We’ve made it. The Dodgers open their National League Division Series on Saturday night against the Arizona Dbacks at Dodger Stadium. The Dbacks finished with just 84 regular season wins, but snuck in as a fifth seeded wild card. They swept the Brewers to advance to the NLDS. The Dodgers on the other hand won the National League west for the tenth time in their last eleven seasons. They finished with a 100-62 record and did not play a meaningful game in September.
The Dodgers have one of the best lineups in baseball. Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman put up MVP caliber seasons. Will Smith despite fading in the second half of the season due to various injuries is one of the best hitting catchers in Baseball. Max Muncy slugged 36 home runs, and J.D. Martinez is entering the playoffs as one of the hottest hitters.
The Dodgers also had one of the better bullpens in the sport, however they are entering the NLDS with one of the weakest starting rotations in recent memory. Franchise legend Clayton Kershaw will get the start in game 1, despite battling shoulder problems most of the year. Rookie Bobby Miller is scheduled to take the mound for game 2. The rest of the rotation is a question mark. Midseason trade acquisition Lance Lynn could possibly get the call for game 3, or another rookie, Ryan Pepiot could as well. The Dodgers could potentially use openers, bulk games, or any non-traditional strategies throughout the series. The series oddly has an extra day off, with Game 2 slated for Monday, game 3 on Wednesday. So the only thing we know of the Dodgers pitching plans is Kershaw and Miller will start games 1 and 2 at home.
The Dodgers have made the postseason 11 consecutive seasons. They’ve failed to capture a World Series in 10 of those 11 attempts. They were cheated out of a title in 2017, lost the World Series in 2018 then finally won the World Series three years later in 2020. That was the Covid year, so the Dodgers and the city of Los Angeles were not able to have a parade. It’s time to bring the trophy home and give Los Angeles a parade that the franchise, it’s fans and Los Angeles so richly deserve.
We’ve been through so much over the last 11 years. This could be the final postseason run for Clayton Kershaw, who knows if his body can make it through. Despite my inconsistent writing this year, I’m still here. I’ll still be here rooting for the Dodgers with all my heart. Championships are so incredibly special. I hope to share another one with all of you. The 2023 Dodgers have a lot of fight in them. Who knows how this will end. Hoping I’ll see some of you at the parade in November. Go Blue.