|2021 Los Angeles Dodgers|
|National League Wild Card|
|Major League affiliations|
|Owner(s)||Guggenheim Baseball Management|
|President of Baseball Operations||Andrew Friedman|
|Local television||Spectrum SportsNet LA|
(Joe Davis or Tim Neverett, Orel Hershiser or Nomar Garciaparra, and Kirsten Watson or David Vassegh)
(Spanish audio feed)
(Jaime Jarrín, Pepe Yñiguez, Fernando Valenzuela)
Los Angeles Dodgers Radio Network
(Charley Steiner, Tim Neverett, Rick Monday)
(Jaime Jarrín, Pepe Yñiguez, Fernando Valenzuela)
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The 2021 Los Angeles Dodgers season was the 132nd season for the franchise in Major League Baseball (MLB), their 64th season in Los Angeles, California, and their 59th season playing their home games at Dodger Stadium.
The Dodgers started the season 13-2 matching their best regular season start in francise history by a defending world champion. On September 14, the Dodgers clinched a spot in the postseason for the 9th consecutive season extending the longest streak in franchise history. The Dodgers failed to clinch the NL West division for the 1st time since 2012, finishing one game behind the San Francisco Giants. They had the most ever wins (106) of any MLB team that failed to finish first in its division or league, surpassing the 104 wins of the 1909 Chicago Cubs and 1942 Brooklyn Dodgers. They beat the St. Louis Cardinals in the Wild Card Game and the San Francisco Giants in five games in the Division Series before losing to the eventual World Series champion Atlanta Braves in the National League Championship Series in six games. This was the third time in six years that the Dodgers have lost to the eventual World Series champions the other two times have been lost in the 2016 NLCS against the Cubs, and in 2019 where they lost the 2019 NLDS against the Nationals. It was the fifth appearance in the NLCS for the Dodgers in the last six seasons.
Alanna Rizzo, who had been part of the Dodgers studio broadcast crew for seven seasons, announced that she was going to leave her position with the team. Jorge Jarrín also resigned from his role on the Dodgers Spanish language broadcast team. The Dodgers hired Kirsten Watson to replace Rizzo on February 13.
Dodgers first base coach George Lombard departed the team on November 7, as he was hired to be the new bench coach for the Detroit Tigers. He was replaced by Clayton McCullough.
On October 28, 2020, after the conclusion of the World Series, seven Dodgers players became free agents: third baseman Justin Turner, outfielder Joc Pederson, utility player Kiké Hernández, and pitchers Pedro Báez, Jake McGee, Blake Treinen, and Alex Wood. A couple of days later, the Dodgers declined the 2021 option on pitcher Jimmy Nelson's contract, making him a free agent. Outfielder and pinch runner Terrance Gore was outrighted to the minors and removed from the Dodgers roster on October 31. Pitcher Josh Sborz was designated for assignment on February 11. On February 12, 2021, the Dodgers traded pitcher Dylan Floro to the Miami Marlins in exchange for Alex Vesia and Kyle Hurt.
On December 2, the Dodgers acquired relief pitcher Corey Knebel from the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations. On December 29, the Dodgers acquired pitcher Garrett Cleavinger from the Philadelphia Phillies as part of a three-team trade that sent José Alvarado to the Phillies and minor leaguer Dillon Paulson and a player to be named later to the Tampa Bay Rays. Also on the same day, they signed pitcher Tommy Kahnle to a two-year contract. On January 5, the Dodgers re-signed pitcher Blake Treinen to a two-year contract. On February 11, 2021, the Dodgers signed starting pitcher Trevor Bauer to a three-year contract. On February 12, the Dodgers traded pitcher Adam Kolarek and minor league outfielder Cody Thomas to the Oakland Athletics in exchange for infielder Sheldon Neuse and minor leaguer Gus Varland. On February 19, the Dodgers re-signed third baseman Justin Turner to a new two-year contract.
|Off-season 40-man roster moves|
|Spring Training non-roster invitees|
Spring Training began for the 2021 Dodgers on February 17 when pitchers and catchers arrived at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Arizona. Pitcher Jimmy Nelson, in camp on a minor league contract, impressed enough in spring training that he was added to the 40-man roster on March 25.
|San Francisco Giants||107||55||0.660||—||54–27||53–28|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||106||56||0.654||1||58–23||48–33|
|San Diego Padres||79||83||0.488||28||45–36||34–47|
|2021 Game Log: 106–56 (Home: 58–23; Away: 48–33)|
|Legend: = Win = Loss = Postponement|
Bold = Dodgers team member
|Opening Day Starters|
|Mookie Betts||Right fielder|
|Justin Turner||Third baseman|
|Cody Bellinger||Center fielder|
|Max Muncy||First baseman|
|Chris Taylor||Left fielder|
|Gavin Lux||Second baseman|
|Clayton Kershaw||Starting pitcher|
The Dodgers began their 2021 season with a four-game series against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Clayton Kershaw made his team-best ninth Opening day start on April 1. Chris Owings had three hits in three at-bats, including a triple as the Rockies won the opener, 8–5. The Dodgers got back in the game by winning the following day, 11–6. New Dodger pitcher Trevor Bauer kept the Rockies hitless through six innings before running into problems in the seventh and turning it over to the bullpen. The next game the Dodgers won, 6–5, with the key play an inside the park homer by Zach McKinstry. Julio Urías allowed one run on three hits in a career best seven innings to round out the series with a 4–2 win. The Dodgers traveled west for a three-game interleague series against the Oakland Athletics at RingCentral Coliseum. Dustin May pitched six scoreless innings while Corey Seager and McKinstry each had three RBIs as the Dodgers won 10–3 in the series opener. In the second game, Kershaw pitched seven quality innings, allowing one run and striking out eight batters while Edwin Ríos, Max Muncy, and Mookie Betts each hit a home run in the Dodgers 5–1 win. Bauer allowed only two runs on two hits while striking out 10 in 62⁄3 innings in the next game, but the Athletics tied the game in the ninth off Kenley Jansen and then won in 10 innings on a walk-off RBI single by Mitch Moreland, 4–3.
