Buehler, Dodgers get past Rockies for N.L. West title

Mae Harvey
October 3, 2018

The Los Angeles Dodgers needed a 163rd game this season to capture the NL West division title, but they triumphed on the bonus day of baseball at Dodger Stadium.

The Rockies contemplated starting German Marquez on three days' rest, something he has never done in previous 64 starts in the big leagues.

Bellinger got the Dodgers' offense going with a two-run home run in the fourth inning, his 25th of the season.

Buehler even helped himself offensively, hitting a single in the sixth for his first professional RBI and extending the Dodgers' lead to 5-0. The long ball was Muncy's team-leading 36th of the season, which absolutely no one could have predicted before the start of the season.

Closer Kenley Jansen continued his late-season struggles by allowing back-to-back homers in the 9th, but he finished out the inning and ensured the Dodgers would clinch the division.

In the National League, the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Chicago Cubs in a Game 163 tiebreaker to decide the champion of the NL Central division. The young star was fantastic in his last outing against the Philadelphia Phillies, striking out the first eight batters he faced, and setting Colorado's single season record for strikeouts. "Being able to win despite having to fight through, this is a lesson we'll carry over into the postseason", he said.

Colorado will travel to face the Cubs, who lost the NL Central tiebreaker to the Brewers, in the single-elimination National League wild-card game Tuesday.

The Colorado Rockies' Charlie Blackmon completed a cycle by hitting an RBI double in the bottom of the eighth inning Sunday. He has, however, given up home runs to five Dodgers, all of whom could be in the lineup tomorrow. One out later, Muncy hit his 35th homer to left-center, extending the lead to 4-0 and chasing Marquez.

In Monday's other tie-breaker game, the Brewers sealed their first divisional title since 2011 with a tense 3-1 win over the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

"I'm looking forward to the battle in Chicago", Freeland said.

Roberts joins Minnesota's Ron Gardenhire (2002-04) and Houston's Larry Dierker (1997-99) as the only managers to win three straight division titles in their first three seasons on the job.

Of course, they defeated the Washington Nationals by a 12-2 score, pounding out 18 hits which included home runs from Nolan Arenado and Carlos Gonzalez. The tiebreakers are considered part of the regular season, and stats are counted accordingly.

Joe Medwick in 1937 was the last NL player to win the Triple Crown.

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