Dodger Bats Frigid in World Series Loss

Yasiel Puig

The Dodgers lost the World Series to the Astros in seven games for a variety of reasons. You could point to all of them as the culprit for the club’s heartbreaking defeat culminating in their 5-1 loss in game 7 on Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium.

Clayton Kershaw’s pathetic game 5 start in which the ace was unable to hold a 4-run lead and then also blew a 3-run lead was a big one. There was Kenley Jansen’s blown save in game 2. Of course lackadaisical midseason pickup Yu Darvish’s two clunkers in games 3 and 7 were big reasons too. Don’t get me wrong those all contributed and Darvish definitely sucks. As a matter of fact Darvish is one of the biggest trade deadline busts since Terry Mulholland. However the real reason the Dodgers lost the World Series was because their bats went frigid.

Embed from Getty Images

The middle of the order Dodger bats were ice cold throughout the series. The boys in blue batted an anemic .205 with 65 strikeouts. The Dodgers did slug 10 home runs; the Astros hit 15 long balls. The Dodgers slashed just .200/.292/.364 (11 for 55) and posted a .565 OPS with runners in scoring position. This included going 1 for 13 in the decisive game 7. In contrast the Astros posted a .925 OPS with runners in scoring position. That’s a huge difference. Here is how the Dodgers hit in the World Series.

Justin Turner .160/.323/.360 (4 for 25) 1HR

Corey Seager .222/.290/.370 (6 for 27) 1HR

Cody Bellinger .143/.172/.393 (4 for 28) 17 K 1HR

Chris Taylor .222/.344/.407 (6 for 27) 1HR

Yasiel Puig .148/.179/.370 (4 for 27) 2HR

Austin Barnes .174/.200/.217 (4 for 23)

Joc Pederson .333/.400/.944 (6 for 18) 3 HR

Logan Forsythe .278/.409/.333 (5 for 18)

Enrique Hernandez .231/.375/.231 (3 for 13)

 

The one player who was not part of this problem was Joc Pederson, who had a terrific series. Everyone else was flaccid. The Dodgers simply didn’t hit in the Fall Classic. They floundered with runners in scoring position and they left hoards of men on base. They looked at first pitch strikes like statues and flailed at pitches outside the strike zone. They didn’t hit with runners in scoring position. They didn’t move runners over, and they struck out a lot. You can look back on this as the primary if not the main reason the Dodgers lost the World Series. If the Dodgers don’t like this then they can certainly play better.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Former Co-editor of Lasorda’s Lair. Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
Twitter

46 thoughts on “Dodger Bats Frigid in World Series Loss

  1. I have a question for Michael Norris. Did Walter Alston have BOTH Koufax and Drysdale warming up in the pen BEFORE the start of game 7 in Minnesota? I believe he did. Regardless of the reason why, it guaranteed someone would be ready in case the starter faltered.

    I assume that no one was warming up alongside Darvish BEFORE the game started, but I can’t confirm that. Would it really have been bad to have Kershaw or Wood warming up alongside Darvish? Barnes went to the mound just to waste time so that Morrow could finish warming up. Why waste time? Because no one else prepared BRFORE the game started. And of course Morrow needed more time, Darvish remained in the game and consequently Springer out the dagger in the our team’s heart.

    Congrats to Houston.

    1. The answer to your question is yes. Walt had both of them ready in the pen, but actually had told Big D the night before that he was going to use Koufax in game 7. Probably one of the best decisions in Walt’s managerial career right there with putting Amoros out in LF in game 7 in 55 as a defensive replacement for Gilliam. Amoros caught Yogi’s liner down the line right in front of the foul pole. Had Gilliam been out there he would have had to backhand that ball. Amoros had it on his glove side. Maybe one of the best defensive plays in Dodger post season history. Although Gilliam playing vacuum cleaner defense at 3rd in 1965 would be right up there too.

    2. Yes. We should have had Wood warmed up. Game 7 was extremely frustrating from the get go.

      Good notes from Scott on Kenley game 2 and Kershaw game 5. That and our missed opportunity in the first inning of game 7 gave me sleep deprivation.

