'Bring something special': Can the Dodgers' new-look culture carry them for postseason run?

Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Baseball

The Dodgers knew they were struggling. They knew something needed to change.

So, three months into their up-and-down start to the season, most of the team gathered in the batting cages before the start of a pivotal homestand to finally — as a group — address it out loud.

This was in early July, after one of several low points that marked an underwhelming first half to the team's 2023 campaign.

They'd just returned from a trip full of rain delays, travel issues and long nights in Denver and Kansas City. They'd let the circumstances impact their play against a pair of last-place teams, going 3-3 against the Rockies and Royals to remain three games back in the National League West standings.

Thus, before the start of another series the next day, the team went around the room to reinforce a simple message.

"We need to play with a little bit more sense of urgency," shortstop Miguel Rojas recalled. "We need to show that we're hungry, and we want to do this."


In the three months since, the Dodgers have lived up to their word.

Starting with a win over the Pittsburgh Pirates that night, they went 13-8 over the rest of July, finishing the month with a two-game lead in the division.

In August, they soared to historic heights, winning a Los Angeles franchise-record 24 games to cement themselves as a legitimate contender.

This past weekend, with still two weeks to go in September, they officially clinched the National League West, locking up a division crown that — despite being their 10th in the last 11 years — wasn't widely predicted at the start of the season.


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