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Make room for J.D.! Martinez becomes latest Dodger with 100 RBIs

Make room for J.D.! Martinez becomes latest Dodger with 100 RBIs

5:10 AM UTC

DENVER — Both Freddie Freeman and Mookie Betts came out of the game in the fifth inning. Miguel Rojas, who didn’t start, came out of the visitors’ dugout and took the mound in the eighth.

It was just one of those nights for the Dodgers, who were blown out, 14-5, on Thursday to wrap up a four-game series against the Rockies at Coors Field.

  • Games remaining (3): at SF (3)
  • Standings update: The Dodgers (98-61), who clinched the NL West title on Sept. 16, became locked in as the No. 2 seed in the NL postseason on Wednesday.

“I just felt the tone of the game, where it was going to get Mookie and Freddie out of the game, get them off their feet, get some other guys at-bats,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. “Essentially, just trying to get past this game and just wash it and get ready for tomorrow night.”

It was the type of game that would’ve stung had the Dodgers been fighting for playoff positioning. Instead, with the team locked in as the No. 2 seed and counting down the games until it’s postseason time, the Dodgers can still marvel at some of the positives.

On Thursday, J.D. Martinez helped the Dodgers’ offense become part of history. Martinez’s two-run homer in the first inning got him to the 100-RBI mark. He became the fourth Dodgers hitter this season to reach 100 RBIs, joining Betts, Freeman and Max Muncy.

It’s the first time in franchise history that the Dodgers have had four position players record 100 or more RBIs in a single season. The Dodgers became the 31st team to accomplish the feat and the first since the 2003 Braves.

“It’s special,” Martinez said of the accomplishment. “I’ve been on a lot of teams with really, really good offenses and I’ve never been on a team that has done that. It just speaks volumes of this team and how deep we are up and down the lineup.”

For Muncy, it was the first time in his career surpassing the 100-RBI mark. Betts hadn’t reached the number since 2017. Freeman has now done it in back-to-back seasons. Martinez’s accomplishment was impressive in itself given he did it while landing on the injured list twice and playing in just 110 games.

“It’s really impressive,” Roberts said. “It just speaks to how talented these guys are. You gotta get guys on base, but the object of the game still is to score runs. You gotta produce runs. You gotta score runs and prevent runs. So for those four guys, they’ve had fantastic seasons. I tip my hat to them.”

All four players realize how difficult it is to reach the mark. But they also all understand the importance of it, especially in the postseason.

While the Dodgers still need to work through some of their pitching plans, they do have added confidence that this group will succeed in RBI opportunities, which is something that has hurt them in previous years come October. A lot of times, not hitting with runners in scoring position is the difference between advancing or getting sent home early.

Given what Freeman, Betts, Muncy and Martinez have done during the regular season, the Dodgers believe they have the necessary offensive firepower to win a second World Series title in four seasons.

“For me, I think it’s everything. You have to score to win. You can get a bunch of guys on base, but if you don’t have a lot of guys to drive them in, it’s just guys on base,” Martinez said. “To me, it’s a very valuable trait. It’s a very valuable characteristic that a player can have, and that’s why there are certain guys that don’t do it and there are certain guys that always drive in a ton of runs. It’s always the same guys every year because it’s one of those things.”

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