The Dodger’s season came to an end on Saturday night as they lost the NLCS to the Chicago Cubs in game 6 by a 5-0 score. The Cubs won the NLCS four games to two and advanced to their first World Series since 1945. The city of Chicago celebrated something they had been waiting to happen for 71 years. Waveland Avenue went crazy and Bill Murray cried. It was a surreal scene as the Dodgers limped away into the offseason.
I was too upset to write a recap of the game. Honestly there was nothing to recap. Clayton Kershaw wasn’t terrible but completely ineffective. He had no curveball working and the rest of his pitches had no bite at all. Kershaw allowed five runs (four earned) in five innings pitched and the Dodgers never had a look at the game. Andrew Toles made a costly error on a routine fly ball in the bottom of the first inning that helped the Cubs push across two early runs. I think he accidentally took his eyes off the ball. He was looking at the base runner and the ball clanked off of his glove. It was as stupid error, but Toles is a rookie and it’s hard for a first year player to play in that hostile environment in that situation. Toles is a talented player but very young and inexperienced.
The Cubs had the first three batters reach base and never looked back after that. There were two big home runs from Anthony Rizzo and Wilson Contreras. The Dodger bats were completely shut down by opposing starter Kyle Hendricks. The Dodgers had two hits both singles and just one hit after the first inning. Toles singled to lead-off the game and then was immediately erased when Corey Seager grounded into a double play. Josh Reddick reached on an error later in the game and was picked off. Kenley Jansen pitched the last four innings allowing no runs and striking out 4 in what could be his final game as a Dodger. It was depressing and the Dodgers totally looked like they had given up.
We learned some things though from this series.
- There are no such things as curses.
The cubs were never cursed. If they were then they would have lost this game somehow. The Cub’s 71 year pennant drought can be directly attributed to poor luck, misfortunate, and bad management. As I have said before success can’t break a curse. Only the person that placed the curse can remove it and he is dead I believe. The Cubs snapped their World Series drought because they were the best team in Baseball all season long. They built a super team over there and it appears that the Cubs will be championship caliber for many years to come.
- The Dodgers played the Cubs tough
The Dodgers were overwhelming underdogs to the Cubs coming into this series but they still were able to not only avoid being swept but actually had the lead in the series 2-1. They won two games and except for games 4 and 6 played the Cubs well. It’s a consolation really, but it’s something to remember.
- The Dodgers still had a great season considering the obstacles they had to overcome
It’s amazing the Dodgers even made it this far with all of the injuries they suffered. We’re talking about breaking the major league record for most players on the disabled list. Losing Clayton Kershaw for nearly three months, and having almost no starting pitching for almost the entire season. They overcame an eight game deficit to win their fourth consecutive National League West title, and they came from behind to win the final two games of the NLDS to eliminate a very good Washington Nationals club. The Dodgers have nothing to hang their heads about this season.
- The Dodgers are the Buffalo Bills of baseball and will probably never win a World Series in our lifetimes.
As I predicted in spring training the Dodgers would win 90 games, win the division, but lose in the playoffs. That’s exactly what they did. It’s not surprising. This is four consecutive seasons in a row that the Dodgers have failed to make it to the World Series and the club now has one of the longest World Series droughts in the sport. It’s sad but I have lost all hope of the club ever making it to the World Series in my lifetime.
Again they have a ton of organizational talent. They’ll win the division and make the playoffs nearly every year. But they’ll just lose in the playoffs over and over and over again. Sorry but it’s just the truth. The organization just doesn’t know how to get through the playoffs. Expect this soul crushing postseason failure every season for the rest of the decade. I’ve just accepted it.
The Dodgers have to address a few of the glaring weaknesses on the roster during the offseason. They have to improve the rotation and find a proven postseason pitcher that can give them some innings. They need somebody like a Jon Lester or a Madison Bumgarner that can slot in behind Kershaw and give them some reliability. Somebody that knows how to pitch in the playoffs.
They are just going to have to go out and spend some money to that. They don’t have to spend 180 million dollars, but they will have to spend some cash to do it. Otherwise they will never win in the postseason…..ever. As we’ve seen before Clayton Kershaw is excellent in the regular season but seems to be unable to pitch in big playoff games. He needs some help and the Dodgers need innings from their starters. Fix this Friedman.
The Dodgers also need a better offensive unit. They need more production from their lineup. The offense sucked for most of the year save for Corey Seager and Justin Turner. The club was unable to hit any left hander thrown at them and had little to no base running speed in the lineup. The club must change their offensive approaches at the plate as well. They are simply not aggressive enough with two strikes and still can’t hit with runners in scoring position.
The club also needs to get more athletic and younger at second base, first base, left field, and right field. They need to stop playing percentages and using marginal utility players when there is a left hander on the mound. Minor league nobodies like Kike Hernandez, Charlie Culberson, and Rob Segedin should never be playing over the regulars. The lineup they put out in game 5 against Jon Lester was inexcusable. Stop doing it. It doesn’t work. No more lefty/righty garbage.
In the end the Dodgers gave us more than we ever expected them too. They overachieved with a rookie manager. Dave Roberts did a fantastic job in his first year and I think he has the right attitude to lead the Dodgers into the future. The Dodgers must resign their stars. Kenley Jansen, Justin Turner, and Chase Utley should all be brought back.
I just want to thank all of you for following along all season over here. There were ups and there downs, but the Dodgers still gave us plenty to cheer about. Unfortunately they fell just short of their goal. Here’s to hoping that one day we can all celebrate a Dodgers World Series championship. I think we all could use a couple of days to catch our breaths.
Just because the season is over doesn’t mean this site will go dark. We’ll have plenty of coverage to write about including free agent signings, trades, rumors, analysis, and reviews. So don’t go away, because we’ll be here to give you our report on all of that.
In the meantime let’s just relax and take a look back on what was a very exciting and often times frustrating Dodger season. Again I want to thank you all for being here.
Always Go Blue!