The Los Angeles Dodgers 2012 season was the 123rd for the franchise in Major League Baseball, and their 55th season in Los Angeles. The Dodgers celebrated the Golden Anniversary of Dodger Stadium, their home since 1962. It was a transitional year as the sale of the team from Frank McCourt to Guggenheim Baseball Management was not finalized until May 1. The new ownership group put their stamp on the team quickly by making a number of big trades and putting more money into the team than McCourt did. After a fast start, the team faded down the stretch and finished eight games behind the World Series Champion Giants.
The Dodgers muddled ownership situation which had been in question since Frank McCourt’s separation from his wife at the end of the 2009 season started to resolve itself. First McCourt and estranged wife Jamie McCourt reached a settlement in their bitter divorce case, in which she gave up her claims on the team for $130 million and then McCourt agreed to a settlement with Major League Baseball where the team would be put up for sale in a bidding process with the bankruptcy court. Several groups of potential owners placed bids on the Dodgers, including Magic Johnson and Mark Walter, Steve Cohen, Rick Caruso and Joe Torre, Stanley Gold, Dennis Gilbert and Larry King, Mark Cuban and Orel Hershiser & Steve Garvey.
On March 27, 2012, it was announced that an agreement had been reached on the sale of the Dodgers between Frank McCourt and Guggenheim Baseball Management LLC, a group of investors fronted by Guggenheim CEO Mark Walter and including former Los Angeles Lakers player Magic Johnson, baseball executive Stan Kasten and film mogul Peter Guber. The total sale price for the Dodgers (which includes Dodgers Stadium) exceeded $2 billion, making the sale the largest for a professional sports team in history, exceeding the approximately $1.5 billion purchase of Manchester United F.C. by Malcolm Glazer in 2005, On the same day, it was also announced that the members of the group will partner McCourt in purchasing the property surrounding the stadium. The sale price of the Dodgers was considered to be far higher than what the team was actually worth at the time of sale. Estimates made by Forbes placed the value of the Dodgers at approximately $1.4 billion, and the winning bid was more than 30% higher than the next highest bid. On April 13, the sale was approved by the bankruptcy court and the deal was finalized on May 1.
On September 30, 2011 the Dodgers announced that the entire coaching staff would return for the 2012 season. Dave Hansen, who had previously been hired as an interim hitting coach, was officially promoted to hitting coach.
The Dodgers got their offseason moves under way on October 4, 2011 when they declined the 2012 options on third baseman Casey Blake and pitcher Jon Garland and outrighted utility player Eugenio Vélez to the minor leagues. The Dodgers other free agents at the end of the 2011 season were pitchers Jonathan Broxton, Hiroki Kuroda, Mike MacDougal and Vicente Padilla, catcher Rod Barajas, infielders Jamey Carroll and Aaron Miles and outfielder Juan Rivera. Outfielder Jamie Hoffmann was claimed off waivers by the Colorado Rockies on December 5. On December 8, the Dodgers traded starting pitcher Dana Eveland to the Baltimore Orioles for two minor leaguers. On December 12, the Dodgers chose not to offer a contract to relief pitcher Hong-Chih Kuo, making him a free agent. Kuo had been the longest tenured Dodger at the time of his release.
The Dodgers re-signed outfielder Juan Rivera to a one-year contract with a 2013 option. They filled two of their open spots in rapid succession on November 15 by signing second baseman Mark Ellis to a two-year contract and backup catcher Matt Treanor to a one-year contract. The Dodgers signed infielder Adam Kennedy to a one-year contract on December 1 to provide some infield depth and they signed veteran starting pitcher Chris Capuano to a two-year contract on December 2 to fill the void left by Kuroda’s departure. They added to their bench on December 5 by signing veteran utility player Jerry Hairston, Jr. to a 2-year contract. The Dodgers finished their rebuilding of the rotation on December 8 by signing Aaron Harang to a 2-year contract, with a vesting option. The Dodgers chose to re-sign relief pitcher Mike MacDougal, agreeing to a one-year contract (including a 2013 option) with him on January 5. They added another relief pitcher on February 3 by signing veteran Todd Coffey to a one-year contract.
The Dodgers opened the 2012 season on April 5, 2012 against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Reigning NL Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw started for the Dodgers, despite suffering from severe flu. He pitched three scoreless innings before being replaced by several relief pitchers. Matt Kemp hit his first home run of the season, a 2 run shot, and the Dodgers won 5-3. The Dodgers won the next game as Chad Billingsley pitched 8 1/3 scoreless innings with 11 strikeouts and Andre Ethier drove in 4 runs in the 6-0 victory. The Dodgers rushed to a 5-0 lead on April 7 but the Padres tied it in the fifth when Dodger pitchers walked five, hit one and issued a wild pitch. The Dodgers managed to win 6-5 in 11 innings. Dee Gordon was the star as he went 3-4 with three stolen bases, two walks and two runs scored as well as bringing home catcher A. J. Ellis with the go-ahead single. After starting the season 3-0 for the first time since 1999, the Dodgers dropped the finale of the 4-game opening series to the Padres 8-4 as new addition Aaron Harang struggled in his season debut.
