Dodgers clinch NL West for fifth straight season

We've all heard or even used the phrase and perhaps it applies here: All's well that ends well. 

The Los Angeles Dodgers have won the National League West in this 2017 Major League Baseball season. They did so with a 4-2 win over the Giants on Friday night in Dodger Stadium. Cody Bellinger hit his 39th home run to set an NL record.

Once again, the Dodgers are the NL West champions. 

It's a phrase Dodgers fans were surely hoping to hear once the season began and were expecting to hear by the middle of June at the latest. The Dodgers are, of course, now heading to the playoffs for the fifth straight season and the ninth time in the last 14 years. 

That's cause for celebration. 

How the Dodgers got here, though, is unbelievably complicated. We've beaten the story to death, but it's deservedly so. This win-loss sequencing is unprecedented. 

The Dodgers were once 91-36. They then lost 16 of their next 17. They then won four in a row before losing four in a row. They were once on pace to win 116 games (in late August, mind you, not some small-sample fluke) and now it doesn't even seem a sure bet that they win 100 games. 

Of course, the Dodgers still do have a great chance to win 100 games for the seventh time in franchise history and the first since 1974. The franchise record of 105 is within reach of a season-closing hot streak. 

And the Dodgers could very well win the World Series. They have the talent and we've seen them play for a while like the best team in baseball. It's just funny that now it feels like such an uphill battle and if they don't win it all, this season will feel like a colossal failure. 

For now, though, the Dodgers can sit back and feel good about themselves again. Winning the NL West five straight seasons is an incredible accomplishment. 

CBS Sports Writer

Matt Snyder has been a baseball writer with CBS Sports since 2011. A member of the BBWAA, he's now covered the last six World Series beginning with the epic 2011 Fall Classic. The former Indiana University... Full Bio

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