The Dodgers faced the Washington Nationals in the home opener at Dodger Stadium on April 9. Walker Buehler struck out four in six scoreless innings and Justin Turner hit a solo home run that accounted for all the scoring in the Dodgers 1–0 win. The Dodgers scored five runs in the second inning to pull ahead in the next game and held on to win 9–5. In the series finale, Kershaw pitched six scoreless innings while McKinstry drove in all three turns in the Dodgers 3–0 victory to sweep the Nationals in the weekend three-game series. The Dodgers next hosted the Rockies for a three-game home series. In the series opener, Bauer pitched seven scoreless innings with nine strikeouts and only one hit allowed while Seager, Betts, Muncy and Chris Taylor each hit a home run in the 7–0 win. In the second game of the series, Turner homered and drove in two runs while McKinstry also hit a home run as the Dodgers won 4–2 to become the first team in the Majors to win 10 games. In the series finale, Turner and Muncy each hit three run home runs to sweep the Rockies 7–5.
On April 16, the Dodgers traveled to play the San Diego Padres for a three-game series at Petco Park. In the series opener, both teams battled to extra innings until the Dodgers scored five runs (including a two-run homer by Seager) to break the tie in the 12th inning to edge the Padres 11–6. Luke Raley hit his first career home run in the fifth inning. Kershaw, engaged in a pitchers' duel with Yu Darvish in the following game, pitched six scoreless innings with eight strikeouts and drew a bases-loaded walk in the fifth inning. That was the only run scored off Darvish, who allowed only one hit while striking out nine in seven innings. Turner added a solo home run in the ninth and the Dodgers shut out the Padres 2–0. In the finale of the series, Bauer allowed only one run over six innings while striking out seven, becoming just the third Dodgers pitcher to record seven or more strikeouts in his first four games with the club. A two-run homer by Chris Taylor put the Dodgers up in the second inning but the bullpen faltered and gave up three runs in the eighth to hand the Padres a 5–2 win and end the Dodgers eight game winning streak. The Dodgers next played the Seattle Mariners in a two-game interleague series at T-Mobile Park, dropping the opener 4–3 from runs driven in by José Marmolejos and Taylor Trammell. Urías struck out a career high 11 while allowing only one hit in seven innings as the Dodgers shut out the Mariners, 1–0, thanks to an RBI single by Seager to split the series. The two teams combined for three hits in game two, tying the record for the fewest in an interleague game set by the Red Sox and Expos in 1997.
The Dodgers returned home on April 22 for a four-game series with the Padres. Buehler allowed two runs in seven innings with nine strikeouts but Ryan Weathers held the Dodgers scoreless in his 52⁄3 innings while allowing only one hit. The Dodgers tied the game in the bottom of the seventh with back-to-back homers by A. J. Pollock and Sheldon Neuse but the Padres got a late run to take the opener, 3–2. In the next game, Kershaw allowed three runs while striking out seven in seven innings, including two home runs by Fernando Tatís Jr. The Dodgers offense struggled again, as they only recorded four hits, and the 23 they had over the last six games was their lowest total over a six game span since the 1909 season as the Padres won the game 6–1. Tatís Jr. hit two more home runs in the next game, this time off Bauer, but the Dodgers rallied for three runs in the sixth inning and won the game 5–4. In the last game of the series, Dustin May allowed only one run while striking out 10 in six innings and the Dodgers jumped out to a 7–1 lead only to see the bullpen self destruct and the Padres won in 11 innings, 8–7. The Cincinnati Reds were the Dodgers next opponent for a three-game series and the Dodgers dropped another extra inning game, falling 5–3 in 10 innings when Jesse Winker hit a two-run home run off Jansen. The Reds beat the Dodgers again the next day, 6–5. making their first three game losing streak since August 29–30, 2019. Kershaw struck out eight in seven scoreless innings and the Dodgers offense scored six runs in the eighth inning to roll to an 8–0 win in the series finale.
The Dodgers went back on the road for a four-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers at American Family Field. Bauer pitched a complete game, allowing only two runs on a fourth inning home run by Travis Shaw. However, the Dodgers only scored one run and lost 2–1. Edwin Uceta made his MLB debut as the starting pitcher on April 30, allowing two runs (on a home run by Jackie Bradley Jr.) and four hits in two innings. The Dodgers offense continued to struggle, getting only two hits (one of them a home run by A.J. Pollock) and they lost 3–1.
The Dodgers continued their struggles as the month of May began, starting pitcher Dustin May exited the game in the second inning with an army injury and the Brewers beat the Dodgers 6–5 in 11 innings. Julio Urías allowed only one run on four hits with 10 strikeouts in the conclusion of the series, and the Dodgers avoided being swept with a 16–4 win. A. J. Pollock hit a grand slam in the first inning and Matt Beaty hit one in the second. They were the first pair to hit grand slams in the first two innings since Bill Buckner and Tony Armas of the 1984 Boston Red Sox. Pollock later added a second home run and finished with eight RBI and Beaty had seven. It was the first time one team had two players with seven or more RBI in a single game since the 1944 New York Giants. The Dodgers next started a three game series against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. The opener on May 3 was rained out so they had to play a doubleheader of seven inning games on May 4. In the early game, Clayton Kershaw struggled and had the shortest start of his career, only one inning, in a game the Dodgers lost, 7–1. Despite home runs by Justin Turner and Max Muncy, the Dodgers also lost the second game of the doubleheader, 4–3, in nine innings. The Cubs completed the sweep of the Dodgers with a 6–5 win in 11 innings, the first time the Dodgers had been swept in a series of three or more games since April 2019 against the Cardinals. The next stop for the struggling team was Angel Stadium for a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels, where they got blown out in the first game, 9–2, extending the losing streak to four games. The Dodgers offense finally woke up in the next game, scoring eight runs in the fourth inning and five runs in the fifth to build a 13–0 lead, which turned out to be enough to overcome a massive bullpen collapse and the Dodgers snapped the losing streak with a 14–11 win. Kershaw pitched five scoreless innings, the 84th scoreless start of his career, sixth most in MLB history. However, they went back into hibernation in the series finale, losing 2–1 to the Angels to drop the series.
