The Los Angeles Dodgers became the first Major League Baseball team to clinch a postseason spot when they defeated the San Diego Padres 7-5 on Wednesday.
The win in San Diego secured the eighth consecutive playoff trip, scoring the third longest playoff streak in MLB history, behind only that of the 1991-2005 Atlanta Braves (14) and the 1995-2007 New York Yankees (13). ).
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was unaware that his team had won until he was asked about it after the game.
It has long been considered a foregone conclusion for the Dodgers, whose record of 35-15 is the best in the majors.
“It’s a first step,” Roberts said of clinching.
The Dodgers maintain a 3½ game lead over the Padres with 10 games remaining. If so, L.A. will host the first series of best-of-three wild cards against seed no. 8 of the National League in 14 days.
If the Dodgers and Padres both advanced, they would meet in the five-game NL Division Series at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas starting October 6, though the teams could end up with two best baseball records.
Given the near bubble set for October and unlikely to have fans in attendance, top-ranked teams like the Dodgers get little, if any, advantage from finishing with the best records of their league.
The only real advantage comes from hosting the opening series, an advantage offered to the top four teams in each league. There will be no rest days within each of the first three rounds, and this is one of many logistical issues that Roberts believes should have been resolved sooner.
“These are things that should have been addressed before we’re out a week,” Roberts said ahead of Wednesday’s game.