  2. Well gang, it has been a long and draining year. Both extreme highs and some depressing lows. The ending was a huge disappointment. But as a fan as long as I have been, I have suffered that feeling before. 56, 66, 74, 77, 78, 85, 1962 was a huge let down. Now the way baseball is constructed it is harder than ever to just get there. I enjoy the wins and take the losses with a grain of salt. 85 in case you are wondering was the playoff loss to the Cardinals on Jack Clarks homer……still a very bitter pill only assuaged some by the fact that the Royals beat the Cards in the series. I have seen more players than I care to count come and go. I have seen great plays, and some bone headed ones. Had Bellinger let Forsythe field that grounder in the first inning, would Darvish have had more confidence? Who knows. I know Willie Davis’s 3 errors in one game in 1966 was the worst moment for a Dodger in the big dance in my lifetime. But all in all, the team has been fun to watch even in the bad years. They are my team, my Dodgers, and they always will be win or lose. Hopefully the future is bright, and they will bounce back from this the way other teams have and make another historic run at ending the now 30 year drought. I will see you all in spring as I need to recharge after all this excitement.

    1. 1985 still a bitter pill for me…first base open 🙁

      Thanks for confirming 1965 game 7.

      If you are done till spring then Adios amigo and happy holidays. Otherwise we’ll keep blogging during the hot stove.

      Say hi to Badger for me.

  3. One last thing there guys. Today, Nov 2, 2017, 146 players have already elected free agency including all of the eligible Dodgers. There are a couple of interesting names on there, one of them being J.D Martinez. Do the Dodgers take a run at him? He would look mighty good in that lineup. 2 big off season questions. The health of Corey Seager and what role will A-Gone play in 2018 if any. Will they exercise Forsythe’s option, close to 8 million and will they simply buy out Ethier, 2.1 million. Of the Dodgers opting for free agency I hope they re-sign Morrow. All the others, not so much. They have about 8 players who are arbitration eligible. Angels signed Upton to a contract extension. 105 million for 5 years.

    1. It’s too early for this, but….

      Forsythe is cheap at 8m per. I think the World Series showed a return to his statistical form, so he should be back.

      I think Ethier has zero chance of returning.

      For the OF, Lorenzo Cain feels more their type of player than JD Martinez, but the OF is super crowded without Ethier. Joc, Verdugo, Tolesy, Taylor and Puig. Trace Thompson is well below those guys, but Trace is out of options.

      1. Bluto

        Even though I wouldn’t mind signing Forsythe back for a smaller amount, after paying his option, his sample in the post season is to small of a sample size, compared how he hit righties, all season long!

        1. MJ, compare this season with his previous Ones, I think you’ll find them more in line with the post-season.

          They could let him go though. Penny saved, penny earned.

          1. Bluto

            I like Forsythe because he is a good defensive replacement for Turner at third.

            Because Turner has to have regular days off, to stay healthy.

      2. I move Taylor back to the infield. I think he is a better player there, but that is just my opinion. His age, I think he is 4 years younger than Forsythe makes him more of a long term solution than Forsythe, although I would keep him in the Utley role.

        1. Michael

          I want to bring Forsythe back, for less money like my friend Jonah said, and have him be more of a utility player, not give him second base, as his own.

          He can fill in for Turner on defense, when Turner needs a day off, and Forsythe hit lefties fine.