The Dodgers returned home on May 11 to start a short two-game series against the Seattle Mariners. Walker Buehler allowed four runs in seven innings (including two home runs by Mitch Haniger) and struck out eight. The Dodgers came from behind with two runs in the seventh and four in the eighth (including a go-ahead three-run homer by Gavin Lux) to win 6–4. They finished off the sweep with a 7–1 victory in the next game. Urías only allowed two hits in seven innings while striking out six. After an off day, the Dodgers faced the Miami Marlins for a three-game weekend series, starting with a 9–6 win, highlighted by an eight run second inning. Trevor Bauer struck out 10 batters while allowing only two hits in seven scoreless innings in the next game as the Dodgers won 7–0. The game was marred however by the news that Corey Seager broke his right hand when he was hit by a pitch in the fifth inning. A three-run home run by Adam Duvall in the fifth inning was all the Marlins needed in a 3–2 victory in the series finale. The Dodgers would finish the homestand with a four-game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Buehler struck out seven while only allowing one hit in seven scoreless innings and the Dodgers won the opener 3–1. Will Smith homered and newly signed Albert Pujols drove in a run in his second at-bat with the team. Urías struck out eight in 62⁄3 innings and Gavin Lux hit a grand slam as the Dodgers routed the Diamondbacks, 9–1, in the second game. The following day, Kershaw struck out eight in six innings and the Dodgers rode a three-run seventh inning to a 4–2 victory. In the final day of the series, Pujols hit his first home run in a Dodger uniform and Will Smith hit a go-ahead homer in the bottom of the seventh as the Dodgers went on to win 3–2 and sweep the series.
The Dodgers traveled up for a three-game weekend series at Oracle Park against the San Francisco Giants. Bauer struck out 11 while allowing only two hits and one unearned run in 6+1⁄3 innings and Chris Taylor hit a two run homer as the Dodgers won 2–1. The Dodgers took the next game, 6–3, thanks to home runs by Max Muncy and Austin Barnes and seven strong innings by Buehler. The Dodgers finished off the sweep with an 11–5 win which included Lux's second grand slam of the week. The Dodgers made a quick two-game trip to Minute Maid Park to play the Houston Astros. The Dodgers took the first game, 9–2, thanks to 7+2⁄3 innings from Kershaw, Justin Turner's eighth home run of the season and five two out RBIs. The winning streak came to an end on May 26 when the Astros won, 5–2. Bauer allowed two home runs in six innings of work.
The Dodgers returned home to face the Giants in a four-game series. In the series opener, they hit three home runs, including a go-ahead shot by Muncy in the sixth inning to win, 4–3. The Dodgers came from behind in the next game, with Austin Barnes hitting a three-run home run in the ninth inning to tie the game, only to lose in 10 innings, 8–5. The Giants took the following game as well, 11–6, as Urías struggled, allowing a career high seven runs on 11 hits in five innings. The Giants won the final game of the series, 5–4, as Kevin Gausman held the Dodgers to only two hits in six innings while striking out seven. The Dodgers ended the month with a Memorial Day contest against the St. Louis Cardinals. Gavin Lux hit two home runs and Chris Taylor added one of his own as well as a three-run double (to conclude a 14-pitch at-bat) as they won, 9–4.
To begin June, the Cardinals beat the Dodgers, 3–2, on Edmundo Sosa's go-ahead single in the ninth inning. Matt Beaty's two run homer accounted for all the Dodgers scoring. On June 2, the Dodgers scored 11 runs in the first inning en route to a 14–3 win. Cody Bellinger hit a grand slam and tied a club record with six first inning RBI's.
Next, the Dodgers traveled to play the Atlanta Braves in a three-game series at Truist Park. The series started with a 9–5 win for the Dodgers, with eight of the runs scoring in the fifth inning. However, the Braves scored five runs in the third inning of the following game to beat the Dodgers, 6–4. The Braves also won the series finale, 4–2. Next up for the Dodgers was a three-game series at PNC Park against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Walker Buehler allowed only two hits in seven scoreless innings and Chris Taylor homered as the Dodgers won the opener, 5–3. In the next game, Justin Turner's two solo home runs accounted for all the offense in the Dodgers 2–1 victory. The Dodgers finished off a sweep of the Pirates with a 6–3 win in a game that was shortened to eight innings because of weather.
On June 11, the Dodgers returned home for a weekend interleague series with the Texas Rangers. They began the series with a 12–1 blow out victory, of which six runs were scored in the first inning (including homeruns by Max Muncy, Gavin Lux and Turner.) Clayton Kershaw struck out nine batters in six innings while allowing only three hits and one unearned run. In the next game, the Rangers turned the tables and produced a 12–1 rout of the Dodgers to even the series. Zach McKinstry had three hits and two RBI and Mookie Betts homered as the Dodgers took the series finale, 5–3. The next series for the Dodgers was a three game series against the Philadelphia Phillies. The Dodgers took the series opener, 3–1 thanks to a 2–run home run by Will Smith and a solo home run by Taylor. A go-ahead homer by Betts in the seventh inning carried the Dodgers to a 5–3 victory over the Phillies in the following game. It was the first game of the season with a full capacity crowd at Dodger Stadium, after the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions in Los Angeles. Clayton Kershaw struck out nine in six innings in the finale of the series, but the two runs he allowed (one on a first inning homer by Rhys Hoskins) were the only runs of the game as the Phillies won 2–0. This was the first game the Dodgers had been shut out since September 14, 2019.
On the next road trip, the Dodgers played the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Trevor Bauer struck out eight batters in seven scoreless innings and Steven Souza Jr. homered as the Dodgers won 3–0. Buehler took a no-hitter into the eighth inning and struck out 11 while Will Smith and Chris Taylor homered in the Dodgers 9–3 victory on Juneteenth. With the game, Buehler tied Kirby Higbe for the most consecutive regular season starts by a Dodgers pitcher without a loss (23). In the final game of the series, the Dodgers scored five runs in the third inning, which included a three-run homer by Albert Pujols, and built a 9–1 lead. The bullpen collapsed in the eighth inning and let the Diamondbacks get back into the game but Kenley Jansen shut down the side in the ninth to preserve a 9–8 win.
