For Dodgers, Regular Season Doesn’t Really Matter

When you have the best record in the majors, you have the luxury of letting players rest whenever the manager sees fit. After all, the only thing on the line was the Dodgers’ streak of winning series this season.

Mookie Betts sat out the game on Sunday, and while his presence wasn’t missed in the lineup as the Dodgers scored six runs, he might have been used late in the game to possibly win the game. But these are not really the games that matter.

The Dodgers bullpen has regressed the last few games, although that was bound to happen. Caleb Ferguson especially has had a rough go of it lately. In the last 10 batters that he had faced, he allowed seven hits, including three home runs; and the last one was off the bat of former Dodger Matt Kemp for the win on a very hot Sunday Night.

Overall, the Dodgers lost two of three to the Colorado Rockies and that streak of series wins ended. The Dodgers scored 18 runs over the weekend and hit eight home runs. But Ferguson, Blake Treinen, Dennis Santana and Brusdar Graterol combined to allow 10 runs while in relief of the Dodgers’ starting pitchers. Even with a high powered offense, that’s not always easy to overcome.

Matt Snyder from CBS Sports wrote a mostly tongue-in-cheek article about how the Dodgers should tank in their games against Colorado so they definitely face the Rockies in the first round of the playoffs. Being the No. 1 seed, the Dodgers would play the eighth seed. As of this writing, that would be the Miami Marlins.

He does have a point. I believe the Dodgers could easily beat the Rockies in a best-of-three series. I also think that they could easily handle the San Francisco Giants, even if it’s an even year. Same for the Marlins.

The two teams to fear the most in such a scenario are the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Mets. The Phillies have Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola, and a battery of hitters including Bryce Harper who if hot, could do damage in a short series. The Mets, however, might be the most scary—a team could easily find themselves down 1-0 and having a must win game in the second game of the series, having to face Jacob deGrom.

However, there are 18 games left in the season and obviously lots of thing could change. The most important thing is that the Dodgers’ bullpen regains its early season dominance and that the Dodgers offense also shows up in the postseason. Nothing during the regular season matters if those two things don’t happen in the playoffs. 2020 has been a strange year—maybe it’s finally the year for the Dodgers to overcome their previous playoff downfalls.

14 thoughts on “For Dodgers, Regular Season Doesn’t Really Matter

  1. Your points are well made, but as it is every year it will be the team that is hot coming in. Right now nobody wants to play the Dodgers but that could change.

    Looks like Ferguson could maybe use a few days off. Kelly and Baez will back soon and Wood can get a few innings too. This bullpen has to be functioning in top form for the team to finish this thing off. You know whoever makes it to those rounds will be playing well.

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  2. Too bad they didn’t go ahead with the idea that the team with the best record would choose its opponent in the first round, then the second best would choose, etc. I think that was actually up for consideration at one point, but obviously didn’t gain any traction.

    They could have made a big show out of it on MLB tv.
    “And here to announce the Dodgers choice of which team they’ll play in the first round, HOF manager Tommy Lasorda.”
    “Friedman told me to pick the Marlins but to hell with him, I’m picking the Giants.”

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  3. I will never get why you sit a 27 year old healthy super star in the middle of a 60 game season, especially when he is one of the only 2-3 consistent hitters in your lineup. Rest a player if he is hurting sure, but play your best players everyday. Garvey didn’t rest, Ripken didn’t rest. Betts doesn’t need two days off to rest. Maybe, Bellinger does, since he is flailing away trying to hit it 600 feet every at bat.

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    1. He probably did not need the rest, but Roberts continues to give players a day off. Since they were off today also, Betts gets two days where he can just relax. It is the second time this season Doc has given him a day off, oddly, both against the Rockies. With 18 games left, I am pretty sure He will play a majority of them.

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      1. They also need to start playing Smith more often and Barnes a little less. And it’s very disappointing to see Bellinger, Muncy and Pederson all continue to hit so poorly. The so called expert, brilliant hitting coaches need to help these guys get untracked. On a positive note Seager is hitting great using the whole field. The others should pay attention to his approach.

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      2. Smith is going to get most of the time. Although Barnes will continue to catch Kershaw, which means he will catch tomorrow. Joc on paternity leave, Sborz recalled. Turner not coming off of the IL yet.

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  4. Old friend Charlie Culberson has been DFA by the Braves. I was always a fan of his. Hope he lands on his feet. Has only had 7 at bats this year. Don’t know if he’s been hurt or they just haven’t been using him.
    Seems like the kind of guy Farhan would sign, just like he did with Donovan Solano (another ex-Dodger) and look how that has turned out.

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    1. Yeah, I always had a soft spot for the guy. And when Seager went down for a while in 17, Charlie stepped in and did a really good job.

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