LOS ANGELES (CBSLA/AP) — The Los Angeles Dodgers began their quest Monday for an unprecedented third consecutive National League pennant with the team’s 2019 season opener against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium.
The opener marks the end of Clayton Kershaw’s team-record streak of eight consecutive opening day starts after the Dodgers ace is expected to be placed on the disabled list Thursday because of shoulder inflammation.
Kershaw was the most notable absence on the Dodgers’ 25-player regular-season roster.
In addition to chasing back-to-back pennants – a feat the Dodgers have done six times, three in both Brooklyn and Los Angeles — the team will have another bit of history to overcome to win their first World Series title since 1988 — no team has won a World Series after losing in the World Series each of the previous two seasons since the 1923 New York Yankees.
The franchise has never made three straight World Series appearances.
Manager Dave Roberts received a contract extension through 2022 during the winter. He’s guided the team to 287 victories in his first three years at the helm, tied for fourth-most among mangers during that span. The team has averaged 94 wins a season during its run of six straight NL West championships.
“We have created something here where the number one goal is to win baseball games,” Roberts said. “It takes a lot of good players. It takes consistent work and focus, but it also takes sacrifice. So that comes with a lot of good players and, fortunately, for us to a man, these guys have bought into that, which makes my job considerably easier.”
History suggests a World Series hangover is inevitable. The Dodgers won an MLB-best 104 games in 2017 and they fell short in repeating that total last year with 92 victories.
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