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Los Angeles Dodgers clinch NL West Title

first_imgLOS ANGELES >> And so — here they are again.But this time it was a rookie manager leading them through record use of the disabled list — including the 75-day loss of their ace to a back injury — and leaning as heavily on the products of baseball’s top-ranked farm system as baseball’s highest payroll. The Dodgers finished atop the National League West again Sunday afternoon when Charlie Culberson’s game-winning home run in the 10th inning gave them a 4-3 victory over the Colorado Rockies.The win came just moments before the San Francisco Giants’ latest loss (their 41st in 66 games since the All-Star break) became final, which also would have sent the Dodgers to the postseason.But the Culberson homer was a much more appropriate ending for a team that boasted of its depth leading into the season, started rookie pitchers a major-league high 65 times and had every man on their 40-man roster active for Sunday’s clincher. Dave Roberts used 19 of them against the Rockies, just a typical September afternoon for him. “My first year managing, to see this whole big machine come together and to realize one part of a goal — it’s really tough to put into words,” Roberts said.“You get your best player (Corey Seager) hitting that game-tying home run off (Adam) Ottavino (with two outs in the bottom of the ninth) and then you get Charlie Culberson, who was a non-roster invitee, who was up and down all year long, who did everything we asked — for him to get that big hit … I embraced him and he said outside of him having his baby that was the greatest moment of his life.”The Dodgers will head to the postseason for the seventh time in the past 11 seasons still looking for it to end with greatness for the first time since 1988.Nonetheless, they are the first team to win the NL West in four consecutive seasons, the first NL team to win their division four consecutive times since the Philadelphia Phillies won the NL East five consecutive times from 2007-11.They will meet the Washington Nationals in the first round with only the travel arrangements to be finalized. The Nationals (91-64) hold a 1 1/2-game lead over the Dodgers (90-66) for homefield in a best-of-5 Division Series. The Nats’ magic number to clinch that advantage is six as the regular season enters its final week. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img “I mean, if we only had to use 25 guys and had no injuries — that would have been fine too,” GM Farhan Zaidi said of watching the depth assembled by the Dodgers’ front office pay off on the field. “But I wouldn’t say it’s validation because you go through injuries every year and this year was no different. And if it wasn’t for these guys stepping up and performing, what does depth mean?“I’ve seen it over the years and I know how hard it is for guys to come up and hit the ground running in the big leagues. For guys like Grant Dayton and Andrew Toles to come up and make such a big impact right away and sustain it — you just don’t see it that often with this volume of players so it’s been really tremendous.”For most of the day Sunday, however, it was all about Vin Scully — whether he liked it or not.The first time through the lineup, Dodgers batters stopped near home plate and raised their helmets in his direction, saluting the Hall of Fame broadcaster as he called his final game at Dodger Stadium.“Me and JT were texting last night and said we should do something. That’s what we came up with,” Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez said. “We have a hitters meeting every day and we talked about it and everybody thought it was a good idea. We went with it to honor Vin and give him the respect he deserves.“He deserves way more than that. I think it’s a little token of our appreciation for him.”Scully was moved, exclaiming on air, “Are they waving up here? Oh, that’s terrific. Holy Mackerel.”It was almost the only time all afternoon the Dodgers managed to get to a left-hander.Rockies starter Tyler Anderson held the Dodgers to one run over the first six innings despite scattering eight hits. The Dodgers went 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position against Anderson, their latest frustration against a left-handed pitcher.But in the seventh, the Dodgers tied the game on an RBI triple by Corey Seager. The Rockies regained the lead in the top of the ninth when Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen gave up a two-out home run to David Dahl.Down to their last out in the bottom of the ninth, Seager came through again, re-tying the game with a drive into the seats down the right-field line.Culberson’s clinching home run came an inning later with two outs off Rockies reliever Boone Logan. He dropped the bat and stood at home plate, admiring the drive with more gusto than a player with six career home runs can usually muster.“I don’t hit too many home runs,” he said sheepishly in the afterglow. “I knew that was gone.”That put a punctuation mark on an emotional weekend during which the Dodgers embraced both their Hall of Fame broadcaster and a “team mentality, really,” as Clayton Kershaw put it.“This year has been a little different for me personally, being out for so long,” he said. “It’s good to see these guys do what they needed to do. It just shows this team isn’t about one guy. Any guy can step up, any guy can win a game and you just saw that today.“One guy goes down, another guy steps up. A testament to our team, the depth that we have, the guys that we could bring in, the young guys that stepped up.”last_img read more

