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In Dodgers’s minds, it isn’t ‘World Series or bust’ as they pursue elusive championship

In Dodgers's minds, it isn't 'World Series or bust' as they pursue elusive championship 1

CLEVELAND – The Los Angeles Dodgers enter the second half of the season with the very best file in baseball and a core that features 5 All-Stars, however they face the identical query that has adopted the staff since 1988: When will L.A. win the World Collection once more?

That is the query supervisor Dave Roberts and people 5 All-Stars confronted most at All-Star Media Day in Cleveland on Monday. The Dodgers have misplaced the World Collection every of the final two seasons, however Dodgers outfielder and MVP candidate Cody Bellinger insists that is not a thought this staff thinks about on a day-to-day foundation.

“I think in spring training you think about October and what we can do in spring training to get back to October,” Bellinger stated. “Whether or not we have been within the World Collection or not, everybody’s purpose is to get to the postseason and get to the World Collection.

“Particularly being in Los Angeles, you have to win,” he said. “We like successful.”

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Los Angeles has achieved that within the first half of the season. The Dodgers have the very best run differential (+129) and finest house file (37-12). That is led to a commanding 13 1/2-game lead within the NL West and makes Los Angeles a powerful guess to get again to the postseason for the seventh straight season.

Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw stated this yr’s staff realized from the 2018 season. Los Angeles did not break .500 till June eight final season and turned it on within the second half of the season. This yr, Los Angeles has stayed constant all through.

“We have had that mindset after final yr and simply got here in realizing it might be a problem to get again,” Kershaw said. “We did not take it as a right. We saved going, saved enjoying properly the entire season, and we will attempt to do this for the remainder of this yr and attempt to get again to the identical spot.”

The Dodgers are 625-440 within the common season since 2012, which is 30 video games higher than the subsequent finest staff. In fact, all that has success comes and not using a championship. The Dodgers are 6-14 all time within the World Collection; essentially the most losses of any staff on that stage.

What might put this staff excessive, aside from a rotation led by Kershaw and fellow All-Star pitchers Hyun Jin-Ryu and a lineup that options three gamers with 20-plus homers in Bellinger, Joc Pederson and Max Muncy? Bellinger pointed to rookies which have stepped up. Rookie outfielder Alex Verdugo is hitting .303 with 9 homers and 39 RBIs.

“We noticed it in spring coaching,” Pederson said. “We have been like ‘Dude we have got some guys in our minor-league system who could be a starter for lots of different organizations proper now. They got here up and did what they needed to do. We’re actually deep in our group.”

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That will counsel the World Collection query could be requested for the foreseeable for a franchise that defines stability within the common season. Kershaw and Bellinger insisted nothing has modified, however Muncy had a unique take. He has a continuing reminder in home with photos of his 18th-inning house run in opposition to the Pink Sox in Sport three of final yr’s World Collection “hanging throughout his home.”

“Any time I get to see these photos,” Muncy said. “I get chills interested by it.”

Muncy, nevertheless, remembers that second however just isn’t consumed with the ultimate end result. Not this season anyway.

“Final yr it was we have been one win away from the World Collection we’d like to verify we’re centered on that and get again to it,” Muncy said. “This yr, we have type of made the strategy that we’re not going to fret concerning the final two years. We do not care what occurred.”

Bellinger agreed with that evaluation.

“Little motivation,” Bellinger said about the last two years. “Truthfully, we do not give it some thought a lot. We’re 100-percent centered on this yr, and the previous is the previous truthfully. I do not assume we have thought of it that a lot.”

For all of the discuss 1988, maybe this yr’s staff might look again to 1981. That Dodgers staff had six All-Stars in Cleveland – together with starter Fernando Valenzuela – they usually gained the World Collection in opposition to the New York Yankees in a strike-shortened season. That broke a 16-year championship drought. Hey, New York has the very best file within the American League this season.

Not that Los Angeles would look that far forward. Los Angeles visits Fenway Park on Friday in a matchup of final yr’s World Collection first.

“We won’t get wrapped up in the entire season,” Kershaw said. “We play the Pink Sox on Friday. We’ll attempt to win that sport and transfer on.”

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