Instant Analysis: LA clinches NL West title with win over Giants
Dodgers claim NL West title with win over Giants
LOS ANGELES — Three years ago, Giants coaches stood on the top step of the visiting dugout here at Dodger Stadium and tipped their caps to the Dodgers, who had just clinched an NL West title. A month later, the Giants were in the World Series.
There will be no such luck this season. The Giants are eight games from a long offseason, but first, they once again had to watch their rivals kick off a celebration. With a 4-2 win, the Dodgers clinched the NL West for the fifth consecutive season. For the third time in the last four years, they celebrated against the Giants.
This one spun away from Jeff Samardzija in the third inning and the offense never recovered, aside from Pablo Sandoval's solo shot in the ninth.
By the second inning, Samardzija had hit 200 strikeouts. In the third, he reached 200 innings. Of course, the third was also an inning he would like to forget. Cody Bellinger crushed a three-run shot to ruin Samardzija’s night, and he would be done two frames later. Samardzija was charged with four earned in 4 1/3 innings, which was his shortest start since July 21.
Joe Panik .300 Update: He had a single in three at-bats and he was also hit by a pitch. Panik’s average remained at .291.
Best night in a while
Josh Osich has had a rough go, but this was his best night in a while. Osich entered for Samardzija in the fifth and struck out Curtis Granderson and Yasmani Grandal while getting out of a jam. He struck out two more in a perfect sixth inning.
A familiar face
Old friend Charlie Culberson pinch-hit for the Dodgers in the sixth. Osich struck him out. Culberson, now 28 years old, spent the entire season Triple-A until a recent promotion. He posted a .634 OPS in 108 games.
The Giants have 94 losses for the first time since 1996. The next team to chase down: The 96-loss group from 1984.