          1. I totally agree MJ. I would move Taylor to 2nd full time, and bring Forsythe back as the super infield reserve. He can play all the same positions as Utley did and he also can play SS. They have plenty of LH bats, so Utley will not be missed. They have a lot of players who can play CF including Bellinger. Who, if A-Gone does come back for a final year would be my choice out there. Not in RF or left. An outfield combo of Puig, Bellinger, Toles, Verdugo and Joc would be very versatile. If they want a RH power bat, they could go after Martinez. But if they want a CF defensive whiz, they could chase Cain as Bluto suggested. He does fit their saber metric model, but for once, I would really love a legitimate power bat in the outfield. I mean a true 40 homer guy. Been a while since they have had that……uh, Kemp was the closest thing to that kind of player. Until he was hurt of course. They have holes, mostly in the pitching staff. I know there are FAZ lovers who will not agree with that, but they are there. The starters were exposed in the series. Roberts would not even let Hill go 5. Kershaw good in one lousy in one, and excellent as a reliever….do we make CK the long man out of the pen????? Just kidding. McBrittle is a mess, Ryu was not even on the roster, Maeda shined in the pen, but he will no doubt go back to being a rotation guy. Wood was good, but I think they are leery he can have the kind of success again in 18 he had this year. Buehler, Stewart, Urias all knocking on the door. It is going to be an interesting 3 1/2 months until spring training starts.

  4. We have a good young team. But the Astros, the Cubs, the Indians, the DBacks and the Yankees are very good and young as well. A year and a half ago we were wondering whether and how we were going to compete with the Cubs and Indians. Well it’s crowded at the top and our kids showed that we can compete. We will be in it and that’s with out without Kershaw.

    But the FO and the coaches need to look at the mirror. The Astros to me were the best team and they represent to me the best combination of SABRmetrics and old school baseball. The Dodgers need to learn.

    We’ve got room to grow. If it’s ok with everyone I’m going to post my exit reviews player by player over the next few days.

    1. YF

      The Astros made a decision not to have three outcome players on there team.

      They actually traded of couple of these type of hitters away.

      They not only like a player with a good OPS, they like hitters, who can hit for an average, and not strike out, all the time!

      And I bet that is how they nature there young players too!

      Darvish couldn’t throw any of his off speed in his first game, and he tried to get them back this week, and he was only able to get them break,, but not at an elite level, that would fool Major League players.

      He was also tipping his pitches in this last game, and probably in his first start, in this last series too.

      I think his off speed issues, had to do with the different World Series balls.

        1. Bluto

          He had 237 at bats, against righties in the regular season, and here are is numbers.

          190/315/262/576

          And he only had 35 at bats, in the post season, and that is against both lefties and righties.

          1. What are you talking about!?!??!??!!?!?!?!

            My response was that the Astros are at least as sabermetrically involved as the Dodgers, and that your OPS vs. BA comment was wildly wrong.

    2. YF

      At least the front office finally took Granderson off the post season roster, and that is a good sign for me.

      And I have always thought the same way you do about hitters, and I was impressed with what I have heard and read, about how the Astros pictured what type of players and hitters, they wanted for there team.

      And it is to bad when we were on the cover of Sports Illustrated, it caused us to go in a losing streak, but when Sports Illustrated predicted on there cover the Astros would win the World Series in 2017, they were right, and they made this prediction before the Astros ever made it to the post season.

    3. Close Yueh, but the Dodgers were not all that young compared to either the Cubs or the Stros. Just check that world series roster. Other than McCann, all of their starters were pretty much kids. We had some comparative geezers out there with Forsythe, Turner, and Utley when they started. Puig and Joc both in mid 20’s. Taylor is 29. Even Barnes is 28. The core of the Astros are about 23 years old apiece. Except for Gurriel who even though he is a rookie is in his 30’s. Bellinger and Seager were the only KIDS out there for the Dodgers. The Dodger bullpen had no real young guys in it and neither did the Stros. Wood is the youngest Dodger starting pitcher at 26. I think McCullers is 24. All the other starters are in their 30’s or almost there…Kersh will be 30 next year. So will Maeda. Kersh is actually a little under a month older than Kenta. The youngest Dodger bullpen guy was Cingrani who was born in 1989. Well Stripling was born that same year. So, our young team is not all that young, a lot of guys in their late 20’s. Experience wise, they should have dominated the Stros, but the Stros adjusted and the Dodgers did not and their 2 kids were responsible for almost half of the teams strike outs. Bellinger with 17 and Seager with 9. that’s 26 unproductive outs and between them they left a lot of runners on base. I will be happy if it ever happens that striking out becomes the pariah it once was. Todays players take it much too lightly.