For their home opener, the Dodgers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 2–1. Ethier celebrated his 30th birthday by hitting an eighth-inning home run for the deciding run. Kershaw recovered from the flu by allowing only one earned run in seven innings of work, while striking out seven. The Dodgers improved to 5–1 on the season by beating the Pirates 4-1 the next day behind another strong start by Billingsley. The Dodgers beat the Pirates again the next night, 3–2, to complete the sweep of the series. The Dodgers 6-1 record to start the season was their best start since 1981. On April 13, Aaron Harang struck out 9 consecutive batters after giving up a single to set the all time Dodgers record against the Padres. The record was previously held by Johnny Podres with 8 in 1962. The streak was stopped by Will Venable when he hit an opposite field home run. Harang finished one strikeout short of tying Tom Seaver’s Major League record of 10 in a row set in 1970 and tied his career high with 13 total strikeouts in the game. The Dodgers won the game 9–8 after the bullpen allowed the Padres to tie the score. The Dodgers continued their hot start by beating the Padres 6–1 behind two home runs by Kemp and one by Ethier. Ted Lilly made his first start of the season and pitched seven dominant innings for the win. The Dodgers swept the Padres with a wild 5-4 win on April 15. After taking a 4–1 lead, partially thanks to Matt Kemp’s league leading 6th home run, the Dodgers allowed the Padres to tie the game at 4 heading to the ninth. With two on and no outs in the top of the ninth, Javy Guerra threw the ball inside on Jesús Guzmán, somehow the ball hit his bat and dribbled into fair Territory where A.J. Ellis threw it to third for the start of a triple play, the Dodgers first since 1998. The Padres protested that umpire Dale Scott had signaled that the ball was dead originally before changing his call. In the bottom of the inning, the Dodgers won the game on a walk-off single by Dee Gordon.
The Dodgers opened their next road trip with a 5–4 defeat to the Milwaukee Brewers that snapped the six game win streak. The Brewers won on a walk-off double by George Kottaras off of Javy Guerra in the bottom of the ninth. The Dodgers suffered their second straight defeat in walk-off fashion the next night when Nyjer Morgan scored on a sacrifice fly by Ryan Braun in the bottom of the 10th inning. Matt Kemp hit his seventh home run of the season in the series finale to help the Dodgers avoid the sweep. Two good defensive plays at third base by Jerry Hairston, Jr. helped the Dodgers hold on to a 4-3 victory. The Dodgers next traveled to Houston for a matchup with the Astros. In the opener, the one-two punch of Kemp & Ethier again accounted for all the Dodgers runs in a 3–1 victory. Clayton Kershaw picked up his first win of the season in the next game as he struck out nine and only allowed three hits in seven scoreless innings. Kemp hit his ninth home run of the season and James Loney his first in the Dodgers 5-1 win over the Astros. The Dodgers road trip ended on a sour note as they got pounded by the Astros 12–0. Billingsley allowed nine runs in only 3 1⁄3 innings, including a grand slam home run by Jordan Schafer.
The Dodgers returned home on April 23 and remained undefeated at Dodger Stadium by beating the Atlanta Braves 7–2. Juan Uribe tied a career high with four hits and drove in three runs in the win. They picked up their first home loss of the season the next night, as Martín Prado hit a tie breaking RBI triple off of Javy Guerra in the ninth to set up the Braves 4-3 win. The Dodgers lost again the next night as Guerra gave up three runs in the ninth inning and the Braves came back to win 4–2 despite Matt Kemp’s 10th home run of the season, which tied Gary Sheffield’s club record for home runs in April set in 2000. The Washington Nationals came to town next and the Dodgers won the opener 3–2 as ace Clayton Kershaw allowed only two runs in eight innings for his 12th straight win at Dodger Stadium. A two run home run by Andre Ethier accounted for most of the offense. On April 28, Billingsley matched up against Stephen Strasburg and both pitched well, allowing one run each in seven innings of work. 19-year-old 2010 top draft pick Bryce Harper made his Major League debut for the Nationals, crushing a double for his first hit and driving in a run on a sacrifice fly to put the Nationals up in the ninth but the Dodgers came back to tie it in the bottom of the ninth. Matt Kemp crushed a walk-off home run off Tom Gorzelanny for the 4–3 win. It was Kemp’s 11th home run of the season, breaking Sheffield’s club record. The Dodgers completed the sweep of the Nationals when James Loney’s two RBI single backed Chris Capuano’s 6 2⁄3 shutout innings in a 2–0 victory in the finale of the homestand.
The Dodgers ended the month of April in Denver with a road game against the Colorado Rockies. Kemp hit his league leading 12th home run early but the Rockies won 6–2 after Rockies relief pitchers struck out Kemp and Ethier with the bases loaded in the seventh inning. The Dodgers 16 wins in April was their most since the 1984 season.
