LOS ANGELES — Bruce Bochy might know his way around the NL West better than any other manager in baseball. The Giants’ skipper has won six division titles and spent his entire 19-year managerial career with the Padres and Giants.
Bochy has seen a lot in the NL West, but a run like the Dodgers’ isn’t something he’s witnessed before. A 55-18 mark and from worst-to-first isn’t something that anyone has seen too many times before.
“That’s not easy to do,” Bochy said. “This team is impressive. The rate they’re at, they got on a roll and there was no stopping them. They’re hitting on all cylinders; pitch and hit and really doing everything.”
The Dodgers’ run is nothing short of historic. Their 38-13 record (.745 winning percentage) is already the fourth-best second-half mark, and only three other teams have ever had better second halves (1954 Cleveland Indians, 2001 Oakland A’s, 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers).
It’s a foregone conclusion that the Dodgers are going to capture the division title, and even their rivals know it.
“It’s inevitable that they’re going to do that,” Bochy said.
Marred in a season-long slump, Bochy’s club will not get a chance to defend their World Series title. The Giants, who are 17 games behind the NL West-leading Dodgers, are on pace to finish last in the NL West.
The Giants have especially struggled against their southern rivals this season. They were swept when the Dodgers first began their remarkable run in June, and have dropped five of their last six to L.A.
The Giants don’t plan to shut it down during this weekend’s four-game series, but Bochy acknowledged that it hasn’t been easy facing the Dodgers this season – for the Giants or any other team.
“We weren’t really in the middle of that run but they were beating everybody,” Bochy said. “We’re going to do all we can, play some ball and try to win a few games. We’re not going to be out here thinking, ‘Oh, we can’t win a game.'”
A rivalry is still a rivalry, and the standings haven’t done anything to diminish this Nor Cal vs. So Cal battle. But it’s clear which team has taken control of the division.
“It has to be a lot of fun for them,” Bochy said. “Because that just doesn’t happen very often.”