Dan's Dugout: Three 100-Win Teams Head to Playoffs • Latino Sports

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Dan’s Dugout: Three 100-Win Teams Head to Playoffs

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Carlos Correia (left) and Jose Altuve

Carlos Correia (left) and Jose Altuve

They said it couldn’t be done.

It wasn’t long ago when the Los Angeles Dodgers lost 15 of 16 games.

The Houston Astros also had their struggles during the long Summer of ‘17 – especially when star shortstop Carlos Correa suffered a serious hand injury while sliding.

Even the Cleveland Indians sputtered, losing manager Terry Francona with a heart problem and star reliever Andrew Miller for extended stretches.

Somehow, though, everything came together over the 162-game schedule.

All three teams not only clinched their divisions without challenge but take 100-win seasons into the playoffs.

Only five times previously have three clubs won 100 games simultaneously.

It couldn’t have happened before 1969 because the National and American Leagues produced only single pennant-winners and nobody needed to worry about playoffs.

The Dodgers are the only NL team with 100 wins this year

The Dodgers are the only NL team with 100 wins this year

Once the leagues were split into divisions, however, all of that changed. First, there were two winners per league, and now there are three.

Winning 100 was never easy, which explains why the majors had three 100-win teams only once under the old 154-game schedule. That was in 1942, when the Brooklyn Dodgers, St. Louis Cardinals, and New York Yankees vaulted into rarified area of triple digits.

The other four times three teams did it simultaneously were in the era of scheduled playoffs. In 1977, it was the Yankees, Phillies, and Royals. A year later, the Yankees were joined by the Braves and Astros. In 2002, the Yankee juggernaut was back, along with the Braves and A’s. The New Yorkers made it a perfect sweep with another 100-win season in 2003, joining the Braves and Giants.

Yankee fans are spoiled; their team has won at least 100 games 19 times. This year is not one of them, however, since the club notched its 90th win Friday night and is now out of time.

The Cubs hope to defend their world championship

The Cubs hope to defend their world championship

The defending world champions did not repeat their 100-win season of a year ago. Although the Chicago Cubs won the NL Central flag again, they fell short of duplicating last year’s 103-58 mark.

In fact, only the 2011 Phillies and 2015 Cardinals enjoyed 100-win seasons – neither of them in years who two other teams joined them at that pinnacle.

This season will be remembered not only for the remarkable personal achievements of Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton but also for the success of the super-teams.

At one point, Cleveland took 22 in a row, falling just four short of the major-league mark owned by the 1915 New York Giants.

The Dodgers balanced their 1-15 late-summer slide by posting a 15-1 stretch earlier in the season. The promotion of likely Rookie of the Year Cody Bellinger was a big help.

And the Astros cobbled together a 100-win team by adding veterans Brian McCann, Carlos Beltran, and Justin Verlander, among others.

This is Houston’s second 100-win season, Cleveland’s third, and No. 7 for the Dodgers.

Three of the teams that won 100 games in the same season two other clubs also turned the trick went on to win the World Series — the 1977 and 1998 Yankees and the 1942 Cardinals.

Elsewhere in baseball:

The Philadelphia Phillies were complete their rebuild without manager Pete Mackanin, who was surprisingly reassigned this weekend . . .

Pete Mackanin was ousted as Phillies manager

Pete Mackanin was ousted as Phillies manager

Teams looking for a bright young pilot would be wise to consider Brad Ausmus, whose Tiger handlers told him he won’t be asked back . . .

Bartolo Colon, still hoping to catch Dennis Martinez for most wins by a Latino pitcher, may be hard-pressed to land a new contract after a season that had many more downs than ups . . .

Derek Jeter’s purge of Miami’s front office cost Hall of Famers Tony Perez and Andre Dawson their jobs, along with Jack McKeon, manager of the 2003 World Champions . . .

The emergence of Minor League Player of the Year Ronald Acuna makes Nick Markakis expendable in Atlanta with one year left on his contract . . .

Adrian Gonzalez, displaced on the Dodgers roster by Cody Bellinger, might not find a job next year.

About Dan Schlossberg

Former AP sportswriter Dan Schlossberg of Fair Lawn, NJ has produced 35 baseball books, including autobiographies of Ron Blomberg, Al Clark, and Milo Hamilton. Also a broadcaster, he is the host and executive producer of Braves Banter and Travel Itch Radio and a contributor to Sirius XM.

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