What is the Dodgers’ history in MLB tiebreaker playoff games?
The Dodgers played in the first playoff tiebreaker, which was originally a best-of-three series, and they played in the most recent one, in 2018 against the Colorado Rockies. They very well might play in the next one. Should the Dodgers and San Francisco Giants finish with the same record at the end of the regular season, they would play a one-game tiebreaker in San Francisco on Monday (which would create a nightmare scenario for the loser) to determine who gets to bypass a play-in game two days later. It would be the third time the two arch foes have played a tiebreaker, and the first in 59 years.
Here is the history of the Dodgers in a tiebreaker series or game.
1946 tiebreaker series
St. Louis Cardinals 4, Brooklyn Dodgers 2
Cardinals 8, Dodgers 4
Until 1969, teams knotted at the end of the regular season played a best-of-three tiebreaker series to determine who went to the World Series. In the first of four tiebreaker series the Dodgers would play over the next 16 years, the Cardinals largely silenced the Dodgers’ bats until the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 2 , when Brooklyn scored three of the six runs it would score in the two games. By that time, the Cardinals led 8-1.
1951 tiebreaker series
New York Giants 3, Brooklyn Dodgers 1
Dodgers 10, Giants 0
Giants 5, Dodgers 4
Small forests have been felled in the telling and re-telling of the Most Famous Tiebreaker Game of Them All (Sorry, ‘78 Red Sox-Yankees). After the Dodgers smoked the Giants 10-0 in Game 2, they took a 4-1 lead into the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 3. Whitey Lockman’s RBI double chased Dodgers starter Don Newcombe, who was replaced by Ralph Branca with the Dodgers still holding a 4-2 lead. The first batter he faced was Bobby Thomson (who in Game 1 had hit a much less famous game-deciding homer off Branca). You know the rest.
1959 tiebreaker series
Dodgers 3, Milwaukee Braves 2
Dodgers 6, Braves 5 (12)
Trailing 5-2 in the bottom of the ninth of Game 2, the Dodgers forced extra innings with five singles, capped by Maury Wills’ tying hit. In the 12th, Carl Furillo reached on an infield single and Gil Hodges raced home with the winning run on Braves shortstop Felix Mantilla’s errant throw to send the Dodgers to their first World Series in Los Angeles.
1962 tiebreaker series
San Francisco Giants 8, Dodgers 0
Dodgers 8, Giants 7
Giants 6, Dodgers 4
Now both on the West Coast, the two archrivals reprised the drama of their 1951 tiebreaker series with another classic. Again in the clincher, the Dodgers — who had forced Game 3 with a walkoff victory on a Ron Fairly sacrifice fly the previous day — held a ninth-inning lead but were unable to hold on. Four walks in the top of the ninth, including the go-ahead, bases-loaded walk to Jim Davenport, was Los Angeles’s undoing.
1980 tiebreaker game
Houston Astros 7, Dodgers 1
Facing elimination in each of the three home games against the division-leading Astros, the Dodgers swept the regular season-ending series, winning each game by one run, to force a one-game play-in game on Monday at Dodger Stadium. Los Angeles had nearly been eliminated in the first game of the series. Trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the ninth, the Dodgers tied the score on a Ron Cey sacrifice fly and won in the 10th on a leadoff homer by Joe Ferguson. The tiebreaker was far less dramatic: Lasorda went with Dave Goltz and the game was over by the fourth inning, when Houston took a 7-0 lead.
2018 tiebreaker game
Dodgers 5, Colorado Rockies 2
In the tiebreaker for the NL West title, rookie Walker Buehler gave up one hit over 6 2/3 innings and the Dodgers jumped to a 5-0 lead. Kenley Jansen made it semi-interesting in the ninth when he yielded back-to-back solo homers by Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story.
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