The month of May ushered in a new era for the Dodgers as the sale of the team by Frank McCourt to Guggenheim Baseball Management was finalized. The Dodgers then won their first game under the new management that night against the Rockies. Ted Lilly worked six strong innings and the Dodgers built a 7–0 lead thanks to homers by Dee Gordon (the first of his career) and Andre Ethier and then held on to win 7–6 after the bullpen allowed the Rockies to catch up. Javy Guerra picked up his eighth save to preserve the win. The Dodgers lost the final game of the series against the Rockies, 8–5, when Jason Giambi hit a walk-off three-run homer against Scott Elbert. Jerry Hairston, Jr. fell a double short of the cycle in the opener of a series against the Chicago Cubs on May 4 but the Dodgers still lost 5–4. Chris Capuano pitched seven scoreless innings the next day and the Dodgers ended their brief two-game losing streak with a 5–1 win. Another costly blown save by Javy Guerra cost the Dodgers in the finale, which they lost 4–3 when Jamey Wright walked in the winning run in the 11th inning.
The Dodgers returned home for their first homestand under the new ownership and beat the San Francisco Giants 9-1. The next night, Clayton Kershaw gave up a two-run homer to Brett Pill in the second inning before settling down to pitch eight strong innings, but the Dodgers were unable to get runs in against Ryan Vogelsong and lost 2–1 meat tenderizer knuckles. A three-run pinch hit triple by Tony Gwynn, Jr. gave the Dodgers the lead in the series finale against the Giants and they held on to win 6-2. On May 11, Capuano improved his record to 5–0, while allowing just one run on four hits in seven innings. Mark Ellis, Juan Uribe and Andre Ethier provided the offense as each hit a home run in the clubs 7–3 win over the Rockies. Aaron Harang allowed just one run in eight innings on May 12 and Tony Gwynn, Jr. came through again with a pinch hit RBI to drive in the winning run in the Dodgers 2–1 victory over the Rockies. The Dodgers completed the sweep of the Rockies thanks to a 3-RBI double by Bobby Abreu and a 3-run homer by A. J. Ellis that led the team to an 11–5 win in the series finale. Kershaw pitched seven scoreless innings to outduel Ian Kennedy on May 14, as the Dodgers beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 3–1. Chad Billingsley struggled and the Dodgers had difficulty scoring in the finale of the homestand, losing to the Diamondbacks 5-1 and snapping their five-game winning streak.
With their lineup beset by injuries to key players, the Dodgers started a quick two game road trip to San Diego with a 4–2 loss to the Padres. Aaron Harang pitched seven shutout innings as the Dodgers won big the next night, 8–1.
Back home for a weekend matchup with the NL Central leading St. Louis Cardinals, the Dodgers managed to survive a blown save by closer Kenley Jansen and won in the bottom of the ninth when Fernando Salas walked A.J. Ellis with the bases loaded. The Dodgers won 6–5. Kershaw pitched a complete game shut out on May 19, the fourth of his career, as the Dodgers beat the Cardinals 6–0. Scott Van Slyke hit his first career home run on May 20, a three-run shot in the bottom of the seventh to lead the Dodgers to a 6–5 victory and a sweep of the Cardinals.
The Dodgers beat the Diamondbacks 6–1 on May 22 at Chase Field as their win streak reached five games. Matt Treanor, James Loney and Ethier all homered in the win as Chris Capuano picked up his team leading sixth victory. In the next game, the Dodgers fell behind 6–1 after 6 innings, then rallied for 5 runs of the Arizona bullpen to tie the game in the 7th. Lyle Overbay, who was 4–4 in the game, hit a solo homer in the 8th off Josh Lindblom to put the Diamondbacks back ahead. However the Dodgers went ahead 8–7 thanks to a 2 RBI double by Iván DeJesús, Jr. in the top of the ninth off Diamondbacks closer J. J. Putz. Kenley Jansen induced a game ending double play to preserve the Dodgers sixth straight victory. The streak ended the next night, as did Ted Lilly’s personal eight-game winning streak, as Lilly was shelled for 8 runs on 9 hits and 5 walks over 3 1⁄3 innings and the Dodgers were crushed 11–4 by the Diamondbacks.
