2014 Los Angeles Dodgers
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2014 Los Angeles Dodgers / Franchise: Los Angeles Dodgers / BR Team Page
Managed by Don Mattingly
History, Comments, Contributions
The 2014 Los Angeles Dodgers opened their season with a two-game series against their division rivals, the Arizona Diamondbacks, at the historic Sydney Cricket Ground in Sydney, Australia on March 22-23. A number of observers noted that while the D-Backs were treating the contests with a lot of enthusiasm, the Dodgers did not seem particularly happy to start their season early and very far from home: three key players, P Zack Greinke and OFs Matt Kemp and Carl Crawford stayed back because of minor injuries, and others were not glowing with joy in their comments to the media. They may have made the trip reluctantly, but they still swept the series, 3-1 and 7-5, to get the season off to a great start. Clayton Kershaw had a typical excellent outing to pick up the win in the opener, and Hyun-Jin Ryu pitched five scoreless innings to win the second game. However, shortly after they returned to the United States, the Dodgers had to place Kershaw on the disabled list for the first time of his career with a strained back muscle. It was also announced that the Dodgers had set a record with their opening day payroll of $234 million, with the New York Yankees a distant second at $199 million and had set the record the previous year with $230 million.
It was therefore Ryu who started the team's next game, which was the major leagues' traditional opening day, a Sunday night game facing the San Diego Padres at Petco Park on March 30th. Ryu had another excellent start, pitching seven scoreless innings, but reliever Brian Wilson gave up a pinch homer to Seth Smith to lead off the bottom of the 8th, tying the game, and the Padres scored a couple more runs that inning to win, 3-1.
The Dodgers completed the month of April by winning the 10,000th game in franchise history on April 30th, behind another great performance by Zack Greinke, 6-4 over the Minnesota Twins. Greinke finished the month with a record of 5-0, 2.04, while the team as a whole was 15-12, 1 1/2 games behind the San Francisco Giants. On May 25th, Josh Beckett pitched the Dodgers' first no-hitter since Hideo Nomo in 1996 when he blanked the Philadelphia Phillies, 6-0; Beckett had gone almost two years without recording a win before winning his first game of the year earlier in the month. Hyun-Jin Ryu followed that performance by beginning the next day's game against the Cincinnati Reds with 7 perfect innings before allowing a lead-off double to Todd Frazier in the 8th, in a game Ryu won, 4-3. As Paul Maholm had pitched a hitless 9th inning to finish the game of May 24th, this gave the Dodgers a streak of 17 straight hitless innings, tying a record set by the 2012 Los Angeles Angels. On June 18th, it was Kershaw's turn to toss a no-hitter, doing so in truly dominant fashion, striking out 15 and walking none in defeating the Colorado Rockies, 8-0.
After falling well back of the Giants in May and June, the Dodgers began to close the gap, setting up a three-game series for the lead in the NL West at AT&T Park in late July. In the opener on July 25th, the Dodgers tied a team record by hitting five triples; Yasiel Puig hit three of them all by himself, also tying a team record. The Dodgers won, 8-1, behind Zack Greinke, who added a four-strikeout inning in the 3rd for good measure. The following day, Kershaw pitched a two-hit shutout for a 5-0 win that put the Dodgers a half-game in front of the Giants and they completed the road sweep on July 27th by defeating newly-acquired Jake Peavy, 4-3.
The Dodgers clinched a postseason slot on September 19th when they defeated the Chicago Cubs, 14-5, behind Kershaw's 20th win of the season and four homers = two two-run shots by C A.J. Ellis and three-run shots by Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig. Kershaw's next win, 9-1 over the Giants on September 24th, clinched the division title.
Awards and Honors
- All-Stars: Dee Gordon, Zack Greinke, Clayton Kershaw and Yasiel Puig
- NL MVP Award: Clayton Kershaw
- NL Cy Young Award: Clayton Kershaw
- NL Gold Glove: Adrian Gonzalez (1B) and Zack Greinke (P)
- NL Silver Slugger Award: Adrian Gonzalez (1B)
- Molly Knight: The Best Team Money Can Buy: The Los Angeles Dodgers' Wild Struggle to Build a Baseball Powerhouse, Simon & Schuster, New York, NY, 2015. ISBN 978-1476776293