LOS ANGELES — The 2022 season began with hyperbole about the Dodgers fielding one of the best teams ever.
Six months later, It ended with them having done just that.
Trea Turner’s three-run home run broke a mid-game tie Wednesday and sent the Dodgers to their 111th victory of the season, 6-1 over the Colorado Rockies.
The Dodgers’ 111 wins tie them with the 1954 Cleveland Indians for the fourth-most in major-league history. They also finished the season with the most runs scored and the fewest allowed, only the second time since World War II a team has accomplished that double (the 2001 Seattle Mariners) and the first time in the National League since the 1944 St. Louis Cardinals.
They outscored their opponents by 334 runs, the best run differential in the majors and the fourth-best all-time. It is the first time since those 2001 Mariners a team exceeded a plus-300 run differential and only the 10th time in baseball history.
Ninety-five of their 111 wins were by multiple runs, the most in major-league history. Sixty were by four runs or more, the most in the majors this season.
Individually, Freddie Freeman – whose addition ratcheted up the spring hyperbole – came up just short of winning the batting title in his first season with the Dodgers.
Freeman ended an 0-for-13 skid (the first time all season he went hitless in three consecutive games) with three hits (a single, a double and a home run) in four at-bats. His .325 batting average finished second to the New York Mets’ Jeff McNeil (.326) who did not play Wednesday.
Freeman drove in two runs to reach 100 RBIs for the season. He led the majors in hits (199) and doubles (47) and the National League in runs scored (tied with Mookie Betts at 117) and on-base percentage (.407). He and Turner became the first Dodgers teammates with 100 RBIs each since Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier in 2009. They also became the sixth pair of teammates in MLB history to finish 1-2 in hits.
On the other end of the seniority spectrum, Clayton Kershaw finished his 15th season with the Dodgers by retiring 15 of 17 batters faced in five innings, striking out nine to push his career total to 2,807 (passing Cy Young for 24th all-time). Kershaw is one of only six players in baseball history to record more than 2,800 strikeouts with one team.
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Though his season was twice interrupted by flareups of his back problems, Kershaw finished healthy and looking sharp heading into the postseason. In seven starts since returning from his second trip to the IL, Kershaw allowed seven runs on 27 hits and eight walks in 41 innings – a 1.54 ERA and 0.85 WHIP – while striking out 49 and allowing a .182 batting average.
The most positive sign Wednesday, though, might have been Turner’s day.
The Dodgers shortstop had been taking early batting practice on the field frequently, searching for his swing – including taking live at-bats against Dustin May and Blake Treinen on Wednesday morning.
All the extra work started to pay off with his three-run home run in the fifth inning. His first home run since Sept. 11 (and the first not off a position player since Sept. 3) ended a 5-for-30 skid. He added a single later in the game.
More to come on this story.