MLB

Dodgers clinch best National League win total since 1906, Trout and Ohtani deliver in Angels loss

By Sports Desk October 05, 2022

The Los Angeles Dodgers are heading into the playoffs on the right foot after a convincing 6-1 home win against the Colorado Rockies in their regular season finale on Wednesday.

With the win, the Dodgers finished the season 111-51, setting a new franchise record as they totaled the fourth-most wins in MLB history and the most by a National League (NL) team since 1906.

The NL record is held by the Chicago Cubs from 1906 with 116 wins. The Dodgers' 111-win season is the equal fourth best in MLB history.

It was a stylish final outing for Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, who gave up one run from one hit and one walk in his five innings, striking out nine batters. 

At the plate, Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freeman did all he could in his last-gasp attempt to win the National League batting title, going three-for-four with a home run to raise his batting average to .325 – finishing .001 behind the New York Mets' Jeff McNeil (.326).

Fellow All-Star Trea Turner also hit a home run for the Dodgers as he went two-for-four with three RBIs, and center-fielder Cody Bellinger collected a deep-ball of his own as five of the Dodgers' six runs scored via home runs.

The Dodgers will play the winner of the Wild Card game between the Mets and the San Diego Padres in the NLDS.

Arraez wins the AL batting title

Luis Arraez risked losing the American League (AL) batting title by suiting up in the Minnesota Twins' 10-1 win against the Chicago White Sox.

Arraez came into the day with the lead at .315, with his only threat, Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees at .311 and not playing on the final day.

But fittingly, Arraez did not record an out, collecting two walks and a double before being pulled. 

Incredibly, it is the third-best batting average from Arraez's four years in the league, posting a .334 in 2019 before going .321 on a small sample size in 2020. His 'down' year in 2021 was still a very strong .294.

Ohtani, Trout end the season in fitting fashion

As has been the story of their time with the Los Angeles Angels, both Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout were excellent, but could not stop their team from losing 3-2 against the Oakland Athletics.

Ohtani only gave up one run from one hit and one walk in his five innings on the mound, lowering his ERA for the season to a magnificent 2.33. It is the sixth-lowest ERA in the league, while he is also 11th in home runs hit with 34.

He went one-for-four with a single at the plate, while Trout hit his 40th home run of the season to finish tied for third in the majors. No other player in the top 15 has played fewer than 130 games, while Trout played 119.

In a feel-good story, after announcing his retirement, Oakland's Stephen Vogt hit a home run with his last ever swing on a day where his children were allowed to do his introduction over the PA system at the start of the game.

Related items

  • 'It's out of my price range' – Aaron Judge rules out $3million-plus auction bid for 62nd home run ball 'It's out of my price range' – Aaron Judge rules out $3million-plus auction bid for 62nd home run ball

    Aaron Judge is resigned to being an intrigued observer when the ball he struck for a record-breaking 62nd home run goes up for auction – declaring he cannot afford to join the bidding race.

    The 30-year-old set a single-season Yankees and AL home-run record by reaching 62 to surpass Roger Maris Sr's 61 – set 61 years ago in 1961.

    Judge became the fourth major league player to hit 62 or more homers in a single season, and his feat belongs in baseball legend, making the ball that saw him set the record on October 4 especially valuable.

    It occurred at the home of the Texas Rangers in Arlington, with the spectator at Globe Life Field that caught the ball striking lucky by guaranteeing himself an apparent fortune.

    According to ESPN, that man, Cory Youmans, decided to put the ball in the hands of Goldin Auctions "after weeks of a lot of deep conversations" with his wife and lawyer.

    Youmans said: "It seems fair in the sense it gives anyone that is interested and has the means the opportunity to own it. As a fan, I'm curious to see what it's worth, who buys it and what they do with it."

    Youmans is said to have already turned down $3million for the ball, with his lawyer, Dave Baron, suspecting the final selling price could be "significantly higher based on New York, the New York fan base and how crazy it could get at an auction".

    That rules Judge out of contention, as he said the ball is "out of my price range right now".

    The ball is listed with a starting bid of $1million, with the auction due to get under way on November 30.

    Judge said of the seller's choice: "He caught the ball, he's the one that made the play out there in left field, so it's his right to do what he wants with it. Hopefully he's making the right decision for him and his family.''