      1. The main reason we lost the World Series is not because of Corey or Cody!

        And remember Corey has been hurt, that is probably why he didn’t go the other way much at the end of the season, and in the post season!

        That was the first time any team, have had a defensive shift on Corey.

        Because when he is healthy, he goes where the pitch is thrown.

        And Cody only played a month in AAA so he is a very young rookie.

        And in that last game, there were a lot of players that left people on base, not just the top of the line up.

        The main reason we lost this series, is Darvish, and Kershaw, and Kenley couldn’t save, that second game.

        When your two ace pitchers don’t do there jobs, it is hard to win a series!

        Good starting pitchers, usually dominate a series!

        Kershaw was given 4 runs to work with, and he allowed 4 runs, and then he was given three more runs to protect, and he gave them up.

        Kershaw was given 6 runs to work with, and he couldn’t do his job.

        And Darvish was great in both games he started in the post season, before this series, but he couldn’t give us 6 innings, in any of his starts in this last series.

        1. MJ, I do not care how young or old you are, you strike out 17 times in 7 games, you have a serious hole in your swing and kudos to the Astros, they exploited it. Corey did the same thing. He kept swinging at that down and in pitch and never came close to hitting one of them. The fact is, the whole top of the lineup stunk. Period. No offense means no win, and when they did get the runs, they blew the game. Roberts using Jansen for a 6 out save in game 2 cost them the ball game. And I know and everyone here knows about Corey’s elbow problem, but that’s no excuse. He did not use it as one and neither should you. Who would have predicted that the top of the lineup would go so cold? And who could have predicted that Kershaw would blow a 4 run lead and then lose a 3 run lead in the same game. I think that long inning just before he went out for the 4th took him out of his rhythm. But it does not matter because what is done is done. It was a team effort, they all lost. And in my book, a lot of it is on Roberts……his moves did not pan out.

  5. I do think that our FO and our coaches will improve, and they will come to learn from the Astros and the other elite teams.

          1. Ya know something Bluto, we all have issues. You do , I do , MJ does, we all have things that bug us. Badger’s issues have nothing to do with you that I know from talking to the guy. They are more about other things and other people. I respect the man’s integrity and his honesty, especially to me.

      1. YF

        Badger did predict next year, and he didn’t know that Bellinger would be up this soon, and know one knew that Taylor would do what he did this year.

        And I only know one person that knew Wood would help the team this much too.

        I always thought it would be next year, only because it is the thirty year anniversary.

        I was hoping Urias was going to make a difference so we didn’t have to depend on Kershaw in the post season so much.

    1. YF

      The fact that they made Barnes the starting catcher shows me, they are trying to get away with these all or nothing hitters, if they had a choice.

      I know Barnes didn’t get the starting catcher position solely on offense, but his bat helps this team’s offense to be better, because he doesn’t constantly strike out.

      And sending Joc down to AAA is another example, because he has never hit consistently.

  6. Ok so here comes my old school wrath against this “baseball” team.

    If you turn the WS into a comical spring training game you get what you deserve!

    You run out of relief pitchers.
    You end up with both catchers in the game at the same time.
    You have miscommunication between the the runner on third and the 3B coach.
    You have a discussion on the mound between a catcher and pitcher who don’t speak the same language.

    Just completely ridiculous situations in which the Dodgers put themselves. And they got what they deserved!

    But the most embarrassing error was not having TWO starters ready to go at game time. The stupid spreadsheet didn’t realize it was the last game of the season. Probably calculates baseball into infinity.

    The FAZ model works but it can lead to some ugly baseball. OK I’m done.

    When do pitchers and catchers report?

    1. Artieboy

      It sure didn’t make me feel that secure, when we had Ethier in left, and Joc in center, in that crazy game, and Barnes at second.

      I love Ethier but I didn’t think he was at his best on defense yet, only because he came back so late, and they didn’t play him on defense that much, so Ethier could be at his best.

