Dodgers haven't clinched playoff spot, celebration premature

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Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts gestures to the crowd after the team defeated the San Diego Padres in a baseball game, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Derrick Tuskan)

PHOENIX – The Los Angeles Dodgers, it turns out, aren't definitely in the playoffs quite yet.

Despite a postgame clinching toast by manager Dave Roberts in the clubhouse Sunday, the celebration was a bit premature. The math didn't add up, the Dodgers were still short.

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MLB took blame for the mistake. Roberts said he found out this morning when he was watching TV.

“I've got no problem taking blame, but all the information I got from yesterday was that if we win, we clinch a berth,” Roberts said. “I really don't care. We're going to do it at some point in time. There won't be any other acknowledgment. It is what it is."

Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman and the Dodgers could become the first team in the majors to officially seal a postseason spot with a win Monday night at Arizona.

The Dodgers own the best record in baseball at 96-43. They held a 20-game lead over San Diego in the NL West and had a magic number of two for clinching their ninth division title in 10 years.

Los Angeles has reached the postseason in 10 straight seasons.

“It's not a rite of passage, it's hard to win the division,” Roberts said.

The Dodgers thought their 11-2 win at San Diego on Sunday put them in the playoffs. Roberts led a toast with sparkling wine and the players and staff were given caps with the postseason logo.

Instead, with a new playoff system in place this season, there remained a multi-team tiebreaker scenario that mathematically would exclude them — they would have to go 0-23 and Milwaukee would need to finish 21-0 to put that possibility in play.


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