It’s always difficult writing the final recap of the season, so excuse me if this is a bit late. I’ve had some time to digest the Dodger’s game 6 loss to the Braves, the series and the entire season. I’ll give you my takes on the season in a moment, but I suppose I should talk about the game first even though it was over fairly early, despite the Dodgers being in the game until the end.
The Dodgers lost to the Braves 4-2 on Saturday night in Atlanta, as the Braves won the pennant (their first since 1999) and eliminated the Dodgers from postseason play. Walker Buehler had to take the mound after soft ass Max Scherzer was too tired to pitch. God bless Buehler, a true warrior for doing something that Clayton Kershaw did many times, pitching on short rest. Buehler lasted only four innings, and allowed four earned runs but truly pitched with the heart of a champion. I tip my cap to him. Eddie Rosario‘s three-run home run in the bottom of the fourth was the nail in the coffin. Honestly I still don’t understand the decision to even pitch to him with first base open. Even though Freddie Freeman was looming on deck, I don’t care. The Dodgers couldn’t get that guy out the entire series. He was hitting nearly .500 in the NLCS and I would not have pitched to him with men on base.
pitching decisions or not, the Dodger bats let us all down. The Dodgers had a couple of good scoring opportunities, including one in the seventh inning, but were unable to capitalize. The Dodgers were trailing 4-1 in the seventh frame when the Braves made a big mistake bringing in Luke Jackson again. The Dodgers jumped all over him. Chris Taylor doubled, Cody Bellinger walked, and AJ Pollock floated a double just inside the line in left field to plate a run and put runners at second and third. The score was 4-2 and at that point it looked like the Dodgers had a great look at the game. The Braves called on Tyler Matzek and he proceeded to strike out Albert Pujols, Steven Souza Jr. and Mookie Betts consecutively. That was it.
The Dodgers had a good season and definitely gave us some memorable moments. They won 112 games and got very far. They were close to repeating. Unfortunately it doesn’t matter how many games you win in the regular season. The Braves won 88 games, and they’re playing in the World Series.
Management’s pitching strategies were terrible all year. They never placed enough importance on starting pitching, and then when it bit them in the butt, they didn’t want to trust their bullpen. The Dodgers needed at least two starting pitchers at the trade deadline and possibly three. Speaking of Scherzer, I’ve lost some respect for him and don’t expect him to be back. I think he was a rental anyways, and he was great, but not being able to take the mound because he was tired screwed the Dodgers. Look, everyone is tired. All of the players are tired when you get this far. Clayton Kershaw was always able to take the mound even when exhausted. There was never a time when he said no. I think he pitched on three days rest in four consecutive postseasons, and all of those games he pitched at least 6 innings. He never told management he was too tired to take the mound. As great as Scherzer is, he is still no Clayton Kershaw.
Another problem I pointed out in spring training was the weak bench. The Dodgers had almost no depth, and the terrible minor league rosters forced the club to use guys like Luke Raley, Sheldon Neuse, and even had to use Steven Souza, and Andy Burns in the postseason. It was pathetic. You would think that the Dodgers would be able to build a better bench. One could argue that not bringing back Joc Pederson and Enrique Hernandez cost them a championship this year.
This recent run of Dodger baseball has been quite remarkable. Eight NL West division titles, nine consecutive playoff appearances, six NLCS appearances, three National League Pennants, and a World Series championship. But it kind of feels like a let down in a way. The club has had so much talent that many people, myself included feel they should have won multiple championships. Now we have to dredge through the winter knowing that most of the core players (Kershaw, Kenley Jansen, Corey Seager, Chris Taylor) may not be coming back due to free agency. This might be the end of this current run. We could be in for some leaner years ahead. I hope they can bring everyone back for at least one more run. I want to thank everyone for reading and commenting at LADR this season. I hope you all have a great holiday season and I am looking forward to Dodger Baseball in 2022.