    The ball's value will not have been harmed by Judge winning the AL Most Valuable Player (MVP) award ahead of Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani on Thursday.

  • History-making Judge and Goldschmidt crowned MVPs for the first time History-making Judge and Goldschmidt crowned MVPs for the first time

    Aaron Judge has capped his historic season after being crowned the AL Most Valuable Player (MVP) ahead of Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani on Thursday.

    St Louis Cardinals slugger Paul Goldschmidt was also voted the NL MVP, beating out Manny Machado of the San Diego Padres and teammate Nolan Arenado for the award.

    Judge's MVP, the first in his career, came after he broke the single-season Yankees and AL home-run record, reaching 62 to surpass Roger Maris Sr's 61 – set 61 years ago in 1961. He became the fourth major league player to hit 62 or more homers in a single season.

    The Yankees outfielder led the AL in home runs (62), RBIs (131), slugging percentage (.686), on-base percentage (.425), OPS (1.111) and total bases (391), while he chased an AL Triple Crown down the stretch, but ultimately fell short as Minnesota Twins' utility Luis Arraez (.316) won the batting title.

    Judge received 28 first-place votes for 410 points, ahead of Ohtani (280) and Houston Astros' Yordan Alvarez (232).

    The 30-year-old already had two top-five MVP finishes on his resume, in 2017 and 2021, winning Silver Slugger awards in both years.

    Yankees manager Aaron Boone said: "I’m grateful that I got to witness it first-hand and share in his magical year, especially given how much respect I have for him as a player and as a person."

    Goldschmidt looked like the NL MVP since the All-Star break, batting .317 while leading the NL in OPS (.982) and slugging percentage (.578).

    The Cardinals first baseman's 35 home runs finished one off his career-high, set in 2013 and equalled in 2017, giving him his seventh season with at least 30 dingers.

    Goldschmidt won the MVP with 380 voting points, ahead of Machado (291) and Arenado (232). It is the sixth time in 35-year-old Goldschmidt's career that he has finished in the top-six for the award.

    "I think definitely as you age, you have to adapt, and that's some of what I've tried to do. I've tried to get ahead of it," Goldschmidt told MLB Network. "I think it was my best season."

  • Harper to have elbow surgery, timeline for 2023 return uncertain Harper to have elbow surgery, timeline for 2023 return uncertain

    Philadelphia Phillies star Bryce Harper will have surgery on his right elbow next week although the exact operation and recovery timeline is still uncertain.

    Harper will have surgery on November 23 to address the tear in the ulnar collateral ligament he suffered back in April.

    Phillies president Dave Dombrowski said on Wednesday the surgeons won’t know until surgery begins if they’ll be performing Tommy John surgery or a less intensive repair of the existing UCL.

    ''We have no prognosis, really, until he goes into the elbow and takes a look at it,'' Dombrowski said of the surgeon. '

    'We'll have something at that time with the surgery and the anticipation something will happen. I would think it will slow him down for the season. We'll know more next week.''

    If he does have Tommy John surgery, recovery could force him to miss the first few months of the 2023 season. If it’s just a repair, he may only miss the season’s first week or two.

    After injuring his elbow in April, Harper switched from right field to designated hitter to avoid the wear and tear of throwing.

    He received a platelet-rich plasma injection shot in his elbow in May in an effort to repair it. But on Monday, Harper met with renowned orthopedist Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who determined surgery was necessary because the tear did not heal on its own.

    ''We always knew that was a possibility,'' Dombrowski said. ''We've known that for months.''

    Despite playing in pain and missing two months with a broken thumb sustained when he was hit by a pitch, Harper still excelled in helping the Phillies reach the World Series, where they lost to the Astros.

    In 99 games, the two-time NL MVP slashed .286/.364/.514 with 18 home runs, 28 doubles, 65 RBIs and 63 runs. He hit six more homers in 17 playoff games, and was named the NLCS MVP after hitting a dramatic game-winning homer in the series-clinching victory over the Padres.

    ''You don't ever want to lose Bryce, you really don't,'' Phillies manager Rob Thomson said. ''He's one of the best hitters in baseball, if not the best.

    "We spent a lot of time last year without him. Guys responded. It gave opportunities to other people to step up and they did. While we will be missing him, and looking forward to getting him back, it'll give somebody else an opportunity.''

    The Phillies open the season March 30 at Texas.

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