Freeman delivers LA's club-record 107th win

September 29th, 2022

SAN DIEGO -- From the start of Spring Training, it was clear this Dodgers team had a chance to be one of the best in franchise history. There was even some chatter that the Dodgers could be historically good.

Over the past six months, both of those things have come true. With a 1-0 win over the Padres in 10 innings on Wednesday night at Petco Park, the 2022 Dodgers set a franchise record with 107 wins, becoming the most accomplished regular-season squad in the organization’s storied history.

“To know that we’ve made our mark on Dodgers history is pretty remarkable,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. “A lot of people have their hands on this, not just this year but, kind of building where we’re at right now. It’s something to be proud of.”

After winning 106 games in 2021, the Dodgers casually added former National League MVP , who is inarguably one of the best players in baseball. The addition of Freeman immediately gave the Dodgers the best and deepest lineup in baseball.

The quartet of , , Will Smith and Freeman have led the way for the Dodgers, who lead the Majors in runs scored by a good margin. On Wednesday, it was Freeman who delivered the clutch hit again, recording the go-ahead RBI single in the 10th inning against Padres right-hander Steven Wilson.

With that knock Freeman set a career high with 192 hits in a single season.

“That’s why he’s one of the best hitters in baseball,” Roberts said. “You have to be able to have different clubs, use the whole field. And that’s why guys like that have success in the postseason.”

Though all the attention is usually on the Dodgers’ lineup, and rightfully so, the Los Angeles pitching staff has been just as dominant this season. , and have led the way in the starting rotation. has also been stellar when healthy.

Of the group, Urías has become the Dodgers’ ace, filling the void of , who was lost for the season in June after undergoing his second Tommy John surgery. Urías tossed six scoreless innings on Wednesday against the Padres, lowering his NL-best ERA to 2.17.

Even with two consecutive strong seasons, Roberts believes Urías gets overlooked in the discussion for top pitchers. Urías said he’s not focused on any of that chatter.

“I’m just trying to do my job on top of the mound and focus on putting us in position to have the best chance to win the game,” Urías said. “It doesn’t distract or motivate me to keep giving my 100% and win a championship, which is our main goal.”

Urías has allowed two runs or fewer in 13 consecutive starts. That string of success is what makes him the most likely candidate to start Game 1 of the NLDS on Oct. 11. It’s also what has put him in the middle of the NL Cy Young discussion.

Marlins right-hander Sandy Alcantara is the favorite to win the NL Cy Young Award this season. But over the past few months, Urías has made quite the case for himself.

“It’s really hard to put into words,” Freeman said. “Seventeen wins, a 2.1 ERA -- that’s pretty amazing. It really is.”

The Dodgers’ season will ultimately be determined by what happens over the next month. Once the postseason starts, every team will go back down to zero wins. The Dodgers’ main goal is to win a second World Series in three seasons.

Anything less than a parade in Los Angeles will be considered a failure for this team. Those are the expectations when you have the highest payroll in baseball. Roberts even guaranteed a title back in March, setting the tone for the rest of the season.

But regardless of what happens in October, these Dodgers can now officially say they’ve won more baseball games than any other in the franchise’s history.

“Once Oct. 11 hits, nobody is going to care how many wins you had in the regular season,” Freeman said. “It just shows we’ve played good baseball from start to finish to accomplish that.”