Tuesday’s game on the road in San Francisco was loaded with pressure for the National League West leading Los Angeles Dodgers and their ace Clayton Kershaw.
It was understandable since the Dodgers entering the game had lost 11 straight and 16 of their last 17.
The team and Kershaw came through Tuesday ending a winless drought of close to two weeks and clinching a playoff berth after beating the Giants 5-3 to end the club’s longest losing streak since it moved from Brooklyn to LA back in 1958.
Dave Roberts the Dodgers manager said following the victory that the team needed to end the drought and was doing everything possible to get a win.
The drought for the Dodgers was the team’s worst in the last 25 years, topping skids of 10 straight losses in 1961 and 1992 in Los Angeles. The Dodgers while in Brooklyn lost 16 consecutive games in 1944.
Despite the tailspin the last three weeks, Los Angles is 93-52 which is the best record in baseball. The leaders of the NL West won for just the second time in their last 18 games and now have secured at worst the second and final wildcard in the NL.
They joined the Washington Nationals, the champions of the NL East as the only two teams to secure playoff berths to date.
Kershaw raised his record to 17-3 pitching six innings and is tied with Zach Davies of the Milwaukee Brewers for the most wins in the majors.
Closer Kenley Jansen recorded four outs for save No. 37 but allowed three consecutive singles in the ninth with one out. He fanned both Buster Posey and Nick Hundley to end the Dodgers skid.
Yasmani Grandal the catcher for the Dodgers pumped his fist and Jansen his chest, as teammates ran from the dugout.
Tonight was not easy said Kershaw, but praised Jansen saying he got it done and that was why he is the league’s best.
Neither of the team’s took batting practice prior to the game on the field after the two played until after 2 a.m. the night before due to delays for rain and lightning on Monday.
The last win be the Dodgers prior to Tuesday was September 1 and still leads the Nationals for the league’s best record by 4 ½ games after the Nationals lost to Atlanta 8-0. The teams will play this week in Washington.