Back home to play the Houston Astros on May 25, Kershaw allowed a 2-run homer to J. D. Martinez in the third inning and were unable to overcome it in a 3–1 defeat. The following day, L.A. again managed to avoid losing three in a row as A. J. Ellis hit a three-run walk-off homer in a 6–3 victory. The Dodgers beat the Astros on May 27, 5–1 behind Chris Capuano who allowed only two hits in seven innings design football socks. Jerry Hairston, Jr. had 5 hits in 5 at-bats and backup catcher Matt Treanor homered in the win. The Dodgers bats were silent on Memorial Day as they only scored two runs against Milwaukee Brewers starter Shaun Marcum and lost 3–2. Nathan Eovaldi made his first start for the Dodgers (replacing the injured Ted Lilly) on May 29 and promptly allowed a two-run homer by Ryan Braun in the top of the 1st, which was all the Brewers needed to defeat the Dodgers 2–1. The Dodgers lost their third straight game (for the first time in the 2012 season) when they fell to the Brewers 6–3 the next day. In only his second day back after spending 15 days on the disabled list, Matt Kemp re-injured his left hamstring while scoring in the 1st inning. After receiving the news that Kemp would likely be out for all of June, the Dodgers meekly lost to the Brewers 6–2 to end the homestand. The series marked the first time the Dodgers were swept in a four-game series at home since 1993 and the first time they were ever swept by the Brewers in any series.
The Dodgers began the month of June where they left off in May, losing their fifth straight game. This time they committed four errors and were pounded by the Colorado Rockies 13–3 at Coors Field. In that game, the Dodgers set a Major League record by having five sons of former Major Leaguers in the lineup at the same time (Tony Gwynn, Jr., Jerry Hairston, Jr., Iván DeJesús, Jr., Dee Gordon and Scott Van Slyke). It was also the first time a starting infield of four major league sons had ever occurred: first baseman Van Slyke, second baseman Hairston, third baseman De Jesus and shortstop Gordon. The losing streak came to an end the next day, when they got a strong pitching performance from Aaron Harang and some timely hitting, including Bobby Abreu’s first homer as a Dodger, in a 6–2 win. However, the Dodgers offense went back into hibernation the next day as they dropped the series finale to the Rockies 3–2. The Dodgers road trip continued on June 4 as they traveled to Citizens Bank Park to open a four-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies. Dee Gordon hit a triple to lead off the ninth against Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon and then scored on a single by Elián Herrera to give the Dodgers the winning margin in the 4–3 victory. Herrera came through the next night as well, hitting a two-RBI double off Cliff Lee in the top of the eighth to give the Dodgers the go-ahead run in a 2–1 victory over the Phillies. Dee Gordon delivered a two-run single during the Dodgers three-run sixth inning on June 6 as they again came from behind to beat the Phillies, this time by a score of 6-5. Kenley Jansen picked up his third save in three days against the Phillies. The Dodgers, helped by three Phillies errors, swept the series with an 8–3 victory in the series finale. The victory was the 100th career win for pitcher Aaron Harang and the team’s first ever four-game series sweep in Philadelphia. The Dodgers continued the lengthy road trip with a cross-country flight to Seattle to take on the Mariners in interleague play. In the opener Nathan Eovaldi pitched six scoreless innings before the Mariners got a run off of relief pitcher Scott Elbert. It was all they needed because Kevin Millwood and five relief pitchers combined to pitch a no-hitter against the Dodgers. This was the first official no-hitter against the Dodgers since Kent Mercker of the Atlanta Braves had done it on April 4, 1994. The Dodgers got back into the winning ways the next day as Clayton Kershaw stuck out a season high 12 batters in 7 innings and Jerry Hairston, Jr. hit a home run and had 5 RBI in the 8–3 win. Andre Ethier hit his fourth career grand slam to back Chad Billingsley’s strong effort as the Dodgers closed out the lengthy road trip with an 8–2 victory over the Mariners. Billingsley allowed only one run in 7 innings while striking out 8.
The Dodgers finally returned home on June 11 only to lose 3–2 to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, led by rookie outfielder Mike Trout, who was 2 for 4 with a home run and two RBI in the game. The Dodgers struggled against Angels starter Jerome Williams the next night, trailing 2–1 heading into the bottom of the eighth. However they battled back as Ethier hit a game-tying single and then Juan Rivera put the Dodgers ahead to stay with a three-run home run. Kenley Jansen picked up his 10th save in the 5–2 victory. The Angels took the final game of the series as Erick Aybar hit a tie-breaking home run off Jansen in the top of the ninth to give them the 2-1 win over the Dodgers. In the next game, on June 15 against the Chicago White Sox, Kershaw struggled, giving up 5 runs in his 6 innings of work but the Dodgers came back and won the game 7-6 thanks to a wild pitch by reliever Matt Thornton that pushed across the eventual winning run. The Dodgers again fell behind early the next day, then came back to tie the game. However, this time they lost 5-4. Chris Capuano struck out 12 in 8 innings of the series finale on Father’s Day but left the game down 1–0. The Dodgers ralied to tie the game in the bottom of the 9th and won in the 10th after a triple by Tony Gwynn, Jr. and a walk off single by Dee Gordon.
