‘The golden age of Dodger baseball’? L.A. sets franchise wins record — again — but has just one ring

    ESPN baseball reporter. Covered the L.A. Rams for ESPN from 2016 to 2018 and the L.A. Angels for MLB.com from 2012 to 2016.

On Sept. 29, 2019, the Los Angeles Dodgers, unbeatable for the final week of that regular season, claimed their 106th victory, surpassing a franchise record that had stood for 66 years. On Oct. 3, 2021, on the heels of another furious late-season winning streak, they matched it. And on Sept. 28, 2022, with a 1-0 victory over the San Diego Padres, they set a new mark with win No. 107, augmenting what was already an unprecedented run. No team had ever gone three consecutive full seasons with 106-plus wins — until the 2019-22 Dodgers, who did it every year except in the COVID-19-shortened 2020 season (when they won 43 of 60 regular-season games, navigated a 116-win pace and ultimately won a championship).

Andrew Friedman, the Dodgers’ president of baseball operations, saw mention of the record on social media last week and could hardly believe it.

“My hope, and our common goal, is not just to win championships, but to have this period looked at as the golden age of Dodger baseball, which is really saying something for this storied franchise,” Friedman said. “Seeing some of those things helps put into context the last few years. Obviously we have a lot of work left to do, but I’ve found some of them to be pretty staggering.”

The current Dodgers won’t vie for the regular-season wins record of 116, but they’re still on pace to become the sixth team in major league history to reach 111. Their plus-322 run differential is already the fourth highest since 1920; only the New York Yankees teams of 1927, 1936 and 1939 did better.

Dating back to 2013, when they began a 10-year stretch of nine division titles, the Dodgers have won a major league-leading 927 regular-season games, 72 more than the second-place Yankees. The gap is even greater in recent years. The Dodgers are 362-177 since the start of the 2019 season, 29 1/2 games ahead of the second-place Houston Astros. Their run differential during that stretch is plus-1,000. The closest team, the Astros, are at plus-701.

It’s a historic, overwhelming run of success. And yet these Dodgers aren’t necessarily considered a dynasty, at least not in the conventional sense, because their regular-season prowess has rarely spilled into October, when championships are won and mythologies are created.

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