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Dodgers' defining moments
10/03/2004 11:19 PM ET
First place: Los Angeles took over first place for good on July 8 with a 7-2 victory over Houston. The win gave the Dodgers a 46-37 record.

Offseason moment: In the ultimate personnel move, the franchise was purchased Jan. 29 by Frank and Jamie McCourt, who brought energetic leadership and quickly hired rookie general manager Paul DePodesta.

In-season moment: DePodesta's disappointing July 30 trade for Brad Penny, who was sidelined by injury, and Hee-Seop Choi was mitigated by his brilliant July 31 acquisition of stretch-tested outfielder Steve Finley.

Game: Finley's walkoff, title-clinching grand slam on Saturday capped a remarkable seven-run rally in the bottom of the ninth inning in the second-to-last game of the regular season to defeat archrival San Francisco, 7-3.

MVP: Adrian Beltre finally lived up to the hype, responding to new hitting coach Tim Wallach to add game-breaking offense to his game-saving Gold Glove-caliber defense. Beltre hit .334 with 48 homers and 121 RBIs and should be one of the leading MVP candidates in the National League.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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