Up next for the Dodgers was a three-game series at Petco Park against the San Diego Padres. Julio Urías struggled in the game as the Padres scored four runs on him before he recorded an out in the first inning, and he allowed six runs overall while Yu Darvish only allowed one run while striking out 11 in the Padres 6–2 win. The Padres pitching, led by five shutout innings from Blake Snell, held the Dodgers down again in the following game which the Padres won 3–2. The Padres won again in the conclusion of the series, 5–3, being swept at Petco Park for the first time since the 2010 season.
On June 24, the Dodgers returned home for a four game series against the Chicago Cubs. In the opener, four Cubs pitchers (Zach Davies, Ryan Tepera, Andrew Chafin, and Craig Kimbrel) combined to no-hit the Dodgers and Buehler lost his first game of the season, as the Cubs won 4–0. A. J. Pollock and Max Muncy each hit two run home runs in the eighth inning of the next game, as the Dodgers beat the Cubs, 6–2, to snap the losing streak. A walk-off home run by Cody Bellinger gave the Dodgers a 3–2 win the following day. Kershaw struck out 13 batters while allowing only one run on four hits in eight innings in the series finale, while the offense scored six runs in the second inning on a Zach McKinstry grand slam and a two-run homer by Bellinger. The Dodgers won the game 7–1. The Dodgers closed out the month with a short two-game series against the division leading San Francisco Giants. They won the first game, 3–2, thanks to a strong performance by Bauer and three solo home runs (by Betts, Muncy and Smith). They won again the next day, 3–1, to finish the month on a five game winning streak. Buehler struck out seven in 6+2⁄3 innings while allowing only one unearned run and Muncy homered in the game.
The Dodgers began the month of July with a four-game road trip against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. The first game of the series was called after five innings because of rain but the Dodgers won 6–2 thanks to a grand slam by Max Muncy in the top of the fifth. The Dodgers scored nine runs in the seventh inning the following day as part of a 10–5 win. The Dodgers extended the winning streak to eight with a 5–3 win in game three of the series, despite an almost two hour rain delay in the middle innings. The Dodgers finished off the sweep with a 5–1 win on the 4th of July. Matt Beaty homered and Muncy doubled twice and drove in three runs. They then began a four-game series at loanDepot Park against the Miami Marlins. The Marlins ended the Dodgers winning streak with a 5–4 win in the opener, on a Jorge Alfaro homer in the eighth inning. The Marlins won again the next day, 2–1, in 10 innings with the winning run scoring on a wild pitch by Blake Treinen and a throwing error on Will Smith. A walk-off home run by Jesús Aguilar gave the Marlins their third straight win in the series, 9–6. The Dodges avoided being swept with a 6–1 win over the Marlins to end the road trip. Julio Urías struck out nine in seven innings while allowing only one run on five hits.
The Dodgers ended the first half of the season with a three-game homestand against the Arizona Diamondbacks. They dropped the opener 5–2 as the offense struggled and the defense committed two costly errors. On July 10, the Dodgers tied an LA franchise record and set a new Dodger Stadium record by scoring 22 runs in a 22–1 blowout victory. Justin Turner and Mookie Betts each hit grand slams making the Dodgers the first team in MLB history to record a pair of two-slam games in a season, while A. J. Pollock and Albert Pujols each hit two homers in the game. Walker Buehler struck out seven in six scoreless innings. The Dodgers headed into the break with a 7–4 walk-off victory over the Diamondbacks as Muncy hit a three-run homer to end the game. Betts had three hits, including a homer in the game.
Five Dodgers players (Betts, Muncy, Buehler, Turner and Chris Taylor) were selected to represent the National League at the 2021 Major League Baseball All-Star Game on July 13.
The Dodgers followed the break with a three-game road series against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. They put up five runs in the first inning of the first game, with the big blow being a three-run homer by Taylor and went on to a 10–4 victory. Betts had four hits in four at-bats in the next game, with a home run and three doubles as the Dodgers won going away, 9–2. In the finale of the series, Turner and Smith both homered but the Dodgers lost in 10 innings, 6–5, after blowing saves in both the ninth and tenth.
The Dodgers returned home on July 19 to begin a four-game series against the division leading San Francisco Giants. Each team hit two home runs in the first inning (Buster Posey and Wilmer Flores for the Giants and Muncy and Turner for the Dodgers) but the Giants went on to win the game, 7–2, to extend their lead in the division. The Dodgers won the next game, 8–6, on a walk-off three-run home run by Will Smith. He was the first Dodgers player to hit a walk-off homer against the Giants, with the Dodgers trailing, since Roy Campanella on May 27, 1953. It was the other way around in the next game, with Wilmer Flores hitting a go-ahead two-run homer off Kenley Jansen in the top of the ninth inning as the Giants scored three runs off Jansen to win 4–2. In the final game of the series, Buehler struck out nine and only allowed one run in 7+1⁄3 innings but the Giants again came back against Jansen in the ninth to score four runs and win 5–3. The Dodgers lost another late inning lead the following day, and dropped the first game of a three-game series against the Rockies, 9–6, in 10 innings. The Dodgers snapped their losing streak with a 1–0 win over the Rockies on July 24. Tony Gonsolin allowed only two hits in 5+1⁄3 innings while striking out seven while Austin Barnes solo homer was the only run scored in the game. After blowing three saves in a row, Jansen pitched a scoreless ninth inning in this one. The Dodgers took the series finale, 3–2, thanks to two homers by Chris Taylor and one by Will Smith.
The Dodgers went back on the road on July 27 for a three-game series against the Giants at Oracle Park. They dropped the opener, 2–1, with the deciding run scoring on a throwing error by Cody Bellinger in the eighth inning. The Dodgers rebounded with an 8–0 shutout victory over the Giants thanks to Walker Buehler, who struck out eight in seven shutout innings. Bellinger hit the only homerun of the game. The Giants shut out the Dodgers, 5–0, to take the series. Next up was a three-game series against the Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Chris Taylor had a homer and a triple in the opener but the Dodgers lost 6–5 in 10 innings. The Dodgers took the next game, 8–3, with Justin Turner hitting a tie-breaking two-run homer as part of a four-run seventh inning.