Top 10 players with most career goals: Messi, Ronaldo, Rooney and Suarez feature

first_img 10 10 10 10 10 10 6. David Villa has scored 376 career goals (in 745 games) – The Spaniard scored 286 goals in his Spanish club career, which took in Barcelona, Valencia and Atletico Madrid. He swapped Spain for the States in June 2014, and has 29 for New York City, so far. Villa briefly joined Melbourne City, getting his name on the scoresheet twice. And he netted 59 for Spain in a trophy-laden nine years, during which he won 97 caps. 7. Luis Suarez has scored 349 career goals (in 539 games) – The Uruguay international has 84 goals for current club Barcelona, plus 82 for Liverpool, 111 for Ajax, 15 for Gronigen, 12 for Nacional and 45 for his country. He has won the European Golden Shoe award with both Liverpool and Barca. Suarez has top scored in the Dutch, English and Spanish top flights. 3. Zlatan Ibrahimovic has scored 453 career goals (in 792 games) – The Sweden icon has rarely struggled to find the back of the net, scoring for Ajax, Juventus, Inter, Barcelona, AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain, winning titles in four countries. Ibrahimovic has also scored 62 goals for his country’s senior team. 10 10 Lionel Messi has retired from international football after losing his fourth major final with his national team, but he does so as Argentina’s record goal scorer.Meanwhile, Cristiano Ronaldo is attempting to fire Portugal to Euro 2016 glory, a month after helping Real Madrid claim an 11th Champions League triumph.But the European Golden Shoe for most league goals in the 2015/16 season went to Luis Suarez, who bagged 40 Liga goals for Barcelona.So, who has the most career goals to date? Take a look at the slideshow countdown above to find out.*From a selection of current professional footballers playing in (or who have played the majority of their career in) elite level professional football.All statistics correct up to and including 26 June 2016 5. Robbie Keane has scored 377 career goals (in 846 games) – Keane has scored 310 times for Coventry City, Inter, Leeds United, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool, West Ham, Aston Villa, Celtic and LA Galaxy, plus a record 67 goals for Republic of Ireland. 10 9. Wayne Rooney has scored 314 career goals (in 711 games) – Rooney, who is second to Bobby Charlton on Manchester United’s all-time goalscorers list, has scored 245 goals for Man United and a record 52 for England. 2. Lionel Messi has scored 519 career goals (in 683 games) – As well as being Barcelona’s all-time record goal scorer, Messi is also Argentina’s most prolific international, having netted 55 goals for his national side. Add 11 goals for Barca’s second and third teams in the Spanish third and fourth divisions and you have over 519 career goals. Messi has won three European Golden Shoe awards. 8. Didier Drogba has scored 346 career goals (in 750 games) – The Stamford Bridge legend has scored 71 goals in French football, for Le Mans, Guingamp and Marseille, got 20 for Turkish club Galatasaray and eight for Chinese side Shanghai. Drogba has scored 18 in Montreal Impact colours, 65 for Ivory Coast, and not forgetting his 164 for Chelsea. 4. Samuel Eto’o has scored 384 career goals (in 788 games) – The well-travelled Eto’o is widely remembered for his goals for Mallorca, Barcelona and Inter, while his goal tally at Chelsea, Anzhi, Everton, Sampdoria and current club Antalyaspor have bumped up his career total. For Cameroon he scored 56 international goals. 10. Francesco Totti has scored 313 career goals (in 814 games) – to find out who are the world’s top goal scorers in competitive football, click the arrow above – The Italian is a true one-club man, having made his debut for Roma at the age of 16 in 1993. Incredibly he is still playing at the age of 39 and has no intention of calling it a day just yet. As well as 304 goals for Roma, he bagged nine for Italy, including one in the Azzuri’s glorious 2006 World Cup campaign. 10 1. Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 547 career goals (in 787 games) – Ronaldo’s record for Los Blancos is simply stunning and he is showing few signs of letting up in front of goal. Along with his record 364 for Real, he has 118 goals for Manchester United, five for his first club Sporting, and a national record 60 for Portugal. Ronaldo has claimed four European Golden Shoe awards.last_img read more