Back on the road, the Dodgers were shut out by Oakland Athletics starter Brandon McCarthy and Aaron Harang struggled, walking 8 batters in only 4 innings and allowing 3 runs in the 1st which was all Oakland needed in the 3–0 victory. The Dodger offense continued to stumble the following day, losing again to Oakland, this time by a score of 4–1. Clayton Kershaw allowed only one run on three hits in eight innings in the finale but the Athletics still swept the Dodgers thanks to a walk-off home run by Yoenis Céspedes off Josh Lindblom in the bottom of the ninth that gave them a 4–1 win. The Dodgers traveled to Anaheim to begin another series with the Angels on June 22. They took an early 5–0 lead, partially thanks to a 3-run homer hit by Bobby Abreu, but lost the game 8-5 to extend their losing streak to four games. The Dodgers ended their skid and picked up a win the next day as Chris Capuano allowed only one run in 7 innings to pick up his ninth win and Dee Gordon was 2-4 with a triple, a stolen base and 2 runs scored in the Dodgers 3–1 win over the Angels. The Dodgers dropped the finale of the Freeway Series when they lost 5–3. This continued the Angels streak of beating the Dodgers in interleague series that has continued since 2006. The Dodgers next traveled to San Francisco for a divisional series against the second place Giants. However, rookie Nathan Eovaldi struggled, allowing 7 runs in the first 2 innings and 8 total in his 5 innings of work and the Dodgers lost 8–0 to see their lead over the Giants in the division drop to 2 games. Clayton Kershaw allowed only 2 runs against the Giants the next day, but the team was again shut down offensively (this time by Ryan Vogelsong) as they lost 2–0. This was the first time the Dodgers had been shut out in back-to-back games against the Giants since 1987. The Dodgers woes continued the next day as they were shut out 3-0 by Tim Lincecum and the Giants. The Dodgers, who were shut out in 3 straight games in the series and fell into a tie with the Giants for first place in the division, extended their scoreless streak to 30 innings. This was the first time one team had thrown three straight shutouts against the Dodgers since the 1937 Boston Braves did it to the Brooklyn Dodgers.
The Dodgers scoreless streak eventually reached 33 innings, fifth longest in team history and the longest since 2004 before they finally scored a run in the 4th inning against the New York Mets in the 1st game of a homestand. However, it was not enough as they lost 3–2 to the Mets, extending the losing streak to 5 games and dropping them out of first place for the first time since April 11. The swoon continued the next day as the Dodgers were dominated by R. A. Dickey and his knuckleball and were shut out again, 9–0. This was the Dodgers sixth straight loss, the longest losing streak since September 2010. On June 30, it was Johan Santana’s turn to hold the Dodgers scoreless as he allowed only 3 hits in 8 innings and the Dodgers lost again 5–0 for their seventh straight loss, the longest losing streak since August 2008. They ended the month of June by scoring runs in only one of the last 57 innings they played.
The Dodgers ended their skid as the month turned to July. Clayton Kershaw allowed only one earned run in 7 innings, while striking out 9 and the Dodgers took advantage of 3 Mets errors to pull off an 8–3 victory. Dee Gordon was 2 for 5 with 3 steals and 2 errors in the game. The Dodgers relapsed the next day as the Cincinnati Reds beat them 8–2 for Chad Billingsley’s fourth straight loss. The Dodgers came from behind to beat the Reds the next day, as Luis Cruz, just called up from the minors a few days before, doubled in the tie-breaking run in the seventh inning and stole home for the insurance run in the 3–1 win. On the Fourth of July, Aaron Harang allowed only one run in seven innings to record his first victory since June 7 and the Dodgers won the series with a 4–1 victory in the finale.
The Dodgers opened up a four-game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on July 5 football player t shirts. Nathan Eovaldi earned his first win of the year after 5 loses when he allowed only one run in 6 innings. Solo homers by Scott Van Slyke and Elián Herrera led the offense as the Dodgers won 4–1. Kershaw struggled in the next game, allowing 5 runs to score in the 6th inning as the Dodgers fell to the Diamondbacks 5–3. Same story the next day as the Diamondbacks also beat Chad Billingsley 5–3. This was Billingsley’s fifth straight loss, a new career high. The Dodgers limped into the All-Star break as they dropped the finale to the Diamondbacks 7–1.
The Dodgers began the second half of the season with the return of injured stars Matt Kemp (out since mid-may with a hamstring injury) and Andre Ethier (out for two weeks with a strained oblique). A solid performance by Kershaw and Mark Ellis two-run homer propelled them to a 2–1 win over the San Diego Padres at Dodger Stadium. The next night, the Dodgers led going into the ninth but Everth Cabrera stole hole against closer Kenley Jansen to tie the game and Will Venable scored the winning run when Jansen’s throw to the plate went wide of catcher A. J. Ellis. The final score was 7-6. A season high five errors, include two in the decisive seventh inning by Jerry Hairston, Jr. led to six unearned runs in the Padres 7–2 victory over the Dodgers on July 15. Homeruns by Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard sent the Dodgers to a 3–2 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies. A sore arm prevented Chad Billingsley from making his next start, on July 17, so the Dodgers called up Stephen Fife from the minors to make his Major League debut. Fife pitched well, allowing only 1 run in 6 innings, but the bullpen faltered and the team lost 3-2 for the second straight day. The team picked up a win in the series finale the next day as Matt Kemp hit his first home run since April 30, a two-run walk-off blast in the bottom of the 12th to give the Dodgers a 5–3 victory.