The Dodgers ended the road trip with a 13–0 rout of the Diamondbacks on August 1. Mookie Betts and Justin Turner homered in the game while Julio Urías struck out seven in five scoreless innings.
The Dodgers returned home for a two-game homestand against the Houston Astros and were shut out in the first game, 3–0. In the next game, Max Scherzer made his Dodgers debut after having been acquired in a trade with the Washington Nationals the previous week. He struck out 10 in seven innings while allowing two runs on five hits and a walk. The Dodgers hit four home runs in the game, including two by Betts, and won 7–5. They began a three-game weekend series against the Los Angeles Angels with a 4–3 loss in 10 innings, their 11th consecutive extra inning loss on the season. In the next game, the Dodgers came from behind to win 5–3 thanks to a game-tying home run by Cody Bellinger in the seventh and a go-ahead two-run double by Chris Taylor in the eighth. The Dodgers finished off the series with an 8–2 win. Walker Buehler struck out eight in six innings and Albert Pujols and Bellinger homered in the win.
The Dodgers went on a road trip to play the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. In the opening game of that series, they weathered a one hour, 44-minute rain delay, to win a 5–0 shutout. Corey Seager and Max Muncy homered in the game. Bellinger hit two home runs in the next game, as the Dodgers beat the Phillies 8–2. The Phillies won the final game of the series, 2–1, with one of the runs scored on a solo homer by Bryce Harper in the first. Next up was three games against the New York Mets at Citi Field. The Dodgers jumped out to a 4–0 lead only to see the bullpen falter and send the game into extra innings. However, they won the game 6–5 thanks to a two-run home run by Will Smith in the 10th inning, snapping the extra inning losing streak. In the next game, Buehler allowed only one run while striking out 10 in seven innings while Smith homered again. The Dodgers won in 10 innings for a second straight night, 2–1, on a run scoring double by Bellinger. The Dodgers finished off the road trip with a 14–4 rout and a sweep of the Mets. They hit five homers in the game, including two by Max Muncy. Trea Turner had three hits in four at-bats and scored four runs.
Andre Jackson pitched four scoreless innings with five strikeouts in his major league debut and the Dodgers got solo homers from Muncy and Billy McKinney to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 2–1 at Dodger Stadium on August 16. Matt Beaty drove in the go-ahead runs with a two run double in the fifth leading the Dodgers to a 4–3 win over the Pirates in the second game of the series. In the following game, Mitch White pitched 7+1⁄3 scoreless innings with six strikeouts and allowed only two hits while the Dodgers hit four home runs (including two by Muncy) in a 9–0 blowout victory. The next day, the Mets arrived in town for a four-game series and the Dodgers continued the winning streak with a 4–1 win. Buehler struck out eight in 7+2⁄3 innings as the Dodgers edged the Mets 3–2 for their eighth straight win on August 20. The Dodgers took the third game of the series, 4–3. Trea Turner had three hits including a home run and Pujols and Chris Taylor also homered. The winning streak came to an end in the next game, when the Mets avoided the sweep with a 7–2 win.
Up next was a brief three-game road trip against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Julio Urías returned from a short stint on the injured list to allow only one hit in five scoreless innings while Smith homered and the Dodgers won 5–2. In the following game, Buehler struck out eight in 6+2⁄3 innings while allowing only one unearned run but he was matched by Blake Snell who struck out 10 in 7+2⁄3 innings. The Dodgers were unable to score until Smith hit a game-tying homer in the eighth inning. The game remained tied into the 15th inning when the Dodgers scored twice only for the Padres to tie the game again on a two-run homer by Fernando Tatís Jr. and finally A. J. Pollock hit a two-run homer in the 16th to give the Dodgers a 5–3 win. It was the longest baseball game in two years and the Dodgers bullpen allowed only one hit (the homerun) in 9+1⁄3 innings. The only other bullpen that accomplished that was the 2007 Dodgers. The Dodgers finished off the sweep with a 4–0 victory. Scherzer struck out 10 in 7+2⁄3 scoreless innings while allowing only two hits and one walk and Austin Barnes homered.
The Dodgers returned home to play the Colorado Rockies on August 27 and dropped the opener of the series 4–2. The Dodgers evened the series up with a 5–2 win in the following game. Will Smith's two run double in the eighth inning put the Dodgers ahead to stay. The Rockies shutout the Dodgers in the series finale, 5–0, with Antonio Senzatela allowing only two hits in seven innings. The Dodgers hit four home runs (Muncy, Smith, Betts, Seager) as they beat the Atlanta Braves 5–3 to start their next series. The Dodgers finished the month with a 3–2 win. Mookie Betts homered in the game, and Corey Seager's RBI double in the eighth provided the winning margin.
The Dodgers beat the Braves 4–3 on September 1 to sweep the series and move past the San Francisco Giants into first place in the National League West for the first time since April 28. Max Scherzer struck out nine in six scoreless innings and an RBI single by A. J. Pollock in the eighth provided the winning run.
The Dodgers traveled to Oracle Park on September 3 to play the Giants for three games with two teams tied for first place at the start of the series. The opener was a pitchers duel with the Giants winning 3–2 in 11 innings. The winning run scored on a throwing error by Trea Turner. The Dodgers won the next day, 6–1, to even up the series and tie up the division again. Trea Turner and Corey Seager homered in the game while Julio Urías struck out eight in 5+2⁄3 innings. The Giants recaptured the division lead with a 6–4 win in the series finale. Next up was a four-game series at Busch Stadium against the St. Louis Cardinals. The Dodgers won the opener, 5–1, on Labor Day with Scherzer striking out 13 in eight innings. In the next game, Justin Turner homered twice and Albert Pujols and Will Smith also homered as the Dodgers won 7–2. The Cardinals won the third game of the series, 5–4, and the fourth game, 2–1, to split the series.
