Magic Johnson has very high expectations for the Dodgers and Don Mattingly

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Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times talked to owner Magic Johnson about his expectations for the Dodgers this season:

We want to go to the World Series. If we don’t accomplish that, yes, it is not a good season for us. Guys should be saying that. As the ownership group, that is what we are saying.

That makes sense in that the Dodgers have added a ton of star players and now boast the largest payroll in baseball history, but as the playoffs constantly prove being the best team–or at least having the best record–doesn’t always mean winning the World Series. It’s much different than the NBA that way.

And if they don’t win the World Series, what happens to manager Don Mattingly when his contract expires after the season?

Don has been in this game. He understands how these things work. He knows, if he does his job, he will get rewarded. Look, everybody likes Don a lot. Nobody wants to put Don in a situation where he is going to be the fall guy. We’re not that type of guys. What we’re trying to do is give Don all the resources necessary to be a winner, be effective and be a champion.

If it’s truly “World Series or bust” for the Dodgers this season Mattingly ought to be very nervous.

Pujols hits 702nd HR, ties Ruth in RBIs, Cardinals lose 7-5

Pittsburgh Pirates v St. Louis Cardinals
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ST. LOUIS – Albert Pujols hit his 702nd career home run and tied Babe Ruth for second on the all-time RBI on Sunday, but the Pittsburgh Pirates took the game from the St. Louis Cardinals 7-5.

Ben Gamel and Bryan Reynolds homered for Pittsburgh, which has won four of six. Chase DeJong (6-2) got the win for the Pirates.

Yadier Molina and Pujols, who will retire at the end of the season, were honored in a 46-minute ceremony prior to their last regular-season home game.

Pujols ripped a two-run double in the opening inning, and Molina brought him in with a fly to left for a 3-0 lead.

The 42-year-old Pujols followed with his 23rd home run of the season in the third inning, a 409-foot drive off Roansy Contreras that tied the game at 4. Pujols is fourth on the all-time home run list behind Babe Ruth (714), Hank Aaron (755) and Barry Bonds (762).

He’s also now tied with Ruth for second in RBI (2,214) behind Aaron (2,297).

Molina and pitcher Adam Wainwright started their 328th game together. Wainwright (11-12) allowed six runs on six hits over 4 2/3 innings. Molina, Pujols and Wainwright were all removed from the game together so they could walk off as a trio with two outs in the fifth. Wainwright has yet to decide if he will come back next season.

The Cardinals, who have clinched their fifth NL Central title in the last 10 years, closed the regular-season with 26 wins in their last 34 home games.

SAYING GOODBYE

Pujols and Molina were given gifts from the team, including a set of golf clubs, a silver plate and one-of-a-kind artist drawings of each player. The two have a combined 41 years in the majors. Former teammates Matt Holiday, Ray Lankord and Jason Isringhausen were present for the ceremony.

ANOTHER GOODBYE

Hall of Fame sportswriter Rick Hummel worked his last home game. Hummel, who has covered the Cardinals for the last 51 years for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, is retiring after this season.

The 76-year-old Hummel has covered 42 All-Star games and 35 World Series.

KIDDIE CORPS

The Pirates have 11 players under the age of 25 on their roster. The average of the 28-player team is 25.8.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Pirates: C Tyler Heineman was activated from the 7-day Injured List list before the game. C/INF Zack Collins was placed on the 10-day Injured List with a non-COVID illness.

UP NEXT

RHP Mitch Keller (5-12, 3.92) will start against the Cardinals in the opener of a three-game series on Monday in Pittsburgh. Keller has allowed three or fewer earned runs in 18 of 21 starts since coming off the disabled list on May 31. The Cardinals have yet to announce a starter.