The Dodgers began their first road trip of the second half of the season in New York City against the Mets on July 20. Kemp and Luis Cruz each slugged two-run homers off Mets starter Johan Santana and the team held on for a 7-6 victory. Juan Uribe, who had struggled in the first half of the season, broke out in the next game, with a homer, double, two walks, four RBI and three runs scored. Chris Capuano picked up his team leading 10th win in the 8–5 victory. Matt Treanor’s pinch hit two-run single in the top of the 12th inning led the Dodgers to an 8–3 victory over the Mets on July 22. The win completed the Dodgers first 3-game series sweep of the Mets in New York since 2002 and gave rookie Josh Wall the win. Wall was the first Dodger to pick up a win in relief in his first appearance since Tim Belcher in 1987. Billingsley came off the disabled list to pitch six solid innings in the Dodgers 5–3 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on July 24. Luis Cruz’s three-run homer was main offense in the game. Kershaw struggled in the next game, allowing 8 earned runs, in the Dodgers 8–2 loss to the Cardinals that ended the five-game winning streak. The Dodgers acquired Hanley Ramírez from the Miami Marlins in a trade on July 25 and Ramírez went 2-for-4 with a triple in his Dodgers debut against the Cardinals. It wasn’t enough, however, as ex-Dodger Rafael Furcal hit a two-out single to left in the bottom of the 12th to give the Cardinals a 3–2 victory. Chris Capuano turned in his worst start of the season in the finale against the Cardinals, as the Dodgers lost 7–4. Ramírez hit his first home run as a Dodger in the opener of a key series against the division leading Giants. The two-run homer, in the top of the 10th inning was the difference in a 5-3 victory. The Dodgers picked up another win against their rivals the next day as Chad Billingsley pitched 7 1⁄3 scoreless innings while allowing only 4 hits and Matt Kemp went 4 for 5 with two doubles and a home run in the 10–0 rout. Kershaw pitched a five-hit complete game shutout to complete the Dodgers sweep of the Giants, 4–0, and move them back into a tie for first place in the division.
The Dodgers returned home on July 30, but Aaron Harang had a poor day, allowing a three run home run by Paul Goldschmidt and a grand slam by Chris Johnson as the Dodgers lost 7–2. Home runs also caused a problem for Chris Capuano, including a two-run homer by Goldschmidt and a three-run blast by Miguel Montero as the Dodgers closed out July with an 8–2 loss.
The Dodgers acquired Shane Victorino from the Philadelphia Phillies at the trade deadline but it wasn’t enough as they were held to 2 hits and 0 runs by Patrick Corbin and the Diamondbacks in a 4–0 defeat to start August. Chad Billingsley allowed only 1 run in 7 innings, while striking out 7 and A. J. Ellis hit two home runs (the first multi-homer game of his career) as the Dodgers beat the Chicago Cubs 6-1 on August 3. Clayton Kershaw followed the next day by pitching seven innings of one run, three-hit ball and picked up the win 3–1. Matt Kemp’s two-run homer in the 4th inning sparked the offense. The Dodgers acquired Joe Blanton in a trade with the Phillies on August 3 and he made his Dodger debut on August 5 in the finale against the Cubs. The Dodgers completed the sweep with a 7–6 win, thanks to a walk-off single by Hanley Ramírez. However, they were shut out the next night by the Colorado Rockies 2–0. The Dodgers offense remained in hibernation for another day as the Rockies beat them 3-1 on August 7. The homestand ended with a 6-4 win by the Dodgers. Matt Kemp hit a three-run homer in the 1st inning, Victorino was 3-for-5 with three runs scored and Billingsley picked up his 4th straight victory.