The Dodgers returned home and beat the San Diego Padres, 3–0, behind seven shutout innings from Urías and a two-run homer by Max Muncy. Mookie Betts hit a three-run homer in the next game and the Dodgers won 5–4. The Dodgers finished off the series sweep with an 8–0 victory as Scherzer allowed only one hit in eight scoreless innings while striking out nine. In the following game, Clayton Kershaw returned to the mound for the first time since being placed on the injured list after his July 3 appearance and he struck out five while allowing one run in five innings against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Dodgers won 5–1. The Dodgers won again the next day, 8–4, to clinch a spot in the postseason for the ninth straight season. Tony Gonsolin struck out six while allowing only two hits in five scoreless innings. They completed the series sweep with a 5–3 win. Urías picked up his 18th win and Muncy hit his 35th homer.
The next trip was to Great American Ballpark to face the Cincinnati Reds, who beat the Dodgers 3–1 to start the series. Luis Castillo struk out 10 in 6+1⁄3 innings for the Reds. The Dodgers took the next game, 5–1, as Scherzer pitched seven scoreless innings. Kershaw struck out eight while allowing only one run in five innings of the following game while Gavin Lux had three hits including a home run and drove in three RBI in an 8–5 win. Next up was a three-game series at Coors Field against the Colorado Rockies, starting with a 5–4 win in 10 innings. Albert Pujols drove in the winning run. However, Walker Buehler struggled in the next game, allowing five runs on seven hits in only 3+2⁄3 innings as the Dodgers lost to the Rockies 10–5. The Dodgers won the final game of the series, 7–5, thanks to a two-run homer by Muncy in the 10th inning. On September 24, the Dodgers traveled to Chase Field to play the Diamondbacks and began with a 4–2 win. A. J. Pollock homered in the game. That was followd by a 7–2 loss. In their final road game of the regular season, the Dodgers beat the Diamondbacks 3–0 for their 100th win of the season. Seager and Trea Turner homered in the game.
Back home for a series against the Padres, the Dodgers won 2–1. Buehler bounced back from a few poor outings by pitching seven scoreless innings in the game. The Dodgers won the next game, 11–9, thanks to six home runs (four in the eighth inning alone), including two by Pollock. They also won the next game, 8–3, to end September with their third straight sweep of the Padres. They hit five more home runs in the game, with two of them from Seager. The Dodgers ended the season with a three-game series with the Milwaukee Brewers. They fell behind 5–1 in the opener but tied the game on a grand-slam home run by Trea Turner in the fifth inning (his second homer of the game), took the lead on a Matt Beaty homer in the seventh and won the game 8–6. In the next game, Julio Urías allowed only one run on one hit and two walks while striking out seven in 6+1⁄3 innings as he picked up his 20th win of the season in the Dodgers 8–3 victory. The Dodgers wrapped up the regular season with a 10–3 rout of the Brewers and a series sweep. Buehler struck out 11 in five innings and Trea Turner hit another grand slam as the Dodgers finished with a 106–56 record. However, they finished in second place behind the Giants and made the playoffs as a Wild Card team. The win tied the single-season franchise record for wins (106) and set a franchise record for consecutive home wins (15).
|2021 Postseason Game Log: 6–6 (Home: 4–2; Away: 2–4)|
Main article: 2021 National League Wild Card Game
The Dodgers played the St. Louis Cardinals in the Wild Card game. Max Scherzer started for the Dodgers and he pitched 4+1⁄3 innings, allowing only one run on three hits and three walks. Tommy Edman scored the Cardinals run in the first inning on a bloop single, stolen base and a wild pitch. Adam Wainwright pitched 5+1⁄3 innings for the Cardinals, allowing only a solo home run by Justin Turner in the fourth inning. The game remained tied until the bottom of the ninth when Chris Taylor hit a walk-off two-run home run off of Alex Reyes.
Main article: 2021 National League Division Series
The Dodgers played the San Francisco Giants in the division series, with the series starting at Oracle Park. Walker Buehler started for the Dodgers but the Giants pounced on him in the first inning, with a two-run homer by Buster Posey. Buehler recovered after that and kept the Giants from scoring again until allowing a solo homer by Kris Bryant in the seventh. Overall he allowed the three runs in 6+1⁄3 innings on six hits and one walk, while striking out five. The Giants added one more run on a homer by Brandon Crawford off Alex Vesia in the eighth. Meanwhile, Logan Webb pitched for the Giants and completely dominated the Dodgers, allowing five hits in 7+2⁄3 scoreless innings while striking out 10. The Giants took game one, 4–0. Julio Urías started the second game for the Dodgers and only allowed one run on three hits in five innings, with five strikeouts. Kevin Gausman for the Giants allowed four runs in 5+1⁄3 innings. The Dodgers scored the first two runs in the second on RBI singles by Urías and Mookie Betts with the Giants getting one back in the bottom of the inning on a sacrifice fly by Donovan Solano. The Dodgers then scored four runs in the sixth on back-to-back doubles by Cody Bellinger and A. J. Pollock and they added three more in the eighth on a Will Smith homer and RBI singles by Matt Beaty and Corey Seager off of relievers Zack Littell and Jarlin García. The Giants scored on a Crawford single off Joe Kelly in the sixth but lost the game 9–2 to even up the series.
The series moved to Dodger Stadium for Game 3. Max Scherzer allowed only three hits and one walk in seven innings while striking out 10. However, one of the hits he allowed was a solo home run by Evan Longoria in the fifth inning. Alex Wood and three relievers combined to hold the Dodgers scoreless for the second time in the series and the Giants took back the lead with a 1–0 victory. In Game 4, the Dodgers jumped out to an early lead on a first inning RBI double by Trea Turner and a second inning sacrifice fly by Chris Taylor, driving Giants starter Anthony DeSclafani out of the game after just 1+2⁄3 innings, where he allowed the two runs on five hits. A two-run homer by Mookie Betts in the fourth inning off of Jarlin García extended the lead. Buehler, starting on short rest for the first time in his career, pitched 4+1⁄3 innings for the Dodgers, walking two and giving up only three hits. He left the game with two runners on, one of whom (Longoria), scored on a Darin Ruf ground out against Joe Kelly. The Dodgers got the run back on a Betts sacrifice fly off of Tyler Rogers. Kris Bryant drove in the Giants second run on a ground out against Blake Treinen in the eighth but the Dodgers put the game out of reach thanks to a Smith two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth against Jake McGee. They won 7–2 to tie the series up once more.
