise’s Los Angeles history.
Another special moment came before the first pitch. With the Dodgers’ Dave Roberts and Correa leading their teams, the contest became the first among the four major U.S. sports leagues in which both teams’ managers were of Asian descent. Roberts and Correa are of Japanese heritage.
To honor the occasion, Roberts and Correa greeted each other at home plate for the pregame lineup exchange and posed with the umpiring crew for a picture.