The Dodgers next traveled to Miami to begin their road trip with a 3-game series against the Marlins. In his first game back since his trade to the Dodgers, Hanley Ramírez was 3 for 5 with 2 RBI and Juan Rivera homered as Kershaw picked up his 10th win of the season in the 5–2 victory. on August 11, the Dodgers left the bases loaded in each of the first two innings and left 10 men on base the whole game as the Marlins scored 4 in the 5th off Joe Blanton to beat the Dodgers 7–3. Chris Capuano did not allow a hit until the 7th inning in the series finale and left the game after 8 innings with only two hits and no runs allowed, as well as 10 strikeouts. The Dodgers won 5–0 as Ramírez drove in 3 runs against his former team. Shane Victorino homered and drove in 3 runs to lead the Dodgers to a 5–4 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on August 13. The next night, Billingsley pitched eight shutout innings and Luis Cruz was 3 for 5 with 3 RBI in the Dodgers 11-0 rout of the Pirates. The Dodgers moved back into sole possession of first place for the first time since July 13, when Kershaw pitched 8 solid innings (3 runs, 8 strikeouts, no walks) and the team racked up a season high 15 hits in a 9–3 win. Matt Kemp and Don Mattingly were both ejected in the 2nd inning of the Dodgers 10-6 loss to the Pirates on August 16. The Dodgers spoiled a strong start from Capuano on August 17 when Ronald Belisario allowed the tying runs in the eighth inning and Juan Francisco hit a walk-off single off Jamey Wright in the 11th inning to lead the Atlanta Braves to a 4–3 win. Mattingly was suspended for the final two games of the Braves series as a result of his argument with the umpires in the final game of the Pirates series. With bench coach Trey Hillman leading the team as acting manager, the Dodgers only managed 4 hits against the Braves, but all of them were home runs. Hanley Ramírez hit two of the homers, and drove in 4 of the runs in the process for the 6–2 victory. The Dodgers wrapped up the road trip with a 5–0 win over the Braves. Billingsley pitched seven shutout innings in the game.
The Dodgers returned home from the long road trip for a key divisional series with the San Francisco Giants. In the first game of the series, Kershaw allowed only two runs in 8 innings while striking out 10 but it wasn’t enough as Madison Bumgarner also struck out 10 in 8 innings, but didn’t allow any runs. The Dodgers lost 2–1 to fall back behind the Giants in the divisional race. The Dodgers also dropped the next game, 4–1, as Tim Lincecum shut down the Dodgers offense and Joe Blanton struggled. The Giants again pounced on the Dodgers early in the series finale, scoring 3 runs in the top of the 1st and coasting to an 8-4 victory that dropped the Dodgers 2 1⁄2 games back in the division. This was the Giants first three-game series sweep over the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium since 2007. The Dodgers made up for the drought against the Giants by scoring runs in bunches against the Marlins and former teammate Nathan Eovaldi. Juan Rivera, Andre Ethier and Hanley Ramírez all homered in the 11-4 win. The Dodgers and Boston Red Sox made a trade on August 25, considered by many to be the “biggest August trade in MLB history” which sent James Loney and four minor leaguers to the Red Sox for Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto. Gonzalez made a huge splash with his new team, smashing a three run home run off Marlins ace Josh Johnson in his first at-bat with his new team. The Dodgers offense did not look back, running up 16 hits in the 8–2 win. Andre Ethier got his tenth straight base hit, breaking the L.A. Dodger record set by Ron Cey in 1977 and tying the franchise record set by Ed Konetchy in 1919. The Marlins hit four home runs off the Dodgers the next day to win the series finale 6–2. Giancarlo Stanton hit home runs in each game of the series for the Marlins.
Beckett made his Dodgers debut in the opener of a series against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. He allowed 3 runs in 5 2⁄3 innings and struck out 6, but the Dodgers offense was shut out completely and the bullpen blew up in a 10–0 loss. Kemp injured himself by crashing into the center field wall in the 1st inning and had to leave the game, Capuano allowed 4 runs in the first and the Dodgers new look offense continued to struggle as they lost 8–4 on August 28. The Dodgers offense finally came alive the next day, jumping to a 10–1 lead thanks to a 2-run homer by Hanley Ramírez, a grand slam by A. J. Ellis and 7 1⁄3 solid innings from Joe Blanton. The bullpen faltered in the seventh and eighth by the Dodgers held on to win 10–8.
The Dodgers returned home on August 30 to play the Arizona Diamondbacks. Ian Kennedy and three relievers held the Dodgers scoreless and Kershaw allowed one 2-run homer by Chris Young and that was all they needed as the Diamondbacks beat the Dodgers 2–0. The team dropped to 4 1⁄2 games behind the Giants, their largest deficit of the season. Reliever Matt Guerrier allowed a solo homer to Jason Kubel in the 11th inning on August 31, to give the Dodgers a 4–3 loss, their eighth straight loss to the Diamondbacks on the season.
The Dodgers finally beat the Diamondbacks on September 1 as Josh Beckett only allowed one run in 6 2⁄3 innings, while striking out 9, tying his season high. Andre Ethier and Hanley Ramírez each hit solo homers to account for the 2–1 victory. The Dodgers finished off the series with another win, thanks to a two-run walk-off double by Adrian Gonzalez off Diamondbacks closer J. J. Putz for the 5–4 win. The Dodgers won again the next night against the San Diego Padres as Ethier hit a solo homer in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game and A. J. Ellis hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the 11th for the 4–3 victory. Clayton Kershaw only allowed one run in 7 innings on September 4, while striking out 9. Kerhsaw became just the fifth Dodgers pitcher to post three straight 200 strikeout seasons (Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, Fernando Valenzuela and Hideo Nomo). Ethier hit a solo homer in the second inning for his 1,000th career hit but it wasn’t enough as Matt Guerrier gave up a two-run game-tying homer in the eighth and John Ely allowed three runs to score in the 11th as the Dodgers lost to the Padres 6–3. The Dodgers lost the series finale as well, 4–3, to the Padres.