Logan Webb started the deciding Game 5 for the Giants, allowing only one run on four hits in seven innings, while striking out seven. The one run scored when Betts singled, stole second, and then scored on a double by Seager in the sixth inning. The Giants promptly tied the game up in the bottom of the inning on a solo homer by Darin Ruf off Urías, who worked four innings (entering in the third after two one inning openers), allowing the one run on three hits while striking out five. The game remained tied until the ninth inning. The Dodgers scored in the top of the inning when Bellinger singled in Justin Turner off of Camilo Doval. Scherzer pitched the bottom of the ninth and picked up his first career save as the Dodgers won 2–1 to take the series.
Main article: 2021 National League Championship Series
The Dodgers faced the Atlanta Braves in the NLCS for the second straight year. Max Fried started for Atlanta, while Corey Knebel acted as an opener for Los Angeles. Atlanta took a 1–0 lead in the bottom of the first, as Eddie Rosario singled, stole second, advanced to third on a ground out, and scored on a wild pitch. The Dodgers tied the game in the top of the second; A. J. Pollock hit a two-out double and scored on a single by Chris Taylor. The teams traded solo home runs in the fourth inning—Will Smith for Los Angeles and Austin Riley for Atlanta—leaving the score tied, 2–2. Fried left after six innings, having allowed eight hits while striking out five batters. A two-out threat by the Dodgers in the top of the ninth was ended when Taylor was tagged out after being caught in a rundown between second and third. In the bottom of the ninth, Ozzie Albies hit a one-out bloop single off of Blake Treinen, stole second, and then scored on a Riley single to left, giving Atlanta a 1–0 lead in the series.
Game 2 was started by Ian Anderson for Atlanta and Max Scherzer for Los Angeles. Mookie Betts opened the game with a single, followed by a home run from Corey Seager, staking the Dodgers to an early 2–0 lead. Anderson was pinch hit for in the bottom of the third, having allowed two runs on three hits while striking out two batters. In the bottom of the fourth, Joc Pederson hit a one-out homer with Austin Riley on base, tying the game, 2–2. Scherzer left with one out in the bottom of the fifth, having allowed two runs on four hits while striking out seven. In the top of the seventh, the Dodgers had the bases loaded with two outs following two walks and a hit batsman; Taylor then drove in two runs with a double off of Luke Jackson, putting Los Angeles ahead, 4–2. With one out in the bottom of the eighth, Ozzie Albies singled off of Julio Urías to drive in Rosario from second, pulling Atlanta within a run, 4–3. Riley then doubled to deep center, scoring Albies from first and tying the game, 4–4. Brusdar Graterol came in to pitch the bottom of the ninth; he recorded two outs and, with Dansby Swanson at second, was replaced by Kenley Jansen. Rosario hit Jansen's first pitch up the middle, getting by Seager and driving in Swanson. The braves would win the game 5-4, giving them the 2–0 series lead.
Game 3 was started by Walker Buehler for Los Angeles and Charlie Morton for Atlanta. In the bottom of the first, Mookie Betts walked, then Seager homered, giving the Dodgers an early 2–0 lead. The Braves rallied back, scoring four runs in the top of the fourth inning. Freddie Freeman singled to open the inning, and with one out Austin Riley doubled and then Pederson singled to score Freeman. Adam Duvall subsequently singled to score Riley and tie the game, Travis d'Arnaud walked to load the bases, and Swanson singled to give the Braves a 3–2 lead. The final run of the inning came on a walk to Rosario that forced in a run. The Braves extended their lead in the top of the fifth with an RBI single by Duvall to bring Ozzie Albies in, making the score 5–2. In the bottom of the eighth, a three-run homer by Cody Bellinger with one out tied the game, 5–5. Betts doubled with two outs, scoring Taylor who had singled, to give the Dodgers a 6–5 lead. Jansen came in and struck out the side in the top of the ninth, giving the Dodgers their first win of the series. Luke Jackson, who was charged with all four eighth-inning runs, took the loss. The Dodgers used nine pitchers, with Buehler leaving after 3+2⁄3 innings having allowed four runs on seven hits. Tony Gonsolin, who recorded the final out in the top of the eighth, got the win, while Jansen earned the save.
Urías started Game 4 for the Dodgers and Jesse Chavez acted as an opener for the Braves. Atlanta took a 2–0 lead in the top of the second on back-to-back solo home runs by Rosario and Duvall. A solo homer by Freeman in the top of the third, along with a Rosario triple and a Pederson single to drive him in, extended the lead to 4–0. With runners on first and third with one out in the top fo the fifth, Duvall hit a sacrifice fly to make it 5–0. The Dodgers got two runs back in the bottom of the fifth; with two outs and runners on second and third, Pollock singled, trimming Atlanta's lead to 5–2. In the top of the ninth, Dansby Swanson singled, stole second, and was driven in by a Freeman ground rule double, extending Atlanta's lead to 6–2. Rosario's second home run of the game, with two men on base, made it 9–2. With a scoreless bottom of the ninth, the Braves took a 3–1 lead in the series.Drew Smyly, the second of six Braves pitchers, got the win after pitching 3+1⁄3 innings and allowing two runs on two hits. Urías, who pitched five innings for the Dodgers, allowed five runs on eight hits and took the loss. Justin Turner injured his hamstring in this game and was removed from the Dodgers' playoff roster.