      I wanted them to give him more playing time to Ethier, so he could play himself back in shape,and get himself more comfortable on defense.

      And I knew Joc was never great at coming up on balls, and he was not the same on defense, probably because he let himself go.

      And Dave took out Bellinger out of that game too.

      And that reminded me, of the time that Mattingly took out Agone, in that post season game, against the Cards.

    2. How exactly does the “FAZ Model” impact languages spoken between players. the ability to hear, and having players who can play multiple positions (which goes back to the creation of baseball.)

      1. The FAZ model of fewer innings by starters, a plethora of bullpen arms, wild use of the DL, and scouring other teams minor league systems to find a Chris Taylor can creat a +100 win team. We saw it.

        The “conversation” between Barnes and Darvish was a cathartic joke as they desperately waited for Morrow to finish warming up. The two languages was just my sarcastic twist on that disastrous inning.

        But the biggest joke was FAZ. All that brain power and not one of them could see that it may have been important to have someone else ready to go from the outset.

        And to answer your question, all those things can happen to any team of course.

        However did any of those happen to Houston? Did Houston run out of relief pitchers as we did because of our massive dependency on the bullpen. Did they have both catchers in the game at the same time as we did, because as part of our pitching model we kept combining it with the 2 for 1 switch. Did they commit the same base running blunder? They played in the same stadium with the same noise. Remember our model preaches outs are precious, don’t make an out on the base paths therefore stop Taylor at 3B instead of trying to score on Seager’s double. Does Houston preach that sort of safety on the base paths?Remember Bergman stole 3B.

        1. Are you asking if Houston made those specific errors or if they made errors like those?

          If the former obviously no, if the latter obviously yes.

  7. Greetings banausic earthlings.

    I’m out on parole and have been told to behave myself in public. Is this place public?

    Not sure where everybody is as I’ve not read a thing here in weeks. I won’t say why as I’ve been advised by counsel to behave myself in public….. but I regurgitate….. which means to repeat….. yeah I know, it’s a Slip Mahoney line I’ve used before, but it’s still a good one. Those who know me know why.

    The Dodgers. My take? I think they had an outstanding year, but we all know they did not finish. I said I didn’t think they were a championship club and turns out I was right. At this point I don’t find myself pointing a finger at anyone but the players. Simply put, they got outplayed. They made it to Game 7, which I was actually hoping for, but if Jansen and Kershaw would have taken care of business in Games 2 and 5 there would have been no Game 7. Our stud pitchers both folded in those games. For the series our hitters slashed .200/.292/.364 and they sucked WRISP. That ain’t Roberts fault, and it isn’t FAZ’s fault either. Game 7? Both teams looked like they were on drugs – the Astros on meth the Dodgers on Xanax. It was an embarrassing finish.

    What now? Well, I still think on paper the roster can look most excellent. But I read something by a commenter at the Times that struck a chord with me. The writer was talking about a lack of heart in this group. It kinda struck a chord. These guys have been there 5 straight years and for 5 years the result was the same – a loss in the last game of the year. This Game 7? It can be used as a sedative for insomniacs. These guys swallowed the olive. Why would we believe it be any different next year?

    I said ’18 for a number of reasons, some of which still exist but some of it has changed. I still believe it’s possible Kershaw, in a contract year, will go Greinke (9.3 WAR) on the league. I believed Joc, Puig, Seager and rookie Bellinger would be a year older and hammering the ball. I believed Urias, Buehler and Verdugo would step right in and be very good. And I believed with money coming off the books they could get a guy like Arrietta or Darvish to step into the #2 slot. Now? I am uncertain about pitching, again. I don’t know if Urias can pitch and I don’t want Darvish back. Is Jansen showing cracks. Morrow might be gone, Kazmir Hill and McCarthy are all older. Question marks for me on this staff.

    Not sure what happens now but I am sure of one thing – those who have said the Dodgers will get under the cap are wrong. They will spend again.

    That’s enough for now. Gotta call my PO.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Optionally add an image (JPEG only)