The Dodgers next started a key series against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park, hoping to make up ground in the standings. However, they dropped the opener of the series 5–2. They evened the series the next day as Adrian Gonzalez tripled in the eighth inning and scored on a double by Hanley Ramírez for the key run in a 3–2 victory. However, the team fell 5 1⁄2 games behind the Giants when Barry Zito shut them out the next day, 4–0. On September 11, Kershaw only allowed three hits and one unearned run against the Arizona Diamondbacks but it was too much as Ian Kennedy blanked the Dodgers 1–0. The Dodgers actually scored first the next night, Adrian Gonzalez double scored two runs to give the Dodgers an early lead… but Trevor Cahill shut them down the rest of the game and the Diamondbacks came back to win 3–2.
The Dodgers returned home on September 13 to open up a series against the St. Louis Cardinals, who held a one-game lead over them in the wild card race to start the series. However, they continued to struggle offensively and dropped the game 2–1. The Dodgers dropped behind 4-1 in the next game, but fought back to win 8-5 thanks to home runs by Ethier and Luis Cruz, ending their four-game losing streak. Trailing by one run entering the ninth on September 15, Luis Cruiz RBI double and Juan Rivera’s pinch hit walk off single, both off Cardinals closer Jason Motte, gave the Dodgers a 4-3 win and moved them into a tie with the Cardinals for the final Wild Card spot. However, they dropped the last game of the series, in 12 innings, 5-2.
The Dodgers next began a key road trip against the two teams with the best records in the National League, the Washington Nationals and Cincinnati Reds. The opener of their series against the Nationals was rained out, forcing them to play a double-header on September 19. In the first game, the bats continued to be non-existent as they lost 3-1. In the second game, Josh Beckett was brilliant for 7 innings as they Dodgers built a 6-0 lead, only to see the bullpen falter in the 8th and the Nationals tied the game. Matt Kemp homered in the top of the ninth to provide the crucial run in the 7-6 victory. They closed out the series the next day with a 4-1 loss, dimming their post-season hopes. The Dodgers beat the Reds on September 21, thanks to a 2 RBI single by Kemp in the top of the 10th inning. Mat Latos shut down the Dodgers the next day, for a 6-0 Reds victory. Clayton Kershaw made the start on September 23, his first start since in 12 days since suffering a hip injury. Kershaw allowed only one run in 5 innings and Adrian Gonzalez hit two home runs, to lead the Dodgers to a 5-3 victory over the Reds. The Dodgers, with their season hanging by a thread, next traveled to San Diego for a series with the Padres. They dropped the first game of the series 2-1. Kemp had four hits, including a home run the next night as the Dodgers offense finally showed some life and they beat the Padres 8-2. The Dodgers finished off their last road trip of the season with an 8-4 victory over the Padres, with both A.J. Ellis and Luis Cruz driving in 2 runs in the game.
Trailing by 3 games in the Wild Card race with 6 games remaining, the Dodgers returned home on September 28 to play the Colorado Rockies. Clayton Kershaw struck out 10 in 8 scoreless innings and Shane Victorino hit a three-run homer in the 2nd inning as the Dodgers won 8-0. The Dodgers scored 8 runs in their third straight game, the first time they had done that since July 8–14, 2007. Matt Kemp hit 2 home runs on September 29 and Joe Blanton and 3 relievers combined to shut out the Rockies 3-0. The win, coupled with the Cardinals losing a game to the Nationals, moved the Dodgers to 2 back in the Wild Card race with 4 games remaining. The Dodgers finished off the sweep of the Rockies with a 7-1 win. Kemp, A.J. Ellis and Cruz all homered in the win.
The Dodgers began their final series of the regular season on October 1 against the San Francisco Giants. In the opening game, they kept their slim post-season chances alive with a walk-off single by Elián Herrera to beat the Giants 4-2. Andre Ethier hit his 20th home run earlier in the game. The Dodgers hopes were extinguished the next day as they dropped the game to the Giants 4-3 and were eliminated from the post-season contention. The Dodgers ended their season on October 3 with a 5-1 win over the Giants. Clayton Kershaw struck out 8 in his 8 innings of work and finished the season with a Major League best 2.53 ERA and 229 strikeouts, second in the league.
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 plus slugging
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
The Dodgers selected 41 players in this draft. Of those, seven of them have played Major League Baseball as of the 2016 season. The Dodgers received a supplemental first round pick as compensation for the loss of free agent Rod Barajas.
The first pick of this draft was shortstop Corey Seager from Northwest Cabarrus High School. The supplemental pick was shortstop Jesmuel Valentin from the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy. He was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies during the 2014 season.
Left-handed reliever Paco Rodriguez from the University of Florida became the first player from this draft to make his Major League debut when he was called up on September 9, 2012.