With their backs against the wall, the Dodgers started Joe Kelly as an opener in Game 5 against Max Fried. Albies singled with one out in the top of the first, then Freeman homered to give the Braves an early 2–0 lead. Kelly left with two outs, due to right bicep tightness but the Dodgers bullpen did not allow another run all game. Pollock] led off the bottom of the second with a solo home run; he was followed by Albert Pujols who singled, then Chris Taylor homered to put the Dodgers ahead, 3–2. With one out in the bottom of the third, the Dodgers had consecutive singles from Pollock, Pujols, and Taylor, adding a run to make it 4–2. With two outs in the bottom of the fifth, Pujols walked and was followed by Taylor's second home run of the game, extending the Dodgers' lead to 6–2. With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Taylor hit his third home run, a solo shot making it a 7–2 game. Only 10 players had previously hit three home runs in a playoff game, the first being Babe Ruth in 1926 and the 10th being Enrique Hernández in 2017. In the bottom of the eighth, Betts led off with single, stole second, and scored on a single by Trea Turner. With one out, Pollock hit his second home run of the game, coming with two men on base to grow the lead to 11–2.
Buehler started the game for the Dodgers on short rest, Ian Anderson started for Atlanta. The Braves took a 1–0 lead in the bottom of the first, on back-to-back two-out doubles by Albies and Riley. The Dodgers tied the game in the top of the fourth, as Bellinger hit a two-out single with runners on first and second, scoring Trea Turner. Anderson was lifted in favor of pinch hitter Ehire Adrianza in the bottom of the fourth inning. After Adrianza doubled with two outs, putting runners at second and third, Rosario hit a home run to put Atlanta back in the lead, 4–1. The Dodgers opened the seventh inning with a double by Taylor and a walk by Bellinger; Pollock then doubled down the left-field line, driving in Taylor and leaving runners at second and third with no one out, and Braves' lead reduced to 4–2. The Braves' Tyler Matzek entered to pitch and struck out Pujols, Steven Souza Jr., and Mookie Betts to end the threat. Matzek returned to pitch the top of the eighth and retired the side in order. Atlanta closer Will Smith came in to pitch the top of the ninth with a two-run lead. He struck out Taylor and Bellinger for the first two outs; Pollock then grounded out to end the game and send Atlanta to the World Series for the first time since 1999.
|2021 Los Angeles Dodgers|
List does not include pitchers. Stats in bold are the team leaders.
Note: G = Games played; AB = At Bats; R = Runs; H = Hits; 2B = Doubles; 3B = Triples; HR = Home Runs; RBI = Runs Batted In; BB = Walks; SO = Strikeouts; SB = Stolen Bases; Avg. = Batting Average; OBP = On-Base Percentage; SLG = Slugging; OPS = On Base + Slugging
|A. J. Pollock||117||384||53||114||27||1||21||69||30||80||9||.297||.355||.536||.892|
|Steven Souza Jr.||17||33||2||5||1||1||1||3||2||14||0||.152||.222||.333||.556|
List does not include position players. Stats in bold are the team leaders.
Note: W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; G = Games pitched; GS = Games started; SV = Saves; IP = Innings pitched; R = Runs allowed; ER = Earned runs allowed; BB = Walks allowed; K = Strikeouts
|Mookie Betts||National League All-Star Team||July 5, 2021|||
|Max Muncy||National League All-Star Team||July 5, 2021|||
|Chris Taylor||National League All-Star Team||July 5, 2021|||
|Walker Buehler||National League All-Star Team||July 10, 2021|||
|Justin Turner||National League All-Star Team||July 10, 2021|||
|A. J. Pollock||National League Player of the Week Award
|July 12, 2021|||
|Chris Taylor||National League Player of the Week Award
|July 26, 2021|||
|Walker Buehler||National League Pitcher of the Month Award
|August 2, 2021|||
|Max Scherzer||National League Player of the Week Award
|September 13, 2021|||
|Chris Taylor||Roy Campanella Award||October 2, 2021|||
|Trea Turner||National League Player of the Week Award
(September 27–October 3)
|October 4, 2021|||
|Max Scherzer||Players Choice Award for National League’s Outstanding Pitcher||October 28, 2021|||
|Walker Buehler||All-MLB Team||November 23, 2021|||
|Max Scherzer||All-MLB Team||November 23, 2021|||
|Kenley Jansen||All-MLB Team (second team)||November 23, 2021|||
|Trea Turner||All-MLB Team (second team)||November 23, 2021|||
|Julio Urías||All-MLB Team (second team)||November 23, 2021|||
|Julio Urías||Warren Spahn Award||December 2, 2021|||
See also: Minor League Baseball
Minor League Baseball underwent a significant change this year, MLB took direct control of the minor league system and replaced the old legacy league names with generic names depicting their level of play. For the Dodgers, the changes involved the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes and Great Lakes Loons switching division levels and the loss of the Ogden Raptors, previously the advanced rookie affiliate that would no longer be part of affiliated baseball.
|AAA||Oklahoma City Dodgers||Triple-A West
|2nd place |
|AA||Tulsa Drillers||Double-A Central
|Scott Hennessey||63||57||4th place|
|High A||Great Lakes Loons||High-A Central
|Austin Chubb||63||57||3rd place|
|Low A||Rancho Cucamonga Quakes||Low-A West
|John Shoemaker||67||53||1st place|
|Rookie||ACL Dodgers||Arizona Complex League
|Tony Cappucilli||32||27||3rd place|
|Foreign Rookie||DSL Dodgers Bautista||Dominican Summer League
|Jair Fernandez||32||25||3rd place|
|Foreign Rookie||DSL Dodgers Shoemaker||Dominican Summer League
|Cordell Hipolito||29||28||4th place|
Following the season, the Dodgers selected several top prospects to play for the Glendale Desert Dogs in the Arizona Fall League: Pitchers Bobby Miller, Landon Knack, Jeff Belge and Kyle Hurt, infielders Kody Hoese and Jacob Amaya and outfielder James Outman. Miller, Knack and Outman were selected to the Fall Stars Game.
Main article: 2021 Major League Baseball draft
The 2021 Draft was held July 11–13, 2021. The Dodgers lost their second round pick as a result of signing pitcher Trevor Bauer as a free agent. With their first round pick the Dodgers selected left-handed pitcher Maddux Bruns from UMS-Wright Preparatory School.
|2021 Draft Picks|