That's a wrap: Dodgers complete longest season with 7-5 win
All the ownership ugliness, all the wondrous individual play of Clayton Kershaw and Matt Kemp, the lousy team start, the surprising team finish. All now done with.
The Dodgers wrapped it up Wednesday with a 7-5 victory over the Diamondbacks, completing their longest season at 82-79 -– only the second time all year they were three games above .500.
All the baseball craziness on Wednesday was left to those chasing wild-card berths. This one on a warm desert night had no significance, the Brewers winning earlier Wednesday to assure they would have homefield advantage over Arizona.
There was no stunning, final two-homer game by Kemp that enabled him to join the 40 home run, 40 stolen base club. He just settled for a final two-run homer.
Alas, Kemp ended up hitting .324 with 39 homers, 126 RBI, 114 runs and 40 stolen bases on the season. Otherwise, he just never could seem to get it going.
The homers, runs and RBI all led the league, and the 126 RBI are also the second highest total ever for a Los Angeles Dodger (Tommy Davis, 153, 1962).
In the first four months of the season, Lilly was 7-10 with a 5.02 ERA in 22 starts. In his final two months, he was 6-5 with a 2.08 ERA in 11 starts.
The Dodgers got one in the first off Joe Saunders when Dee Gordon singled, stole second, advanced to third on a groundout and scored on a Juan Rivera sacrifice fly. Gordon also singled in the third and scored on a Justin Sellers’ double. They added two more in the fourth on an RBI double by Jamey Carroll, who scored on a Lilly single.
James Loney continued his torrid turnaround, hitting a solo home run in the sixth. On Aug. 8, Loney was hitting .251 with five home runs and 35 RBI in 113 games. In his final 45 games, he hit .379 with seven home runs and 30 RBI.
Kemp hit his homer in the seventh. He had one final chance at 40 home runs in the ninth, but struck out.
Cole Gillespie hit his first career grand slam in the bottom of the ninth of Ramon Troncoso to end the shutout. Henry Blanco added a solo home run off Troncoso, before Kenley Jansen to came on and get the final two outs.
Also noteworthy: The grand suspense ended for Eugenio Velez, who bounced out when he pinch hit in the eighth. That left him 0-for-37 on the season, a record for a non-pitcher. Overall, he is 0-for-46, another record of infamy for a position player.
The Dodgers, who were 42-55 on July 19, finished out the season 40-24.
Have no fear, however. It’s only 188 days until the Dodgers’ 2012 opening day in San Diego.
-- Steve Dilbeck
Photo: Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp, right, celebrates with Dodgers pitching coach Rick Honeycutt following the Dodgers' 7-5 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday. Credit: Christian Petersen / Getty Images